Forget Separate Hideaway Caves: Arrange Your Home’s Interior to Celebrate Human Connectivity

Your health, well-being, and relationships will improve if you do

According to the UK’s National Health Service, and many well-being and longevity studies, human connection is an important factor that influences health and happiness. One way you can increase your own connectivity, and that of your family, is to design your home’s interior with communal spaces in mind.

A recent home improvement show depicted a family who shared a house with small rooms, jam-packed with household items.

Bags of clothes, gadgets, and other paraphernalia filled every surface and left only a small walkway through each room.

The family, as you can imagine, rarely spent time together. They couldn’t because there wasn’t enough space in rooms to accommodate them all at the same time.

As a result, they ate, studied, cooked, and rested in separate rooms. Experts reinvented the house, knocking down walls and altering areas to increase space and make it possible for the family to eat and socialize together.

You might not need, or want, to take such drastic measures, but there are simple ways you can increase communal areas in your home to improve connectivity.

Furniture positioning

Traditionally, people put their furniture up close to the walls in their home, and this often results in a square shape. Chairs are side by side. In the living room, furniture faces the television for prime viewing rather than communication.

While there’s nothing wrong with designing your home to make specific activities like TV watching easy, remember to inspire connectivity too. Shift furniture so people face each other more readily. Aim to create a circular shape instead of a square and you’ll encourage conversations and companionship.

Somewhere to talk

Create a space, whether it’s a nook, an area on your balcony, or a room where you can engage in everyday chitchat. If possible, make it somewhere away from the TV. A place you can go to catch up with idle banter, have deep discussions, or while away time with people playing games or carrying out hobbies.

Make the dining room your home’s hub

Aim to eat meals in your dining room, or wherever your table is situated. Occasionally, you might prefer to take a tray into the living room and watch a movie as you eat, but think of eating as a shared activity most of the time if you want greater connectivity.

The dining room can act as your home’s hub. Make it friendly, so your friends and family gravitate toward it. Consider it the main place to swap stories and catch up on each other’s lives. Add cushions, a bright tablecloth, and pictures on the walls for a warm atmosphere.

Scent and color

Scent and color can create a pleasant atmosphere too. Citrus is light and crisp, perfect for summer, whereas cinnamon and other spicy scents are warm and useful in cooler months. Essential oils, incense, and potpourri do the job well.

Use colorful throws, cushions, and art to make rooms pleasing to the eye and people will want to spend time in them.

Make space

Lack of space will reduce quality time spent with others in your home, so reduce clutter. Put away goods you rarely use and ensure there are enough chairs for visitors and householders to be in the same room at once. If you no longer use items that steal precious room, consider recycling them or store them out of sight.

Reconsider getaway caves

Man or woman cave areas were once thought of as necessary. Nowadays, though, families spend less and less time together, and such places can isolate individuals. Now, it’s becoming more important to draw people together than spread them thin and pull them apart. So think about making getaway spaces shared spaces everyone can enjoy.

The way you arrange your home and how you spend time influences the way you connect with people. Household members, and visitors, will feel more welcome if you design areas with comfort and connectivity in mind.

Nature Lover, Former Mental Health Professional, Writer