Relaxed spaces do two things, they provide a sense of calm and enable us to switch off. 90% of people most satisfied with their home say it often or always makes them feel relaxed.
Creating a relaxed space means bringing together other happy qualities such as adaptability and its ability to nourish. We want our homes to take care of both itself and us. It needs to soothe us whilst being a place that doesn’t have its own complaints – poor heating, an uncomfortable layout or a dodgy roof.
Relaxed homes need to nourish, adapt to our needs and be secure. Here are some design tips to consider…
Design choices big and small
When it comes to relaxation, how you decorate your space can play a big part in creating a stress-free environment. The use of colour and incorporation of nature have all been shown to help us relax and reduce stress.
The acoustics of your home have a surprising impact on your stress levels, as does your chosen layout. So what design choices should you be making?
- Colour plays a big part in how relaxing we find our home. Most interior designers will advise you to go for a subtle colour scheme if relaxation is the goal. Bright colour often makes your mind more active, and deep shades of orange and red can create tension.
- Making the most of natural light has been shown to be a mood elevator. Speaking of light, make sure the lighting fixtures are a help, not a hindrance. Warm, soft lighting promotes a better night’s sleep, while the bright white lights or those with blue undertones will keep you awake for longer. For rooms with little daylight, ‘biodynamic’ lights will help with your natural body clock.
- Another calming trick is symmetry. Creating a mirror effect with your furnishings can create the feeling of harmony in the room and can be achieved by mirroring your picture frame placement on walls. Or you can simply add opposing mirrors, which can also help create more natural light in your space.
- If you’re short on space in hallways or boxrooms for example, mirrors can be used to provide a sense of a larger and more habitable space, making you feel more comfortable.
- Plants, plants and more plants! Natural features in your home will provide a pleasing visual whilst also helping with air quality. We also recommend creating clear views of any scenic horizons you might be blessed with. This could be your own garden or the surrounding countryside. Open-plan layouts can help to achieve this.
Space to switch off
Living spaces and bedrooms are reportedly the most important spaces for people to switch off and relax. 46% of us say that we switch off best in our living spaces and 36% in our bedrooms. This is interesting as many people see bedrooms just as a place to sleep, but it could have a potential for more. If your bedroom or living room aren’t living up to their potential, combine these ideas with those listed above.
Maximising your relaxation areas
- Create wall nooks for reading, work and those quiet moments. Make use of unused wall or corner spaces, which will remove the need to design specific rooms to accommodate these functions.
- If your bedroom is your personal haven, don’t compromise on your sleep to spend time there. Consider splitting your space up. Even small bedrooms might have room for a reading chair. Or just a comfy rug can provide a place to sit and meditate.
- Make sure your living room is adaptable to a range of activities outside of watching TV, by prioritising moveable furniture. Lightweight seats and tables that can easily be moved out of the way, should you fancy some yoga or the kids want to play a game.
- In both rooms, you should be aiming for an all-round sensory experience. Perhaps incorporate natural materials such as wood, or soft fabrics like a throw or cushion. You’d also be surprised by what a difference scent can make. Look into aromatherapy candles or a diffuser, especially in the bedroom, where scents like lavender can help us switch off at the end of the day.
- On a practical level, make sure you have enough storage. Nothing generates stress like clutter, so prioritise storage solutions throughout your home.
If the focus is on creating a happy home, create spaces to relax. Research shows that those who describe their home as relaxed are more likely to report higher home satisfaction than any other home personality trait (e.g. organised, sociable and balanced).
Homeowners have plenty of ways to add more relaxation into their space. Would you like to unlock your home’s potential? Get in touch with us, and we will find the happiness in your space.