Your home is your safe place. After long, hard days of working, running errands, and tending to your family, your home is where you can take refuge from the busy world around you. As such, it should be a calming place that fosters a sense of peace whenever you walk into it. This sense of peace isn’t something that you can buy online, but is rather the environment that you create in your home through its design, decorations, and atmosphere.
Anyone with the goal of creating a calm home needs to think about how every part of their home works together. As you consider how each section of your home affects its overall calmness, try to identify the elements that need improvement and how you might be able to achieve a greater sense of peace and relaxation. The following tips are some of the best strategies for creating a calm home.
Confront Your Clutter
When your home is filled with clutter, you need to live with physical chaos every day. This physical chaos translates to unconscious chaos that can affect your mood and stress levels. You may have to spend too long searching through disorganized piles of your belongings for the keys to your office or a credit card you need to bring to work that day. This search can delay your commute to work, making you late and starting your day on a stressful note. Even just having to look at clutter can affect your state of mind, as the task of organizing it becomes more insurmountable as the clutter grows.
End this chain of negative feelings by setting aside time to tackle the clutter in your home. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to declutter your entire home in one day. Conquer your clutter one pile at a time. You could start with the stacks of old mail on the kitchen table or the messy closet in the foyer. Wherever you start, you’ll feel a great sense of satisfaction with each step you take towards creating a calm home you take. When you look at the decluttered space the next day, you’ll feel proud that you were able to confront the clutter and create a more relaxing, and more functional, environment.
Use a Neutral Palette
The color palette in your home has a major impact on how you feel when you’re in it. Neutral, muted tones tend to be easier on the eye than bright colors, creating a more calm, sanctuary-like atmosphere. Decorating with color can bring a sense of fun and excitement to your home, but if every room is doused in bright colors you won’t have a calming, neutral retreat. Try decorating at least one room in your home, such as the main living room or the basement family room, with a neutral color palette. If the other rooms in your home are filled with color, this room will serve as a welcome break from those attention-grabbing shades.
This doesn’t mean, however, that your neutral room needs to be boring or lack personality. For the base color, choose interior house paint in white, cream, off-white, or taupe. Then, use plenty of texture to create decorative interest in the room. Choose furnishings and decorations in a variety of patterns and fabrics that complement the neutral palette. You can also incorporate warm shades, such as gold, faded yellow, light orange, or pale tan to keep the room from looking too sterile.
Another great strategy for creating a calm home while adding visual interest is to create clusters of colors. If the rooms of your home are primarily painted in neutral shades, add a punch of positivity and happiness with brightly-colored accessories. Pick out pillows, throws, and vases in your favorite shade of blue, then cluster them together to create a focal point. With all of these decorations in a beloved color, you’ll feel happiness and comfort every time you pass the cluster. This is also a great way to incorporate color into your home’s design without overwhelming it.
Use Candles to Create a Sense of Warmth
Many people are successful in creating a calm home simply by using candles. A candle’s soft glow can add a sense of ease to any space, making them appropriate for any room. You can also get candles in your favorite scents, thereby pleasing your sense of smell as well as your sense of sight. Whether you want to make your bathroom feel like a relaxing spa or you think that your living room needs a touch of softness, a candle is the perfect solution.
Better yet, candles are very affordable and easy to find. Try to keep a substantial supply of candles in your home so that you have plenty on hand when you want to use them to make your home feel calmer. By getting a variety of candles of different heights and sizes, you can create visually interesting clusters in the rooms of your home. You can also use candleholders in interesting designs and patterns to add another aesthetically-pleasing element.
Bring Greenery Inside
Nature is comforting to many people, but it can be difficult to integrate that sense of comfort inside your home. Your home’s yard can certainly help you feel at peace whenever you spend the day sitting on your deck or patio, making the outdoors an important part of your home to tend to. However, you won’t be able to experience that natural peace on days with inclement weather or when its time to turn in for the night. If you want nature’s calming presence around you any time of any day, bring the outdoors in with houseplants and flowers.
Pick out some of your favorite houseplants at your local gardening center and place them where they will get the appropriate levels of sun and shade in your home. If you’re a new houseplant parent, start out with plants that are easier to care for, such as a snake plant or a philodendron. You can add pops of color with blooming perennials. Perennials will come back year after year, making them another easy option for first-time plant owners. Even keeping a vase or two of fresh flowers in the house can add a natural element that succeeds in creating a calm home.
Highlight a View to Nature
If you’ve started growing your houseplant family and still feel like you’re lacking the calm feeling that nature brings you, create a room with a view. Evaluate the windows in your home and identify the ones that give you a great view of your landscaping or the natural surroundings of your home. Then, emphasize that wonderful portrait of nature by using elegant window treatment options. When you focus on the window treatments, it will highlight the window and its view while giving the room a beautiful focal point.
