Design is much more than aesthetics, I am sure we all agree on that.
We can all have different styles, storage needs, and budgets; but one thing we all have in common: our homes must be a place where we can genuinely rest.
It can be some sort of cliché, but it is a fact that our lives are busier than ever and slowing down sometimes is really difficult. We literally need to force ourselves to relax. This is why it is so important to create a peaceful place to call home. More than ever, we need to make our place like a retreat to return to at the end of the day.
There are some very easy steps that I recommend to all my clients in order to set the tone for a truly calm and relaxing home.
- De-clutter. I can’t stress enough the need to remove the unnecessary out of your home. Rethink your storage space if you need and invest in it but make sure to keep your home free of clutter. There is nothing that instills a sense of chaos more than a disorganized home. So, try to bring some order to it.
- Embrace nature. Plants can bring in nature to your home and there is no feeling more soothing than that. Flowers especially can bring not only rest to the eyes but also a beautiful aroma. Make yourself this gift!
- Touch and feel. Natural textiles and materials: Make sure to prioritize them. It is a human instinct to be attracted to nature. It exudes tranquility.
- Open up. Natural daylight is proven to be essential to our bodies. Make sure to leave curtains and shades open and let natural light in.
- Brighten up. Illuminating your home with smart bulbs is a sensible investment. Those magical things cost a small percentage more than regular ones, are dimmable and allow you to change the color of your light, with the possibility of a yellowish version for the nights.
- Color your surroundings. After the floor, walls are the biggest surface of most of the houses and the colors you choose for them can have a big impact on your mood. This is why I recommend always natural tones. Bright colors, if you love them, should be considered only to social areas. In my article Colors are funny, colors are emotional, colors speak for us I talk more about it.
- Display Hobbies. Books, family heirlooms and mementos are pieces of décor that can bring you a sense of belonging and comfort. Collect and display them. Just do not exaggerate.
- Think sound. Music is known to help relaxation but there is nothing worse than street noise. Invest in rugs, pillows, and draperies to help isolate your home from whatever is outside.
- Wake up/make up. Please, please, don’t leave your house without making your bed. Believe me, it makes all the difference.
- Invest in good sleep. The most important piece of furniture in your house is your mattress. Do some research and invest in it and be aware of its lifetime usefulness. Your body will thank you. And your rested mind too.
- Become your home curator. Hang art that is familiar to you. Artists from your home country/town and anything that will remind you of good moments.
- Find your happy place. When designing your living room try to place your furniture where you will have a relaxing focal point, like the view or walls well dressed.
- Reclaim your comfy and cozy. Pillows and throws: they are always welcome in any design. Another good idea is a basket with blankets.
- Pamper yourself. They don’t need to expensive but fresh towels and sheets always feel great.
- Reward your feet. Rugs should not be only for social areas and bedrooms. Think of machine wash soft rugs also for your kitchen and bathroom. They help with the noise and are great when you are barefoot.
- Finally, remember: the more organized that your place is, the calmer it will feel.
Although each one of these tips can be easy to execute, thinking about implementing all of them at the same time can be completely overwhelming.
Take a moment to study your place carefully and what it needs to be a perfect retreat. Start with baby steps, but do start, and enjoy the feeling of a home that can help you shake off the hecticness of the day and recharge you for what’s next.