I think this is an interesting subject to talk about at the moment as the majority of us are safe at home but we also might be stepping on each other’s toes and spending a little too much time together.
One of the most important aspects I consider when designing a space is how people feel in that space and I encourage changing your space to benefit your well-being.
Homes should be our sanctuary, our safe place where we are completely ourselves, somewhere to retreat to after a day at work. One of our needs inherited from our ancestors from our hunter gathering days is the need for shelter and to seek refuge to feel safe from predators. Even today we need to have a place to retreat to, to get a sense of security. And not just at home, when we are out too. I know when I go to a restaurant it’s the booth I choose to sit in or in the park I’ll sit under the canopy of a tree. I feel less exposed and vulnerable and am able to see what’s going on around me.
When you sit and observe people you can see this ancestral behaviour is built into us all. Children love to make dens or play in tree houses – their own little private space they can accessorise with their own objects and home made weapons – No adults allowed! Outdoorsy types tend to retreat to their garages and potting sheds to be surrounded by their own “things” and we’ve all heard of the “man cave.” We need to carve out our own little safe space and have our own slice of privacy.
A refuge or safe space often involves lowered ceiling heights so we feel more protected.
How can we create our own safe spaces?
Create a niche or a nook
Having a little cosy space – or cwtch as it’s known to the welsh. This can be a window seat, a little space under the stairs or even a little seating area on the landing. Somewhere were you can go and be alone but still have views out to the rest of the home.
Invest in a comfy high backed chair
This is ideal if you are limited on space. You can still be with the family but you can just sit back and feel a sense of protection.
Make your bed your cosy space
We tend to add canopies over a baby’s crib and even some of us choose to have canopies over our own bed to create a sense of cosiness. When children share a room, having a bed that’s a little more private can help them feel more secure. Here are a few fun examples I spotted on Instagram.
These beds create little sleeping compartments for additional privacy.
Where a room is large and spacious a canopy bed helps the space to feel more enclosed to enhance our perception of safety.
If you have a home to yourself, creating little areas to step away from the main flow of your space can help you take time out to relax, read, or whatever your hobbies may be.
If you’d like any help designing your own home please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy discuss how we can work together.
References: Terrapin Green
Interface: Biophillic design