Sometimes it’s necessary to change up your style and incorporate new things into your life. Whether you get that rush of inspiration to adopt a new healthy lifestyle, finally get organized or incorporate more self-care into your routine, starting your new way of life starts with not only you, but your space.
Keeping your home clean, organized and clutter-free are great ways to start making positive changes in your life. Not only that, but it makes your apartment feel homey and stress-free. Fortunately, there are ancient philosophies that are designed to help you obtain that clear and organized space you’ve been dreaming of.
The three most common ancient philosophies and aesthetics are known as feng shui, hygge and wabi-sabi. Not only can these practices give the interior of your apartment a facelift, but they offer many psychological benefits that help aid in self-care and wellness. Keep reading to find out the origins and characteristics of each style so that you can adopt the right one for your apartment.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that seeks to find balance and harmony between the elements. In simpler terms, feng shui is often referred to as the art of placement. The goal is to position the elements in order to optimize “Chi.” This positive energy flow places an emphasis on physical and mental health, success and healthy relationships.
The word “feng shui” directly translates to “wind-water” in English which not only represents the two basic elements that are vital to our existence, but the elements that move and flow around the world. In terms of architecture, feng shui seeks to combine the “invisible forces” that bind the universe, earth and humanity together.
To incorporate the feng shui design into your apartment, you must first declutter your space and open the windows to let in fresh air and natural light. Next, follow these steps to achieve balance and harmony feng shui provides.
The five elements of feng shui are wood, metal, earth, water and fire. Each element symbolizes various meanings of life which should all harmoniously be incorporated into your design.
The bagua map is the most common tool used in feng shui home design. It helps analyze energy in a given space and suggests which element to implement to enhance the flow of energy. There are nine quadrants on the bagua map, each tied to a specific element:
Traditionally, the map is defined by compass directions. However, there is a Western adaptation of the bagua map that is easier to navigate and incorporate for feng shui beginners. Overlay your floorplan on top of this map to determine which elements to incorporate into each space.
Not only is the bagua map tied to elements, but it’s tied to colors that are inspired by different energies:
It is recommended that you choose three life areas you want to enhance, so choose which colors speak to you the most — there are no wrong answers.
The commanding position is the spot in a room that is the furthest from the door and out of direct line with it. This position puts you diagonal to the door. You should determine your commanding position and then arrange your furniture in diagonal alignment if at all possible.
This is where you want to spend most of your time while in that room. For example, your bed should be the commanding position in your bedroom while your desk may be the one in your home office.
Cultivating good feng shui in your home will help you obtain a peaceful and balanced atmosphere. Download the infographic above to help you create the perfect feng shui apartment.
Hygge (pronounced ‘hue-gah’) is a Danish word for a mood of comfort and coziness. It was created as a lifestyle concept by the Danish in the 18th century and is best described as enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
While hygge is used to encompass the Danish way of life that spreads warmth and comfort, it also embodies their interior design. The main idea of the hygge style is to create a warm and peaceful atmosphere to provide a feeling of wellness and contentment. This involves incorporating soft, cozy materials and lounge-ready furniture into your apartment to create a space of retreat and relaxation.
Hygge is all about creating a safe and comfortable environment so you can fully relax in your space. When decorating your apartment with the hygge style in mind, it’s important to keep things simple in order to immerse yourself in the cozy atmosphere and lifestyle. Use these simple steps to create a hygge style apartment.
When turning your apartment into a hygge sanctuary, it’s important to stick to a neutral color palette. The colors in your apartment should contribute to a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere, so you should avoid bright colors like red or yellow which can come off as too striking or overwhelming.
Stick to neutral colors like pale grays, browns and creams to create a cozy and relaxing space. These neutral pastel colors are easy to incorporate and will contribute to that tranquil and cozy look you are going for.
When it comes to hygge decor, comfort and coziness is the key. Incorporating materials and textures that are soft and fluffy make your apartment feel very homey. Try adding fluffy pillows, layers of warm blankets and natural materials such as wood and wool to achieve this. These cozy materials will create the perfect environment to snuggle up with some hot cocoa and a good book.
While bright lighting is usually sought out in apartments, warm lighting is super important in the hygge design style as it offers a sense of warmth and comfort. You’ll want to decorate your apartment with a lot of candles and twinkle fairy lights throughout so you can create that warm radiance that is encompassed by the hygge style.
If your apartment has a fireplace, put it to good use and make a warm fire to huddle around with your friends and family. A fire represents warmth and togetherness which is an essential element to the hygge lifestyle.
With a hygge interior design, you’ll want to invest in furniture that encourages lounging and comfort. This includes reclining chairs, a love seat or a plush ottoman. Don’t forget to add your cozy materials like throw blankets and pillows to add that extra layer of comfort.
You can even get creative and make a snug reading nook below your window sill or get fluffy bean bags to place next to the fireplace. The bottom line is to add furniture pieces that make you feel the most at home.
Incorporating the hygge style into your home will make it feel more cozy and intimate. Download the infographic above to create your own hygge apartment.
Wabi-sabi is a term that merges two Japanese words and concepts that represent both an aesthetic and philosophy. On one hand, we have ‘wabi’ which alludes to nature, simplicity, rustic, and humility. On the other hand, we have ‘sabi’ which refers to longevity and the beauty that comes with age. When you put the two words together, you have a concept that is centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection.
As for interior design, wabi-sabi is the opposite of sleek and contemporary. It’s described as one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete, focusing mainly on the materials used in the space. This includes flea market finds, reclaimed or upcycled materials, treasured heirlooms and wrinkled-up unmade beds.
The wabi-sabi philosophy tells us to appreciate natural materials and objects that have stood the test of time. Use these simple steps to wabi-sabi your apartment and make it that cozy and imperfect space that arouses a sense of beauty and appreciation.
The textures that you incorporate into your wabi-sabi design should be organic and inspired by nature. Organic textures such as wood, wool, clay, flax and wicker are all great options to incorporate into your design.
Make your own clay planter pots or carelessly drape your flax linens over your couch to create that wabi-sabi style for your apartment.
Since ‘wabi’ alludes to nature, sticking with an earthy color palette is important. Colors like blacks, browns, grays, greens and creams are soothing and create a calming ambiance. Basically, any pared-down color that gives you a sense of relaxation and contentment is the right color for your wabi-sabi apartment.
The word ‘sabi’ refers to the beauty that comes with age, so incorporating furniture and decor that is a bit weathered or worn down is encouraged. Old wooden tables with scratches, handmade decor and family heirlooms passed down for generations are great examples of one-of-a-kind objects to incorporate into your design.
When we say ‘careless,’ that doesn’t mean dirty and cluttered, which is the opposite of what wabi-sabi represents. Careless in this case refers to concepts like slept in beds, wrinkled up throw blankets and worn out boots by the door.
It’s supposed to provide a healthy balance between function and form. This will give your apartment that sense of living. It avoids the sleek and perfect interior space that most contemporary styles possess which can come off as cold and stiff.
A wabi-sabi home emanates serenity while incorporating sentimentality at the same time. Download the infographic to help you wabi-sabi your apartment.
There is something to be learned about what people in the past in various parts of the world valued. The way they decorated their homes mirrored their way of life which helped encourage the comfortable, homey and harmonious lifestyle they strived for. Whether you design your new apartment with feng shui, hygge or wabi-sabi in mind, your space will make you feel organized, peaceful and balanced.