We all seem to be over-taxed and over-stressed these days. You can relieve some of the pressure by turning your home into an oasis of serenity. By creating a stress-free interior, you may find that your mood is enhanced, you sleep better, and you feel less stressed.
Follow these easy decorating tips to turn your home into a healing haven.
Make a Peaceful Entrance
Your entryway should give you a feeling of instant relaxation. The first thing you lay eyes on should be something you love. A vase of flowers, a piece of art, or a special souvenir; whatever it is should evoke feelings of joy and comfort. A soothing entryway helps you relax the minute you walk in the door.
Another entryway tip is to keep it organized and free of clutter. Sure, we all have obligations, but when old newspapers, junk mail, and boxes of donations to charity greet you the moment you walk through the door, relaxation is not your first feeling. Designate a spot for everything that exits and enters your house. One way to do this is to have some baskets or containers by the front door where you can neatly stash incoming and outgoing items. Design your foyer for form and function and you’ll find serenity the moment you enter your home.
Make Your Living Room Livable
One way to make your living room a haven is to create space. Cramped, crowded spaces tend to make us feel anxious and overwhelmed. Decluttering is a good way to make a space seem bigger. Take a look around and consider whether you really need everything that is in your living room. Take advantage of any furniture pieces that have hidden storage. Painting the walls a light color will also open up the room.
Bright lighting can make it hard to relax after a busy day. Use task lighting where you need brightness, such as by a chair where you read, and put your overhead lights on dimmers so you can control their brightness. In addition, use full-spectrum bulbs that mimic natural light and create a soothing atmosphere.
Simplify your color palette. If you like loud colors, by all means, use them, but keep patterns to a minimum. If you like to mix patterns, make sure they have similar color schemes, and throw in some neutrals to keep the space from becoming too busy. Too many high-contrast patterns, big patterns, and bright colors confuse the eye and make it hard to relax.
Make Your Bedroom a Retreat
Soothing hues in the bedroom — neutral earth tones and cool shades of green and blue — are relaxing because they remind us of nature. Incorporate these colors in accessories such as lamp shades and throw pillows to continue the relaxing vibe.
Turn off your electronics and remove the computer and television from your bedroom. I know, this is a tough one. The light from devices signals your brain to stay awake, and of course the television can keep your mind alert and wakeful. These things keep you from getting quality sleep and leave you with elevated levels of stress hormones when you wake up.
Think about your most relaxing vacation. If it’s a tropical island, add some tropical touches such as a sea grass rug or wicker side tables. Maybe you like the mountains — if so, add textures, colors, and accessories that remind you of a mountain getaway.
Home decor is very personal, so think about past experiences and places where you have been the most relaxed and peaceful. Identify what elements remind you of those moments and incorporate them into your design.