Thursday 30 September 2021

Mood boosting must-haves for your home

Apartment Living Chronicles Part 5

There has never been a better time than the present to look for ways to boost our mood. Even the most stoic among us have lockdown fatigue, and the rest of us are going positively stir crazy. Creating a peaceful yet uplifting atmosphere in your home is the perfect foil for lockdown blues.

Smell is one of our most powerful sense, though few of us give it much thought unless we discover an unwanted parcel left by the dog or that tuna casserole from three nights ago is well past its use by date. However, we can use our sense of smell to help calm our mind or invigorate it – whatever the mind’s need at any time, aromatherapy can work wonders. 

If you don’t already have one, invest in an oil burner and a few essential oils, or spoil yourself with a scented soy wax candle. Most of us have experienced the calming effect of lavender and rose, but there are so many other peace-inducing oils out there that we can let our nose take its pick, no pun intended! Rosewood, Ylang Ylang, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Camomile, Frankincense and Jasmine all have long been used to calm a busy anxious mind, and there are combination oils on offer that will have a number of these ingredients. All these oils are great to burn in the evening when we are trying to wind down, or if we are feeling particularly uptight during the day.

If you are in the mood for a joyful and uplifting aroma, you can’t go past the citrus family of oils, especially Orange, Lemon, Tangerine and Grapefruit. Peppermint, Myrrh, Basil, Rosemary, Lemongrass, and Sandalwood are also very uplifting. Most of these also assist with mental alertness and clarity. Bergamot is very good in the morning if we wake up a bit sluggish from too much Netflix. It helps fight tiredness and can provide us with an energising boost. 

Affirmations are hugely powerful, so now is a good time to look to the internet and find one or more affirmations that really resonate. Then either print them up or write them down and post them somewhere in your home where you will see them regularly. Say them to yourself whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or down, no matter how mechanical it may feel at first, because they really work.

Make a ‘sacred spot’ in your home where you can retreat and either just zone out to some beautiful music or use one of the myriad of tools we have at our disposal for calming the mind. If you’ve never tried meditation, now is the perfect time to start, and if you used to do it sometime, get back into it. There are many apps that offer guided meditations so shop around until you find what best works for you. Everyone needs mental time out to boost the mood, and there is no better way on earth to do this than meditation.

If you haven’t already, set up a spot in your house where you can exercise. Ideally it would be a different place to your ‘sacred spot’ as your subliminal brain is a powerful thing and quickly associates a particular spot with an activity you repeat there and recalibrates your mood accordingly. So, find a designated area that you return to each time you want to exercise. Think about putting a small chest there to house your weights, resistance bands, skipping rope, pilates ball, yoga mat or anything else you may need to get your blood, dopamine and endorphins pumping.

Also hugely important, if you have a balcony or an outdoor area, embrace any direct sunlight on as much skin as you dare. The Vitamin D in sunlight is a hugely effective mood booster and has the added benefit of boosting the immune system. And if you live near a park or green zone, make sure you take daily walks to get some sun, exercise and the positive mood boost of being out and about. 

Happily, there are some must-have mood-boosting items in the food department as well. Wonder why you crave chocolate, it improves emotional health if you have the dark variety and eat it in some moderation. Dark chocolate is rich in folates, as are green leafy vegetables, blueberries and camomile or lavender tea. Also look for magnesium rich foods – again our hero dark chocolate, avocado, nuts, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. So do your mood a favour and make a salad of spinach, avocado, seeds and nuts to have with your lunch, then round it off with a nice chuck of dark chocolate and a healthy handful of blueberries. Your mind will thank you for it. 

But most of all – hang in there. Make your home as beautiful and mood-boosting as you can, because your surrounds really affect how you feel. And remember, this will end and life will move on from this covid craziness. Meanwhile, keep on keeping on in the best way you know how.


