Living in a digital world often means it's hard to turn off from what's happening on our screens. So, having a place that's free of all technology can keep you feeling calm and zen. Here, David Knight from Roof Windows 4 You discusses how you can transform your loft into a relaxing, tech-free space.
Our world revolves around technology, whether for you that means scrolling through social media on your phone, using your laptop for work or being glued to your tablets. In fact, statistics from Ofcom revealed that one in five Brits spend more than 40 hours on their phone per week, and that on average we check our phones every 12 minutes.
And, while the technological advancements we've seen in recent years are great for quicker and easier access to information, too much technology can certainly take its toll — particularly with regards to how much blue light these devices emit and how this impacts our physical and mental health.
So, if you're sick of staring at a screen all day and want a place to retreat that's tech-free, you're in luck! Here, I will be sharing my top tips for transforming your loft into a relaxing space without technology.
1. Embrace natural light
One of the most important parts of creating a liveable space is to ensure it has enough natural light. This doesn't just help to regulate your internal body clock — known as your circadian rhythm — but also has ability to boost your mood and ward off seasonal affective disorders, as well as raising your vitamin D levels, which help to fight bone loss, heart disease and various cancers (Healthline).
But, unfortunately, natural light isn't often a feature that lofts have, especially if you've never used it as a recreational area before. However, there are a couple of options to ensure you're getting enough when in your relaxing space.
For one, adding roof windows to your loft can ensure you're not left in pitch darkness and that you don't simply have to rely on artificial lighting, which can add to your electricity bill. These should be fitted onto the side where most of the sunlight comes in to ensure you're maximising natural light. But, before you plan any renovations, it'll be important to know whether you need to seek permission to make these changes. You can read about this in our guide to planning permission for roof windows and skylights.
If you plan to unwind on an evening where natural light is minimal, you'll need artificial lighting. As well as main ceiling lights, having lamps around can mean you will be able to create a cosy atmosphere in your loft.
2. Choose a positive colour scheme
Being engaged with technology all day can not only cause a strain on your eyes, but it can also make you feel a little drained by the time you close your laptop. So, it'll be important that your loft has an uplifting vibe, and one of the simplest ways to do this is to choose a positive colour scheme.
According to colour psychology, bright tones like yellow are associated with warmth and energy while orange helps to promote enthusiasm (Verywell Mind). But, if you're not into bold shades, you could incorporate the pastel-versions for a subtler interior look, such as Dulux's Colour of the Year 2020, Tranquil Dawn, which is a muted green hue that promotes calmness.
Alternatively, clean white walls are linked with purity and can help to cleanse your mind after a hectic day. Plus, as it matches with all other colours, you can still incorporate accent pieces in other positive hues.
Although it may look chic, I would advise avoiding deeper hues like black and grey as your main colour scheme, as these can lower your mood.
3. Introduce relaxing interiors
Once you've settled on an uplifting colour scheme for your loft, you can then begin introducing relaxing interiors that'll make it a zen place to be in. First things first, you should think about having somewhere to sit. This can be anything from a cosy couch or some quality beanbags to sink into after a long day, but just make sure they match the primary shade in your loft.
You might even want to put a bed in there, for somewhere comfy to sit while you do some meditation. If you do choose to add this, make sure you have luxury bedding such as soft sheets and pillowcases and a cosy duvet, as these will help you to get settled and wind down.
Having plenty of soft furnishings in your zen loft space can help it to make feel more homely, which in turn will make it easier for you to feel calm. So, think about incorporating cosy, knitted throws and decorative scatter cushions that'll tie the room together and make it somewhere you can't wait to retreat to after a busy day at work.
4. Bring your hobbies to your loft
You're still likely to want some mental stimulation in your loft, so ensuring you add some tech-free entertainment is a must. For example, if you'll use the space for meditation or for yoga and pilates, you'll want to bring up a comfy mat you can sit or lay on.
Reading doesn't just cognitively stimulate you and exercise your brain, but it can also help to lower stress levels as you get lost in the words. Plus, it has even been suggested to improve your memory and help you to focus better. So, consider having a bookshelf in your loft, or simply bring up a few books a time so that you can cosy up and read at your leisure.
Your loft can be used for whatever you want it to, so long as it's a technology-free space. So, whether you need a quiet place to settle with your sudoku book, or you want to practise more of your instrument, you can do that here.
Your loft can be a versatile space and can be a great place to escape technology for a couple of hours each day. Simply follow my top four tips for creating a zen loft and you might just find yourself feeling less stressed and more positive.