Due to global health circumstances, people are traveling less and, as offices and schools temporarily close, working or studying from home. Laurence Carr Design is writing a series of blogs to help you enjoy your time at home and, hopefully, have a bit of fun if you’re there with your kids, young or older, who may be returning home for spring (for the Northern Hemisphere) and fall (for the Southern Hemisphere).
Here in the U.S., speaking of spring, all across the country, and certainly in New York, in addition to trying to keep ourselves healthy, this week we are also thinking about the changing of seasons. As buds begin to swell on branches and the first signs of crocuses and daffodils push through the earth, we are called into a new moment of renewal and growth.
This time of year always inspires us to refresh our personal space so that we may shake off any remnants of winter and stay well for the months ahead, a frame of mind that’s only heightened by the global health situation.
One of the best ways to support yourself and your immune system at home, regardless of season, is to focus on improving indoor air quality. Luckily, some of the most effective ways to do this are also the simplest and most elegant. By combining the natural purifying power of plants and the ingenuity of smart home devices, we can create at-home sanctuaries that lift our spirits as well as safeguard our health.
It’s common to welcome the first weeks of spring by tending to outdoor gardens, but by spending time cultivating plants in our indoors spaces as well, we can celebrate spring while simultaneously priming our health. In fact, there may be no easier way to bolster your overall well-being in your home than by simply bringing in some plants.
It’s long been common knowledge that plants can help to purify the air in our homes, since both their roots and leaves can absorb undesirable gases and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) — insidious chemicals that creep into our homes through our cleaning products, perfumes, and even our moisturizers. (Yet one more reminder at how important it is to read ingredient lists and buy clean, environmentally healthy products!)
Researchers have more recently discovered that even the simple act of touching and smelling plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress, as well as elevate mood. Potting soil itself is now thought to nourish those who work with it through “outdoorphins,” which release cytokines that act as natural antidepressants.
Even more incredible, though, is how live potted foliage and flowers can boost creative performance and cognitive skills. Some researchers say that potted plants help us heal more quickly from injuries and after surgery.
For all of these reasons and more, biophilia — which essentially means bringing plants into the home to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces — has been trending in the interior design world for a number of years, and its popularity is only growing.
It’s easy to introduce more biophilia into your home, be it one a grand or small scale. Here are some of my favorite ways to bring more plant life into my own home, as well as those of my clients.