The coronavirus quarantine forces us to stay home. Our home has now become the only space in which we spend the day and night, a space in which we work, eat, rest, care for children and adults, exercise… live. That is why it is important that harmony reigns there and it is not enough to maintain order. Experts recommend Feng Shui (Feng means wind and shui means water), the ancient Chinese discipline that is considered the art of harmonizing the environment to promote one’s own well-being. It became fashionable decades ago but now, given the circumstances, it is coming back with a vengeance.
Laura Gärna, interior designer and architect, gives you a series of simple tips to achieve that necessary harmony during confinement. And she does so by going through each room. “For more social areas within the home, such as the living room, blue is the right colour, as it creates a relaxing atmosphere and encourages dialogue. We can also use colours such as mustard, orange or red, which stimulate positive energy and lift the spirits,” he says.
Light is very important. “Our mind is programmed by thousands of years of our history to receive different types of light throughout the day, whiter and more intense during the day, warm in the evening that would correspond to the light of the sunset and very warm and indirect at night, which was the light of the fire and candles of antiquity. We call this ‘Circadian Illumination’.
“What we recommend is to modify the lighting during the day, to take advantage of all the natural light possible through the windows and in the evening, indirect light through auxiliary lamps… If we have to work in the evening and at night it is best to have a lamp that directly illuminates the plane of the table, fringe type or similar, but the general lighting of the room should be in accordance with the circadian lighting that we have mentioned. If we use ceiling lights or halogen lights all day, it can give us vision problems or even headaches
In normal situations, children eat at school or daycare, or with grandparents, and parents usually eat at the workplace. But now the kitchen takes on special importance as it forces us to have breakfast, lunch and dinner at home. This place was, for years, the epicentre of family life and now it is regaining its function and power of convocation. “The ideal colour for the kitchen is yellow or mustard, it is the colour of the sun and will give us a lot of energy. In addition, according to the feng shui philosophy, it is conducive to good digestion,” says the interior designer.
“The word home comes from the Latin focaris (from fire). The center of the house has always been the kitchen. Life was made around where it was cooked, in the last years less and less cooking was done and houses were used less and less, almost all the life was done in the street and almost only going home to sleep. One of the beautiful things that is coming to us with this terrible pandemic is that we are all starting or returning to cooking, I am sure that this experience will transform us all for the better, we will all get used to enjoying our homes, and our families in the simple things, cooking, playing, reading, resting, spending family time at home, which is a great gift.
The health authorities never tire of repeating that it is essential to wash our hands several times a day with soap to prevent the spread of coronavirus and we go into the bathroom many more times than before. “In this room we prefer to use cold ones, such as blue, turquoise and light green. They are refreshing and relaxing because they remind us of water. If the atmosphere in the bathroom is a little sad, you can create a contrast with more vivid shades in the decorative objects”.
Working from home is not as easy as it seems, especially for people who are doing it for the first time. Fashion experts have already given us their advice on how to look after our image and health, and Laura Gärna is now focusing on space. “For work or study, it is advisable to choose beige tones combined with light greens and blues that induce a pleasant atmosphere”.
One of the problems of life in the big cities is space. Square meters are a luxury for many people, whether they live alone or with their families. But there are tricks to make our four walls not overwhelming. “The big mirrors bring a flow of positive energy, you have to keep that in mind. As long as they are not placed in the bedrooms, and especially at the foot of the bed.
It is essential to delimit the spaces and not to do everything in the same place. That is to say, to choose, as far as possible, different places to do different things: not to work or eat in bed, not to study in the kitchen, not to sleep in the living room. Each room or corner must have its own function.