Picture the scene. It’s early evening, you’ve had a long, busy day, and you put the key in your front door. When you open that door, how do you feel? Do your shoulders drop? Does your heart rate slow? Do you feel a wave of relief wash over you? If so, there’s every chance that your home is a special place that makes you feel calm and relaxed. If you don’t feel like this, and you’re greeted with clutter, or your mind instantly turns to all the jobs you’ve got to finish or the noises you can hear, you could be missing out on this blissful feeling your home should give you. If your house is more hectic than heavenly, there are myriad ways you can inject serenity and create your very own haven.
Making your bedroom a priority
Did you know that over 50 million Americans have trouble sleeping? While there are multiple causes of sleep problems and disorders, the environment in which you choose to rest can have a major bearing on your sleep quality. If you struggle with insomnia, you feel like you’re always tired, or you find it difficult to switch off and wind down, make your bedroom a priority. If you’re not comfortable or there are too many distractions, you might find it hard to nod off. By revamping your bedroom, you can create a more calming, soothing space, which should improve your sleep habits.
Take a look at your current bedroom, and think about ways you could add ambiance and make the space more tranquil. Color is a really important consideration. Studies show that color can have a significant impact on our moods. When you’re looking at colorways for your bedroom, you want shades and tones that are proven to relax and make you feel at ease and at peace. Avoid bright, neon colors and steer clear of clashing prints and patterns. You don’t have to opt for white walls, accessories, and soft furnishings, but keep the palette muted. If you want to add color to plain walls, use cushion covers, curtains, bed linen, rugs, throws, and accessories like lampshades, frames, and plant pots. Examples of colors that are great for bedrooms include gray, white, beige, lilac and duck egg blue.
In addition to switching colors and opting for a more understated aesthetic, it’s also wise to use low-level lighting to promote relaxation and add a romantic vibe. Rather than going for bright spotlights or strip lights, use standing and bedside lamps and LED candles, or fit a dimmer switch. Our bodies are programmed to respond to changes in natural light, and we tend to feel more tired and tranquil when it starts to get dark. If you’ve got harsh lighting in your boudoir, this could make you feel more awake.
Another step you can take to create a more zen bedroom is to remove traces of technology. If there are lights flashing, gadgets beeping and wires all over the floor, you may be tempted to check emails, watch movies or trawl through social media when you should be catching those all-important Zs. If you do enjoy watching TV in bed and you don’t want to sacrifice this treat, make sure you have a cut-off time, as your body responds to routine.
There’s nothing quite like clutter to throw a spanner in the works when it comes to creating a stress-free home environment. Clutter has a habit of creeping up on us, and before we know it, a few stray books, coats, and pairs of shoes can become a mound of stuff that makes your heart sink every time you walk through the door. The key to managing clutter is to keep on top of tidying and to be ruthless when it comes to throwing items you don’t want or need away. If you’re facing the risk of a clutter avalanche, the sooner you tackle it, the better. Clutter can make your home look cramped and untidy, but more importantly, it can also contribute to stress and prevent you from feeling content and calm in your own home.
Set aside a time to declutter, and get in the zone. Put some music on, arm yourself with trash bags, and move methodically through the house. As you clear different rooms, you may come across stuff that you don’t want. If this is the case, create a series of piles and then bag up your stuff and label it. If you’ve got items of clothing that are in good condition, or you have spare TVs, nearly new books or outdoor toys, for example, you could sell them online, or even organize a garage sale. Alternatively, you could donate items to a charity. Once you’ve established what you want to keep, make use of the storage you have available, and if you have stuff that doesn’t have a home, look into additional storage options. If you have closets or a cloakroom, for example, you can fit shelves and racks onto the walls to hold shoes and boots and use hooks on the backs of doors to hang coats and waterproofs. If you need more storage space in the living room and floor space is limited, you could hang shelves on the walls or fit a wall-mounted unit.
Once you’ve completed your decluttering mission, tidy on a regular basis, and try not to keep hold of things you don’t really want. This will make it much easier to keep clutter at bay.
Creating that cozy vibe
Many of us look forward to the time of day when we kick our shoes off and get comfy on the couch. If your home is lacking that cozy vibe, and you’d like to create a more inviting space, you can do this very easily using a few simple but effective tricks. One of the best ways to make your home cozier is adding soft furnishings. Scattering cushions, throws, and blankets over beds, chairs, and sofas, and adding rugs to the floors can have an instant impact. You can also use floor cushions and a memory foam bean bag to create soothing, serene areas in your living room, bedroom, and kitchen-diner. When you’re using soft furnishings to add a homely feel, don’t worry too much about being uniform. If your cushions are slightly misaligned, or you’ve got a throw casually draped over a beanbag, rather than being perfectly folded, this creates a lived-in look, which is often more appealing. Opt for furniture that promotes comfort and stick to ambient lighting. You can hang fairy lights with oversized bulbs and exposed filaments for a cool industrial look or choose standing lamps for a more traditional, classic feel.
Are you guilty of spending hours on your phone or tablet as soon as you get home, or do you struggle to get a word out of the kids because they’re glued to the telly or a games console every night? There’s no doubt that technology plays an increasingly influential role in our modern lives. While there are incredible benefits to enjoy, there is also a lot to be said for downing phones and engaging in conversation and activities that don’t require staring at a screen. It’s hugely beneficial to have spaces in your home that are tech-free zones or to take steps that limit the use of technology. You could decide to keep phones away from the dinner table, for example, or devote a reception room to reading, listening to or playing music and doing creative activities like writing, drawing or painting. If you’ve got a tech-free zone, you can focus your attention on de-stressing, you can spend quality time together, and you can pursue your hobbies and interests.
Plants and flowers
Displaying plants and flowers in your home is bound to have aesthetic benefits, but did you know that adding foliage and greenery to your decor can also help to reduce stress, increase productivity, and create cleaner, fresher air? Research conducted by NASA revealed that houseplants can remove up to 87% of toxins in the air over the course of a 24-hour period. Plants can also boost your mood and make you feel calmer and happier. You can place flowers and plants in any room in the house, and there’s a vast range of options to choose from. You can display smaller plants in pots, baskets and crates for a beautiful visual display in kitchens, offices, and bedrooms or opt for larger potted plants for landings, halls, and living rooms.
How do you feel when you’re at home? Is your home an oasis of calm, or do you struggle to wind down and relax? If your home is bursting at the seams, it’s crowded and noisy, and you find it hard to switch off, hopefully, these tips will help you convert your pad into a peaceful plot where you feel completely at ease. Opt for calming, soothing colors for your bedroom, create tech-free and cozy spaces, keep on top of clutter, and add some greenery to every room.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.