Healthy in Your Home

January 15, 2017

It is now the 3rd week of January and we are all fresh in thinking about our New Year's resolutions. Most of us have incorporated some thoughts about being a little more healthy this year.  Exercise more, eat less, cut out the wine. Sounds (and always is) a little stressful to me.

But what if I was to tell you that being in beautiful surroundings is scientifically linked to your health and well being?  The power of design has the ability to impact us in a positive and measurable way.  

Have you ever noticed that when you walk into a well designed hotel lobby or a fabulous hotel room that your spirit suddenly lifts?

The Baccarat Hotel NYC brings French luxury and crystal craftsmanship to the heart of Manhattan.

There are a combination of things that you take in all at once to make you feel that way…from the fresh layout, to the rich textures, the lighting and color choices. It’s the power of design that sends you (both your body and brain) the signal that “it’s gonna be a great experience.”

Now this is the way to start the beginning and end of each day! Shouldn’t our homes be the same?

The great hotels around the world know just how important it is to invest in their surroundings so that it stands out as special, welcoming and comfortable. Your home should feel this way too. And if it doesn’t, there are too many health reasons for you to not think about making your home feel as special as your favorite five star hotel.

Reason 1: Beauty Triggers a Relaxation Response

In today’s crazy world, relaxation is just what the doctor has ordered. It’s why a vacation that brings the beauty of the sea, mountains or anything else that moves you will reduce your stress, put the world in perspective and envelop you in a sense of relaxation and awe.

If this kind of beauty doesn’t actually do something positive for your heart and soul, why on earth would we pay extraordinary amounts of money to experience it?  A home should do the same; reduce stress, contribute to healing and well-being.  

One of the many homes we've done that met our client's needs.

Reason 2: Simple but powerful choices can please both your body and mind

It’s all about the choices that you make in your home related to your senses. To provide yourself the most health benefit….

Choose Colors that Set the Mood

The colors in your home are either soothing to your soul or are contributing to your anxiety. I am actually a lover of all their place and purpose.

Gemstones are particularly beautiful and rich with color. Some gemstones, like the classic diamond, are the ones I count on for longevity with its mysterious depth of beauty in its colorless state. But a ruby? I may not want to live with it everyday, but oh boy, it's the color I go to when I need to shout at the world that I am alive and ready to take it on...

Nothing more powerful than a red dress!

However, when choosing colors for your home focus on the ones that give you longevity and fit the tone that you want to create. 

Red can create some drama in your home. It is definitely a statement! Of course, I especially love red during the holiday season. But for the rest of the year, think about pops of this color if power and passion is your mood.

Orange with its bright energy is best used as an accent in a home because too much of it can create a feeling of being overwhelmed.

A lovely pop of yellow can work really well with calming neutrals and can create a peaceful environment in rooms with lots of natural light.

We always recommend using a bit of green in your home as it helps transition the outdoors to the inside. There is nothing more inspiring than those first days of spring when everything becomes lush and green again!  Create this same inspiration by incorporating green plants, flowers and other beautiful botanicals.

The blue of the sky and of the ocean can create a soothing effect. But darker shades can sometimes do the opposite. It is the color of both inspiration and sadness (being blue.) So if you use this color in your home, think about using it as an accent in pillows, accessories or artwork.

There is a certain formality that comes with purple and it can add an air of lush sophistication. That’s why we love our legendary purple gift-wrapped boxes at K. Renee!

Gray is such a versatile color and works well with both neutrals and rich pops of colors. We fill our showrooms with different shades of this wonderful color to demonstrate how well it can pair with warmer tones such as creams, yellows, browns and taupes as well as the cooler palettes filled with pinks, purples, reds, whites and blacks.


Our homes are generally filled with an abundance of this natural color found in wood and stone.   Floors, doors, trim, furniture, fireplaces...the list goes on.  It can sometimes become overwhelming when incorporated into paint and upholstery.  


Black is often considered a neutral color as it goes with any of your preferred colors.  It is great to use for a statement piece that draws the attention of your eye. A black wall can become an elegant backdrop to a featured piece of artwork. Graphic black and white pillows will stand out on a sofa. And a black leather chair can provide a rich and masculine look.

And then we come to the timelessness of white (and all of its shades) that is one of the best ways to create a space that induces a sense of calm and serenity. Hospital white (as I like to call it) can be considered sterile, but there are hundreds upon hundreds of soothing shades of white (including cremes) that are perfect for cabinets, trim, walls, upholstery and so much more.

As you have heard our stylists at K. Renee say many times, choose neutrals (whites, creams, taupes and other natural tones) for your largest items likes walls, flooring, major pieces of furniture and other sturdy items. And then incorporate the more dramatic colors that inspire you in your accessories and other decor.

Take this amazing art piece that we currently have on our showroom floor. (Egads, I love the pop of fuchsia.)  Because my home has neutral walls and my core furniture is done in shades and patterns of cream, charcoal and taupe, I could very easily add this painting to my home (which has crossed my mind a few times.) 

All I would need to do is hang it and perhaps add a few new pillows to tie it all together.  Easy!

Choose Comfort 

Comfort is always key in your home.  A good test is to think about whether you tend to turn away from a room in your home or does it call your name and encourage you (and others) to come on in and sit awhile. We all tend to spend the most time in just a few rooms in our home; the kitchen, the living area surrounding the kitchen; and our bedrooms. Make sure they are cozy and comfortable!

Comfort, comfort, comfort. Oh ya, and beautiful too!

Create Visual Texture 

Beyond the colors that you choose and the comfort and style of your furniture, there is an additional layer that appeals to your sense of beauty. And that is interest and texture. I have walked into many homes where I see great furniture and a wonderful color palette yet it still feels undone. Beauty is something that appeals to all of our emotional senses and texture directly appeals to our sense of touch.

Rugs, pillows, throws are just a few of the ways you can make sure you are visually creating a sense of comfort and joy in your home.  Touch is such an important and overlooked part of creating a healthy home.

Create Lighting That Brightens Your Mood 

Having the right kind and amount of lighting is scientifically linked to the feeling of elation while dark lighting can induce feelings of depression. In your home, you can’t alway rely on sunshine (especially in the dark days of winter) but you can make sure you have the benefits of inspiring lighting fixtures.

Not only should your fixtures shine light, but appeal to your sense of beauty. Get rid of those old outdated fixtures and replace them with something magical!

Consider Your Sense of Smell

You might notice that we always have candles burning when you walk into our home store.  We know that when a pleasant aroma hits your senses, it has a positive effect on your mood.

Imagine the aroma of fresh pine during the holiday season, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, flowers, diffusers...all of them appeal to us in the best of ways.

Reason 3: Good Design Brings Good Energy

Bottom line, good design in your home brings good energy. If you want to make positive changes in your life, your interior is a great place to start. For over 3000 years, the Chinese art of feng shui has been practiced and it is believed that by implementing a few simple principles into your home that you can attract good luck, success, love and positive energy.  I'm in!

Kelli and our style team always consider these principles when designing a K. Renee space that creates great energy. Simple things like making sure the entryway to a home is welcoming and uncluttered.

Arranging furniture so that it appears inviting to guests and also encourages conversation.

Including natural elements in the decor such as flowers, stones and other things of nature.

And helping our clients remove clutter and feature those items in the home that are meaningful and special. There is nothing more that we love than creating spaces that you can’t wait to wake up to in the morning and look forward to coming home to at night.

This feeling is not reserved for a five star hotel. A healthy and uplifting home is available to each and every one of us every day of our lives.  Why not make it a priority this year?