Whether you bounced into 2018 or you’re still feeling weighed down by yuletide excess, it’s never too late to attempt a fresh start and you don’t even need to leave the house to do it.
For tips on how to make your home a chilled out haven, we went to poster girl for all-round wellness Jasmine Hemsley (of the Hemsley sisters), who has just launched her Ayurveda-inspired cookbook East by West.
When she’s not in the kitchen, Jasmine is doing downward dogs at home. All she needs is a mat for sun salutations and a bolster – a supportive cylindrical cushion – for meditation. “I’ve got crystals and sound bowls or chimes in my front room and bedroom, which help to set the mood, but really my mat and bolster are key,” she says.
A home steam room designed by Janine Stone
With a few simple accessories we can practice mindfulness anywhere, but we’re also seeing dedicated spaces feature in residential developers’ inventories. Anthony Lassman is the co-founder of Nota Bene Global, which sources super-prime property for high-end clients. He says that clients are less inclined to ask for steam rooms and fully equipped gyms (as they are already members of top-end spas and health clubs), “however, I do think more people like the idea of home meditation and yoga, so a soundproofed room with a sprung floor and a massage room with ensuite facilities is the way of the future.”
Louisa Brodie, head of acquisitions at Banda Property, agrees. “I’m seeing an increasing move away from the old gym-style workout spaces, with stacks of free weights, machines, large screens and pumping sound-systems. There’s a move towards holistic studio spaces for yoga, Pilates and barre; spaces that are more gender neutral and take inspiration from the outside, with plants and greenery. The focus is now on the machines that homeowners really use – cross-trainer, running machine – rather than the whole Technogym range.
“I’m seeing an increasing move away from the old gym-style workout spaces, with stacks of free weights, machines, large screens and pumping sound-systems. There’s a move towards holistic studio spaces"
“While swimming pools are still desirable, saunas and steam rooms are less so, but dedicated treatment rooms and salon spaces are becoming increasingly popular.” Both the clubhouse at Lillie Square in Earls Court and the private-training rooms, treatment rooms and relaxation room at Lincoln Square WC2, designed by Patricia Urquiola, are smart, contemporary examples.
“Wellness has always been a priority for ultra-high net worth individuals,” says Kate Donneky, director of Rhodium Residence Management. “In residential developments, we’ve seen an increase in communal libraries where there is deliberately a lack of audio-visual gadgets and tech so as to encourage a quiet space where residents can unwind. Communal landscaping, too, has become a prominent part of many future schemes – there’s a strong link between nature and wellness and we are seeing the use of water within landscaping more and more, too.”
If you’re happily settled, Studio Iro has design ideas you can incorporate to make your home a more peaceful place when you return from a busy day at the office. “Using natural materials, such as antique woods, old ceramics and marble, brings in rich, imperfect textures with depth, helping you be more aligned with nature,” says director Lucy Currell.
“Use understated and subtle design so that the mind isn’t over stimulated and distracted. Bring in natural hues that radiate nature in your paint choices and furniture upholstery. This helps to keep the space light and weightless, calming the mind.”
A simpler way to make a change is to update your lighting. “Enhance natural light in the day time and keep rooms softly lit at night,” says Currell. “Choose muted lighting from table and floor lamps or low hanging ceiling pendants.”