Thursday 23 September 2021

Design Trends 2021

Apartment Living Chronicles Part 4

With home now so much more than just our base, we feel the time is ripe for applying some of 2021’s styling trends into the rooms where you are spending the majority of your life. If now isn’t the time to give your home a new lease of life, I don’t know when is. Not only will the addition of some new pieces revitalise your spaces, but the latest trends will create a sense of peaceful harmony that we all need at the moment. 

When choosing something new, focus on instilling balance and calm into your spaces. Almost all the world’s leading styling trendsetters are tending closer to the organic, sculptured and subtle than ever before. Colours are warm, soothing, natural and gentle on the eye – beige and bisque are no longer boring, the softest shell pinks and sage greens make the heart sing and the occasional forest green and charcoal grey can be introduced to create depth. 

Mindful shopping is very much 2021, with designers recommending buying local, organic and sustainable materials where possible. And bring the outside in with indoor plants that will soften and lighten the atmosphere in any room and boost its oxygen content. Even if you don’t have a large budget, it is amazing the difference a few well-placed plants and some new sculptural homewares can make to your space. 
Soft, subtle paint colour is featuring on walls, with skirtings, cornices and door and window frames in a crisp white or exposed timber. Brush Box with its pinkish hue, and the blonde shades of Ash and Oak timber are featuring heavily in the best designers’ repertoires as are natural stone and blown glass. Heavy, natural textures in furnishing are being used to up the organic factor. Wallpaper is making a comeback, especially of the textured, botanical or impressionist varieties. 

Furniture pieces appear sculpted and create incidental works of art in the home. Curved wood is design of the day, along with tan leather and anything that looks as though it could integrate into a landscape with ease. Vintage and antique pieces are being employed to add character, particularly Mid Century Modern. These pieces also avoid the over designed look where everything is new. 

So give your home a warm, soft, relaxing lift by introducing some of these ideas into your space. 

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Life in lockdown - Making your home more important than ever

One thing is certain during these strange covid times – home is of the most paramount importance. Many of us have now been staring at our own four walls for so many months that the cracks are both literally and metaphorically starting to show. I believe that the increasingly urgent desire to upgrade our home and location is largely what is fuelling the property market at present. More and more of us are wanting to find a home that works for us on many different levels – as a beautiful, well-designed, flexible, conveniently located place to be. A place where we can engage with our community even given the current restrictions. A place where we feel safe and sound and happy to spend the days/weeks/months inside that these lockdowns dictate.

It is incredible how the aesthetically beautiful and architecturally sublime can lift the spirit. Perhaps it is this reason why luxurious, beautifully finished properties are in high demand at present. Increasingly, buyers are choosing properties that are a pleasure to inhabit, that feature intelligently designed spaces that allow us to thrive now work is increasingly becoming the office and school room. 

Purchasers are increasingly seeking out new, state-of-the-art homes that are a pleasure to inhabit. Light, natural tones with bursts of colour create harmony while lifting our mood. Things around the home that function well make life easier and give us more time to focus on what’s important. Where only a few years ago, homes we could renovate proved all the rage, now the prospect of renovating a home seems overwhelming to many. Many are now looking for streamlined, beautifully crafted and flexible properties, driving off-the-plan property sales. Another added benefit of off-the-plan is these properties allow us to plan, prepare and save more while only requiring a 10% deposit. And anything that helps us to stress less is of benefit at the moment.

Properties that offer everything we need all in one place are also proving incredibly popular at present. Properties that are close to public transport and in burgeoning, exciting and popular locations attract buyers who are yearning for a sense of community and looking to the future when lockdowns will be a thing of the past. Masterplanned precincts in coveted or burgeoning locations are proving incredibly popular, as residents have an instant village with excellent restaurants, cafes, boutique shopping, gymnasiums, and common work and landscaped spaces at their immediate disposal.  

So, if you are looking for a newer, better way of living - a gorgeously designed home where you can have all the amenity of urban life while enjoying a village atmosphere - check out our superb properties below. Surry Hills Village offers a full dining precinct, exquisitely landscaped residential park and commercial precinct featuring gym, yoga, work spaces, art and cultural hub.