Monday, February 13, 2012

Designing for Comfort

As a visual person I put a lot of effort into creating an environment that is aesthetic and kind to my migraines and my Fibromyalgia. I strive to make things comfortable, natural and cozy with a romantic undertone. Thankfully, the colors, textures, furniture and such that I'm naturally drawn to generally fit right into this style.

Styling the house is an ongoing process and is certainly nowhere near done. But, here are some of the things I've done so far:

1. I found that brown and a deep cranberry red are two colors that not only look great together but never cause my eyes or my migraine any kind of strain or pain. By keeping our furniture neutral in color I can use these browns and reds, which are both easy to find, in things like throw blankets, curtains, pills and such.

2. Perhaps the most import change I made in an effort to create a migraine friendly home was putting room darkening curtains up. I frequently find the bright sun blasting into a room very painful. By simply pulling my curtains shut I'm able to block most of that.

3. Lighting design goes hand in hand with those room darkening curtains. I always use a very low wattage bulbs and whenever possible I like to use candle light - real or LED.

4. Smells are often a really big problem just as bright lights are but I have a long history of loving scents in my home space. It took several years of trial and error to find that there are a couple of smells that are migraine kind (or at least kind to most of my migraines). Those kind smells are mint, black cherry and some fresh linen scents.

5. More recently, I've started keeping a couple low maintenance plants. They are relaxing and aesthetic. Plants really add a great sense of life to any space and by extension give my soul a little boost. My plan is to add several more in the coming months.

6. Soft surfaces are also quite important to creating a comfortable space that could support me through my pain. I need soft seating supplemented with lots of pillows and blankets. Doing this provides a big gentle hug to my pain battered body. I always put a lot of pictures on the walls so wherever I am I can the people I love or images that inspire me.

What have you done to create a space that is kind to your pain conditions?


  1. Darkening the bedroom as you suggested has helped a lot with being able to use that space as a cave. Easy to grow plants are in the kitchen and bathroom greening and softening those two spaces.

    Walls covered with scenes I love and people who are big in my life. Faucet handles are easy grip and can be adjusted with the back of your hand or even a wrist or forearm. Grab bars in shower and main part of bathroom have made it safe enough to shower alone altho I do wait until I am not alone to bathe for safety sake.

    Fridge stocked with cold water, fruit juices, fresh fruits and vegs, Frozen bowls of complete meal: chicken, rice and veg ready in just a couple mins in microwave. Bread always here for toast or sandwich, canned soup and beans available too.

    Pillows scattered about for support of joints as I recline and elevate extremities, big fluffy towels and washcloths, regular dental care, a health care provider who works with me to address issues as they arise. Mattress is firm furniture foam and mounted so we are unable to feel each other's movements allowing sounder sleep.

    Our car has loads of leg room, reclining seats, climate control, CD player and gets great milage too. Blankets, pillows, drinks, snacks, music, reading material all find their way into the car too for any trip longer than a few minutes.

  2. The only scent I can really tolerate is vanilla, which includes candles, body wash, bubble bath and lotion!

  3. Lynda, Stocking the car is a great idea. I tend to carry stuff out and back into the house far too often. I think I'll start a car stock too.

    Jessica, isn't it interesting how different things work for different people. Humans are fascinatingly, frustratingly complicated. :)

  4. I like deep, rich colors. Burgundy, browns, dark purples, etc... I have a lot of pillows, blankets, and pictures, too. Our entire apartment is a cave, which helps me a lot. I can't handle most smells - vanilla and sometimes black cherry - but even those can be too intense, sometimes.

  5. I swear by room darkening curtains, too. Those are a huge life saver. I also love having fans in rooms that don't have ceiling fans because I get so hot sometimes with my attacks.