The way we design our home and work environments can have a dramatic impact on our stress levels and emotions. Learn to make your surroundings more peaceful and calming so you feel at ease all day long. Here are some decorating ideas that will soothe all of your senses.
- Opt for warm colors. Warm colors tend to advance toward your eye to create a more intimate feel. Colors have different degrees of warmth, depending on the shade you pick. Warm colors will help to heat up adjoining cool colors. This means you can include any of your favorite colors as long as you pick the right shades and coordinate carefully.
- Get organized. Clearing away clutter will instantly make any space look more serene. Plus, it won’t cost you a penny! Return everything to its proper place. Sell or donate stuff you no longer use.
- Layer your lighting. Take advantage of as much natural light as you can get. Trade in your harsh overhead lights and high wattage bulbs for a variety of floor and table lamps that provide a softer effect. Mirrors will also brighten things up.
- Work with the space you’ve got. If you need to tie together a big area, consider decorating with patterns. A striped couch will make your living room look cozier. On the other hand, when you’re trying to feel less cramped, select furniture with legs and cutouts and clear tops to maximize your air space.
- Get a water fountain. The sound of running water has appealed to people for centuries. You can even get desktop fountains for your office or solar powered versions for your garden if you want something environmentally friendly.
- Put up chimes. Try hanging a few on your back porch. If you prefer bird song, put out a feeder. You’ll get serenaded every morning.
- Play digital files. Wherever you live or travel, you can now access pleasant sounds with your laptop or any media player. Browse online or buy a CD full of recordings of falling rain, splashing waves, or the natural music of the Florida Everglades.
- Pick up a diffuser. Diffuser kits with natural reeds will disperse scent for months. That way you can avoid the safety risks of leaving burning candles unattended.
- Rely on traditional scents. Oils like lavender, chamomile and sandalwood are old favorites because they work well for calming the mind. If you have a green thumb, try some living herbs. Lavender is easy to grow yourself and requires little maintenance. Just cut a few sprigs and take them indoors whenever you need to bring freshness to a room.
- Experiment with new fragrances. If you want more variety, shop around for new oils. Neroli is becoming increasingly popular. This fragrance is produced from Bitter Orange blossoms and has a subtle but complex flowery aroma.
- Put something unusual on the walls. There’s more to wall art than framed paintings and photographs. Try an unusual object that will make you want to touch it, like a twisted rubber sculpture.
- Pay attention to your bedding. You spend about a third of your life sleeping, so turn your bed into a comfort zone. Stock up on feather beds, soft flannel sheets and plush comforters.
- Use accent pieces to add interest. Unusual and inexpensive accent pieces can add textural interest to any room. Knit your own throw blanket for a sofa or make small pillows covered in soft velvet or chenille.
Transform your home and office with design choices that will help you breathe easier and reduce your stress levels. Especially if you’re coping with a demanding schedule, create rooms that accommodate all your senses and help you feel composed. This will bring you peace not only at home, but everywhere you go.