Research has shown that if we find them pleasing, wooden elements used in the home and workplace – in the form of furniture, fixings and features – can offer relaxation benefits when we look at the wood, touch it or smell it. Wood can be introduced into the home in many ways and has always been popular as an architectural element in the form of wooden panels, beams, kitchen worktops and floors. In our research, we found that the amount of wood used in a room can affect its relaxation benefits, and these benefits are linked to how much the subjects liked or felt comfortable in the room. So the message is, if you like it, it is probably benefitting you.
INTRODUCING WOOD INTO YOUR LIFE
Wood is a useful material that can be used to make many different elements in the home or workplace. Don’t forget to choose things you like; the relaxation effects only work if you like the wood.
• Natural wood floors can look contemporary as well as rustic.
• Wood panelling softens the look of a room, but remember to leave it unpainted.
• Wooden worktops and cabinets can make a kitchen feel warmer. Even when wooden surfaces are treated to protect them against moisture, thereby reducing the effects of touching them, you will still benefit from looking at them.
• Choose wood that has been dried naturally, rather than heat-treated, to benefit from its aroma.
• Wooden furniture fits with many styles of decoration and offers an easy way to increase the amount of wood in a home or workplace.
• Leave beams exposed and untreated where possible.
• Choose wooden chopping boards, spoons, bowls and other utensils for the kitchen.
• Decorate your home with small wooden carvings and other decorative items.
• Use essential oils derived from trees to scent your home, bath or moisturizer.