To most of us, our homes are our pride and joy. Our home is our sanctuary, a place where we can head to after a long day or after experiencing stressful situations and completely unwind, relax and allow our minds and bodies to re-energise, and remove stress. In order for this to work properly and for us to experience the full benefits of our homes, we need to ensure that each individual and combined aspect of our homes are in perfect order and set out in such a way that we feel comfortable, content and – obviously – feel at home. The term ‘feel at home’ can have different connotations to different people. Being at home to some people may mean that they have somewhere where they feel comfortable, to others it may mean that their home is a place where they can make the most of their free time by doing things they enjoy such as reading, watching TV, using social media, or even working out in their home, and to others it may mean that their home is a place where they can spend quality time with their family, friends and loved ones.
Everyone’s home differs to others. You may feel very comfortable living in your terraced suburban property while your friend may love living in their high rise flat in the middle of the city center. Your parents may really enjoy living in their detached bungalow in the countryside, while your in laws may like living in their townhouse on the outskirts of the city. Depending on the taste of the owner or owners, each home will have personality traits and characteristics which are individual to the people who live in the house. If an older couple live in a property, without any children, then it is highly unlikely that there will be any sort of signs of children living there such as child themed bedrooms, toys, or play areas. Also, there could be a lot of unsafe hazards in the home which could injure children if they lived there such as heavy objects on top of tall storage units, sharp corners on things like a kitchen counter and the home could also have pets in it which roam free. However, inside a home where children do live, it is highly likely that safety measures have been put in place such as secure areas where children can play, and that safety gates or other security measures are put on or near the stairs or placed somewhere to prevent access to restricted rooms, cupboards and kitchen cabinets fitted with locking devices or hazardous liquids and substances are placed in cupboards or cabinets where it is difficult for children to reach, and heavy objects will have been taken down from high areas and placed around the home where children can’t injure themselves.
With all this in mind, is your home catering for all the family? Do all of your family feel safe, secure and comfortable in the home surroundings – and is there enough entertainment or activities within the household to allow everyone peace of mind? The interior design of a home is essential to establish these feelings and, as such, should be decorated and designed to cater for everyone’s needs. For example, take a look at one of the most used rooms in the home: the living room. Is it comfortable enough? Does it look welcoming enough? You would do well to think about what additions would benefit your home, such as whether or not a new paint scheme would alter the atmosphere or feel of a room, adding new comfy and quirky items like an adult bean bag chair could also help, and whether the lighting of any room affects the mood and feel for every person living in the house.
If you live with older people, such as your parents or in laws, then you will also need to make sure that all aspects of the home are suitable for them and cater for their needs. If they have disability problems, you will need to put all safety measures in place such as stair lifts, easy access to different parts of the house – you should avoid any high steps and entrances which could cause injury or risk. Also, when living with elderly people, a vital component is to allow them to feel comfortable and that anything they require is within easy reach and situated in places which they can access easily. For example, if they like to sit down in front of the TV in the afternoons, place a comfortable chair in front of or near to the TV so that they can comfortably watch it. Or, if they have a penchant for baking then make sure that the kitchen area is free of any risk or hazards and that any necessary equipment is within easy reach.
The garden area should also be thought about, as that can also be a part of the home which can be used a lot. Regardless of whether you have children or not, the garden area should be kept clear of any hazards and should be a safe place, secured of any potential risks. For example, if your garden has a water feature then you should take the time to assess any dangers like slippery surfaces on paved garden floors and if there are children in the household you should cover the water feature with suitable safety precautions to prevent drowning or serious danger. Also, in a garden, take the time to remove any dangerous weeds or flowers which can be detrimental to health if ingested. This is especially important with young children, as they are known to put things in their mouths regardless if they have been told to or not. You should also make sure that any decking area – if you have one – is clean, safe and that the paving stones (or other suitable flooring) is fitted in the best way possible to avoid trips, falls and other potential dangers or hazards.