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Living in a nutshell

Small spaces command owners to be a little more thoughtful with their furnishings, with big payoff


here’s something super rewarding about having a small space that does just what you need it to.

It doesn’t have all the bells and whis-

tles – but you also don’t have the job of furnishing any dead space, and are less likely to get into a trap with clutter. All the furniture you own is just what you need to make your cozy home function. “Te biggest challenge with

less square-footage is trying to make good use of the space,” says StreetSide Developments’ interior design consultant, Tammie Bennett. “Oversized furniture shrinks a place. “Finding the proper scaled,

multi-use furniture is a great way to maximize your living space.” Small space owners have

Everywhere you can – bed frames, side

tables, kitchen islands – you’ll want to think about how it can give you more bang for your buck – a little more storage here, a nice display of your things here. But those that are up to it

will find it’s well worth the effort. You’ll own less junk than

ever before, because there’s simply no room for stuff you don’t want. You’re living mod- erately, not abundantly – so your place will always have that tidy appearance of things in their place. Cleaning? Tat task just got

Space to Dwell Brenlee Coates

a taller order to seek out unique – often statement-making – furniture to make the most out of their homes. Finding ottomans to double as storage,

making sure your dining room table or TV stand can also moonlight as a desk, or hunting down the perfect sofa bed or the Optimus Prime of coffee tables is a little more meticulous than nabbing the first piece of furniture you like.

simplified by eons too. (And what’s better than giving up hours of scrubbing floors?) Finally, we can look to the

birthplace of joie-de-vivre for a little inspiration. With small

apartments or condos as the norm, Paris- ians often spend more time in the streets, enjoying the culture and ambience of their neighbourhoods. Choose a location you want to be in – and

you won’t mind giving up a little space. In fact, you’ll never miss it. Brenlee Coates is a writer and marketing

coordinator at StreetSide Developments (

Choose a coffee table with storage room it's also a space to stow away your belongings.

nothing to do with forest bath- ing. Well, I guess it does, but not when it comes to "Forest Bathing" in quotations. Much like wabi-sabi, the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku is the medicine of being in the forest. It is thought of as sensory im- mersion to boost health in any natural habitat that doesn't hold the buzzing energy and vibrations of modern cities. For more information and the benefits, read below: Eons ago, modern necessi-

Cleanse yourself in the Forest B

efore images of a bathing nymph in a forgotten marsh begin invading your thoughts, note that has

ties weren't as easily at our fin- gertips. Our neighbours were fields apart, and a journey to "the city" was more than just a day trip. Arguably, human beings were also less stressed at this time, and the debate whether our advanced technology helps or hinders us is in constant flux. What isn't up for debate is how our modern day stress levels are slowly killing us. Biophilia is a "genetically determined

Rogue Wood Vanessa Kunderman

Feeling stressed? Time to try some tree therapy to rejuvenate your frazzled nerves. Photo by Kelsey Ann Vere.

affinity" that human beings have with the natural world. And before you roll your eyes envisioning a naked cult dancing around some tree, check in with yourself on how refreshed you feel after a weekend at the cottage, or camping in a tent on top of a mountain peak. Why does your soul seem to sing when you watch a sunset on the ho- rizon of the ocean? Tere is a sunrise and sunset everyday - surely it's nothing special to you by now (sarcasm). So why is it special? To put this theory into practice, my family

and I spent a long weekend down at Lake of the Woods. Driving out through the Cana- dian Shield is always uplifting. Te heavy stone of this Canadian zone is so powerful looking, and as the dark and moody waves of the lake crash against it, they make their own harmonious song. It's hard not to be lulled into a tranquil state. Spending time immersed in any sort of natural world, be that a desert, a mountain range, or on the

14 Smart Biz

water actually boosts your body's immu- nity. But time spent with trees in particular has a bonus effect, hence where Forest Bathing comes in. By spending at least 20 minutes in the forest or surrounded by trees, the organic compound coniferous and deciduous trees release actually low- ers your blood pressure and stimulates creativity. As far as spending 20 minutes surround-

ed by trees, we spent four days with the tree line right in front of us, and a dainty bayou of water kissing the edges of our cabin. As a writer, my creative juices were on over drive. I cursed myself for not bringing my laptop - so not the point of the trip - because all I could think about were my characters in the book I'm working on. Forest Bathing affects your body's chem-

istry which trickles over to affecting your mood. Why are we always refreshed after a walk through the park on our lunch breaks? Why does an afternoon picnic in a prairie field rejuvenate us? Because your body is literally balancing out its inner dispropor- tions and expelling your stress and anxiety.

For those suffering with anxiety, a major accompaniment to improving your health would be spending regular time Forest Bathing. Te organic compounds the surrounding

trees release help open your senses, making it a very strong place for meditation. Te more trees the merrier. Walking barefoot also helps your body absorb these nutrients through the soles of your feet, and connect- ing you further to pulsating energy found deep inside an undisturbed forest. Feeling the grass between your toes isn't reserved just for kids. When your body breathes in the infused

air, imagine little healing winds coursing through your veins, wiping clean and un- clogging all the excess adrenaline and pro- grammed stress your body has been hold- ing. Tis is why you sleep so well after a day spent outdoors. If you've had an illness or surgery, Forest Bathing can actually speed up your recovery time by increasing your NK cells. Tese improve healing and im- munity. What's more, is that children with ADD or ADHD can actually have improved

clarity and focus when they play outside. It was also the first time my son, Hawksley

was actually genuinely happy. Or at least, the only time I could really tell. He's not miserable, but he's not a smiler. He slept better than he ever has - and for a new mom that's some serious stuff. Babies, pets, everyone responds to time spent outdoors, but particularly time spent near or in a for- est. Rogue never wanted to be inside. She wanted to be tanning on the peninsula surrounded by water. Forest therapy is spreading everywhere

and has scientific backing to give it weight. If you can carve out regular intervals of 20 minute stays in a forest surrounded by trees - summer or winter - noticeable improve- ments to your health will begin to hatch. For more information on shinrin-yoku or the practice of forest medicine, visit http:// html Rogue Wood is a mindful resource for

curious individuals looking for modern sat- isfaction when it comes to spirituality. For more, visit

September 2015

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