Home is your refuge, a place where you can destress and truly be yourself. However, if it’s dark, cluttered, and impersonal, it might not be all that inviting. You can make changes to strengthen the relaxing power of your home. With the right colours, accents, and a solid plan, a peaceful calm atmosphere will be ready to welcome you home.
Let In Light
Light has the ability to affect mood. In a hospital setting, better and more light can reduce depression. In the workplace, it improves efficiency and work satisfaction. At home, it’s a mood booster.
In your active living spaces, like the kitchen, dining, and living room, maximize natural light. Hang mirrors that reflect the light of a window, install skylights, or replace heavy drapes with sheers.
At night, light levels should be lower so the body can prepare for the sleep cycle. However, you don’t want to be left in the dark. Pendant lights, lamps, and wall sconces work well because they illuminate but direct light so you’re overall exposure is limited.
Welcome Mother Nature
Nature has impressive relaxing powers. A stroll in the forest can reduce rumination, the negative thought pattern associated with depression. Studies have even shown that brief views of green space can enhance focus and concentration. Natural design elements bring those benefits into your home.
One or two strategically placed houseplants add life, colour, and clean air. Pick varieties that thrive in your climate and fit within your lifestyle. If you’re not much of a green thumb, photos and paintings of plants, flowers, and sweeping landscapes can be just as beneficial.
If you like something more subtle, think natural patterns and prints on pillows and window treatments. Furniture and photo frames in natural finishes also bring the warmth and texture of nature.
All the beautiful decor in the world won’t do any good if you can’t see it. Clutter is a major stress enhancer. The visual chaos alone can be unnerving, let alone if it gets to the point you can’t navigate through your home. Start with three bags or boxes labelled keep, throw, and donate. Then, sort through everything.
It won’t take long to see where you need some extra organization. Utilize the space you have. Bins, baskets, and shelves are good ways to organize after you’re done sorting. A closet organizer might be the solution in a bedroom while hidden storage in a bench or side table might be the answer in the living room.
Now that you’ve gotten everything decluttered and organized, you have to keep it that way. You can set aside certain days for different tasks like laundry on Monday and Friday, bathrooms on Tuesday and Saturday, and the living room Wednesday and Sunday. Or you can set aside one afternoon for all the big cleaning projects and use the rest of the week for short bursts of cleaning. Work within your schedule and get everyone in the family involved.
Colour for Calm
Use colour to your advantage. Pastels and neutrals enjoy popularity because they’re easy to decorate around and in the right shades can be relaxing. Cool greys and beiges create a canvas onto which you can accessorize with bright splashes of colour in pillows, throws, and upholstery. Nature comes into play here too. Natural shades of green and blue are soothing favourites that point to the outdoors.
Don’t forget the power of white. It’s cool, clean, and peaceful. This powerful colour can also be sophisticated or country, which gives you some room to play with look and feel.
Tailor your home to the way in which you best relax. Whether that’s with calm sophistication or country charm, go with it. Enhance it. Build on it. Before long, you’ll have the perfect retreat that’s a joy to come home to