Whether you work form home or required to go to the office time to time your job can be very hectic and stressful.
I have seen so many good examples of workplaces trying to design consciously to provide offices with a more relaxed atmosphere lately - think chill our rooms and lots of plants - and some of these can be applied to our homes, as well.
There are a few things that you can do for yourself to make sure you have the opportunity to relax in your home and release stress, and these are also very easy to implement.
So let's have a look at the 5 most important features of a relaxing home.
1. A well designed hallway
Now, you may wonder why on earth any one would start any interior design blog post with the hallway. In the majority of properties in the UK the hallway is something non existence or - maybe if you want to call that little corridor wide only as your front door - totally non functional.
I will be honest with you, I started with the hallway simply because it does stress me out when I don't have a functioning hallway. does it stress you out? Do you know why?
First, the hallway is the room that welcomes you home!
You finally get home after a long stressful day, your hands are full with keys, shopping bags, letters you just picked up from the floor, perhaps the paper cup of your last coffee. Maybe even a couple of kids and a dog.
What do you really want to do? (Drop everything on the floor and run to have a pee... :D - me!)
What you want to do is to put down everything you are holding, take off your shoes, hang your coat and bag, slip your feet into something comfortable, turn on the lights, start releasing some stress and enjoying your evening.
Second, the hallway is where you start your work day.
You might have a good night sleep and just don't really want to leave your lovely home but it is time you go. You can't find your keys? Don't see which shoes should you put on? You left your bag in the bedroom? The kids stuff is nowhere to be seen? There is nowhere to sit down to put on shoes? You are holding your coffee cup with one hand to try and put on your coat with another one?
Nope, not the way to start a good morning!
Ok, so here is what you really want in your hallway as a minimum, for a stressless start and a relaxing end of the day:
STORAGE, storage, storage - and the different storage for different things
console table - to be able to put down whatever you are holding all the time, a little bowl for the keys, add some mirror above, flowers or plants on top, a table lamp that sets the mood when you get home, and a little perfume diffuser to welcome you with a great small of home
chair or little bench - to sit down or to place your handbag until it's needed again
For a minimal look, you can have all of these hidden behind sleek sliding doors:
2. Calming colour scheme
Colours have a direct effect on our mood. Fact.
Have you read my post about choosing your colour palette based on colour psychology? I think it is worth a read on its own, so head over there to read that too after this.
So, what does this mean? This mean, you can choose certain colours or colour combinations to set a calming mood in your home.
Now, you may want to think about whether you want all your rooms calming or not. For example, if you entertain in your living room a lot, you may want a more lively feeling there and introduce some more vibrant colours. That's ok, we don't always want to be calm, do we?
A more obvious choice of calming colours are the neutrals. But, don't think this means all white and beige!
Try using a subtle shade of ANY colours from nature and you will have the a tranquil, calming effect. Think soft blue or green shades or even pale pinks, purples.
Find a picture of nature that makes you feel calm and get inspiration from that colour palette.
3. Calming bedroom
Even if the rest of your home is vibrant and colourful, I recommend you create a relaxing bedroom.
I personally am a big fan of moody, darker tone bedroom. It just feels more intimate and "cocoon-y" to me. If you also like this vibe, this is where you can apply the darker, richer shades of the colours of nature. Mood lighting is very important here. You almost don't need a general ceiling light at all!
Some people, on the other hand, find it easier to get out of bed in bright, light filled bedroom, if you are one of them, you can turn to the colours I recommended in paragraph 2.
You need some mood light here, this can be integrated into furniture or wall coverings or simply your bedside lamp on or above the bedside table. If you like reading in the bed, find a light fixing that has a directional light that will not bother your partner if they want to sleep.
Candles and scents are also very important here. Lavender is proven to help release stress and prepare you for a good night sleep. The sound and the flickering light of a candle will also help you relax and feel comfortable.
4. Thoughtful storage for clutter-free living
I already mentioned storage in the hallway section above, but appropriate storage is essential in every single part of your home!
In my experience, 9 of 10 cluttered homes are struggling from the lack of storage. And guess what, clutter is not calming! (The remaining one is just a result of messy people but even they tend to put things away if it isn't too much effort.)
A minimal style home does not mean you don't have stuff, nor does it mean you have hardly any furniture. It just means, there are clever storage ideas.
So what do I mean by "thoughtful" storage?
Every item that needs to be stored is considered. You literally need to make a list of EVERYTHING you have in your home. The easiest to do this exercise is to go room by room and list absolutely everything that is there no matter if it is just piling up in a corner or it's in a drawer.
Once you have the list, you will be able to see just how much storage you need in each room. You can then decide if a chest of drawer will be enough or you need a wall to wall, floor to ceiling cupboard.
Large storage units - like wardrobes or kitchen - needs further consideration for their inside. You want to use every inch of the space and not leave empty spaces, so you will need to consider the size of your longest coat or dress or the larger frying pan you have.
And finally, you have to decide how your storage pieces should look. Do you want to make it a statement piece or something invisible?
5. A personal quiet corner
If you live in a busy household, a quiet corner that is just yours will make a huge difference.
Create a little corner just for you, with a comfy chair, a side table and a lamp, where you can comfortably read a book, the papers or just meditate with your choice of drink.
Even if you live in a quiet household it is good to have a corner like this just to have a change of scenery.
A change of perspective - even if the view is your own home - often brings new ideas or second thoughts. Try it! It works!
I hope you have found this blog post very useful.
If I have to summarise the secret of a calming home in just a few words, it would be: clutter free, well functioning, with colours that sets the right mood.
What are you going to implement first? Let me know in the comments!
Relax and plan ahead,
Until later, Agi
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