What Does Interior Design Have to do with Staying Healthy Amidst COVID-19?

Let’s be honest, it’s stressful out in the world lately.  Even if you’re not in a panic over the coronavirus, the collective stress and nonstop dialogue can get to even some of the most grounded people.

I’m sure most of you have been diligent about singing “Happy Birthday” twice while you wash your hands (my son and I practice ABCs while we scrub), and we’re all aware of the usual advice: healthy diet, exercise, meditation, sleep, etc.  But did you know that your home environment can also help boost your immunity?  And no, I’m not talking about dousing it in bleach!  It’s been made clear that the mind-body connection is real, and there has also been a lot of research conducted on our interior environments as it relates to mental health and physical healing.

A healthy home is more than just cleanliness. Wall paint: Sherwin Williams Pearl Gray

Here are several (evidence-based!) tips to create a home environment that encourages health and healing:


Cooler colors have been found to be more calming than warmer colors.  Maybe you have a room that you use for meditation or yoga, or maybe you like to relax and read a book in your family room.  The bedroom is also an obvious area for resting.  Whatever the space, stick to softer blues and greens.  For blues, try Benjamin Moore’s Gray Timber Wolf or Sherwin Williams has a lovely blue/green called Pearl Gray.  Interested in a green that mimics some of the softer hues found in nature?  Go with a sage green such as Sherwin Williams’ Grassland or Farrow & Ball’s Lichen.  If you’re feeling like you want to stay neutral with just a hint of cool, Sherwin Williams’ Rice Grain feels like a wheat that goes a little green, and Light French Gray (also Sherwin Williams) is a gray with a hint of blue.  So many people are afraid to make a commitment to paint, but it’s one of the easiest (and least expensive) things to change!

Sherwin Williams’ Rice Grain is a calming neutral with hints of green.


Many studies have supported the presence of artwork in hospital rooms in relation to well being and healing.  As far as composition goes, landscape and nature scenes have been found to be the most calming.  Think about adding art that is both attractive and personal to you.  (Check out my other two journal entries on talented artists and how to select art!)  Maybe it’s a painting of your favorite flower or a landscape that reminds you of a past vacation.  Here are some artists that I love who focus on elements in nature.

“Portugal Beach” by Ann Feldshue


Natural light can also impact our well being, so set up a nice space for yourself in the sunniest part of your house.  My kitchen nook is the sunniest area in my house.  I work here (yes, I’m typing this from my nook!), nap, read, and have family meals.  Who knew less than 100 square feet of space could provide so much function and happy times?!

My cozy and relaxing kitchen nook.

So if you’re stuck in your house more than usual these days, find some time to give it some love and attention.  Even a couple small changes might have a large impact on your well being and perspective.  Instead of feeling stuck inside, relish in the security and respite it provides.  Be well!

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