One of the best techniques for creating a calm home through your windows is to layer the treatments you add to them. Layers give you options to create a look that suits the day. Start with shades for your window, which can block the view when you need privacy or emphasize it when you raise them. Add a valance over the shade to ensure that the window doesn’t look too stark and to further frame the view. The final touch is the drapes along the sides of the windows to further frame the view as well as add softness to the windows and an element of design to the room. Be sure that the drapes you choose enhance the design of the room by adding an interesting pattern or continuing the color story of the space.
If you think that a room of your house has a potential for a beautiful, calming view out of one of its windows but it’s blocked by something, take any steps you can to get past that obstacle. You may not be able to knock down a neighbor’s house to get a better view of a nearby lake, but you could do some landscaping work to make your views better. Invest in tree trimming if branches and leaves are obscuring a lovely view from your bedroom window or prune a shrub that’s blocking the living room’s view of your garden. If you can make the change, put the time and effort into changing it. You’ll be happier, and more relaxed, in the long run.
Designate a Comfort Zone
Sometimes, creating a calm home isn’t possible. You have to take into account the stylistic and functional preferences of others who live in the house, which may interrupt your efforts to eliminate every source of discomfort or stress in the home. The solution to this is to create a place in your home where relaxing is the key function. This may take a bit of home renovation, especially if you need to split up a large office or den to create two smaller spaces, one for its original purpose and one as a comfort zone. If you can’t undertake a renovation, find a corner of a room that’s out of the main flow of household activity to claim as the comfort zone. Whether you need to put up a wall or simply transform an under-utilized guest room, the effort is well worth it.
By having a designated comfort zone, you can tailor it to your choice of relaxing activity and incorporate features that you find most calming. If you love candles but your other family members don’t, fill the space with your favorite scented candles so that you can still enjoy their relaxing effects. If you want to relax in this room by reading and listening to music, set up a comfortable chair by a window that gets good natural light and put a speaker nearby. If your comfort zone is in a corner of a frequently-used room, put up a folding screen or another physical barrier to separate your space from the rest of the room and minimize distractions.
Make Simple Changes to Redo a Room
The smallest changes often make the biggest differences. These changes are typically more affordable than large renovations, allowing you to adhere to a budget while also making your home a more relaxing place to be. Sometimes, a room starts to feel tense and stale because the design of it hasn’t seen any changes in years. By making simple changes, you can freshen up the look of the room, banish the tension, and succeed in creating a calm home.
One of the easiest ways to continually freshen up the design of a room is to change its look with the seasons. For living room design, this can involve rearranging furniture, switching out throw pillows, and changing up the lighting. For kitchen design, you could add seasonal decor, reorganize your usage of the counter space, and bring in vases of fresh flowers to keep the space from feeling old and tired. No matter which room you’re giving a facelift to, focus on changing its small details. All of the minor changes add up to make a large, cumulative difference.
Make Your Bathroom Feel Like a Spa
The bathroom is where you get ready to face the day ahead. When your bathroom can communicate a sense of relaxation and calm, you can start your day with a clear head and calm heart. The best way to do this is to create a spa-like atmosphere in the bathroom.
Start with simple additions like stacks of fluffy towels and a few candles. Clear out clutter like you’ve done in other parts of your home by tucking away the kids’ toys and any unnecessary accessories or supplies on the counter. Organizing the drawers and cabinets in your bathroom can make it feel even more relaxed. It also helps to have first-aid supplies like band-aids and disinfectants handy so that you can tend to emergencies before heading to an urgent care. When you can easily get to the supplies rather than digging through piles of clutter to treat your child’s injury, they’ll be in better shape as you go to an urgent care to get professional medical treatment. As you focus on making the bathroom a more relaxing space, be sure to make it functional as well so that you can prioritize the health and safety of your family.
Integrate Movement into Your Landscape Design
You’ve already read about how bringing nature indoors can help in creating a calm home, but putting effort into your landscape design can go a long way in creating calm spaces that you can enjoy during the day. Your home’s outdoor spaces can act as a personal oasis, allowing you to escape the hustle of everyday life and relax in natural surroundings.
A secret to effective landscape design is to create moments of movement throughout it. Water is often the best way to do this. You can do this with small water features, such as a bubbling bird bath or storied fountain, or with larger features like an inground pool or hot tub. If you decide to invest in a larger feature, make sure that you have the time and resources to maintain it. A pool will be a pleasing visual feature as well as a great source of entertainment for your family, but without regular pool cleaning and maintenance it will get dirty and quickly create more stress than relaxation. However you decide to elevate your outdoor space, be sure that it is a good fit for your family and your lifestyle.
The key to creating a calm home is to integrate elements and features that make you feel more at ease. If you don’t find comfort in nature, don’t just buy a bunch of houseplants because other people find them relaxing. Focus on what gives you a sense of relaxation and then find ways to incorporate those elements into your home. You’ll then have succeeded in creating a calm home that will forever be your personal refuge from the world.