Having a soothing space in a relaxing home is more important than ever.
I have been spending a lot more time at home, and I know I’m not the only one. The last couple of years really changed the way we spend our waking hours.
Sure, we’re getting out a lot more than we were, say, in 2020. Many aspects of daily life are pretty much back to normal. Businesses are open, people are traveling for vacations, and we are getting back out there in the world. But there has also been a huge shift in perspective for many people at the same time. We are no longer spending as much time and energy on things that don’t make us happy. People are focusing more on self care, looking for ways to save money, and actively seeking better job opportunities. For many of us, that includes spending more time in the comfort of our own homes.
It certainly doesn’t help that the world is feeling pretty heavy out there. It all feels pretty stressful, doesn’t it? Honestly, I like to spend more time at home so I can relax and get away from all the tension and pressure in the outside world. Some days I just don’t have the spoons to get out there.
Clearly, that means we need our homes to be just right! They need to be inviting and peaceful – the kind of spot where you can relax and unwind. You want the kind of space that leaves you feeling calm and comfortable as the weight of the world melts away. And if your space isn’t doing that for you, it is time to make a few changes!
Check out these simple ways to turn your home into a soothing space. These ideas can help you create a calming, stress-free space to enjoy every day.
Start With Calming Neutrals
I’m not saying that your entire home needs to be beige to be relaxing. But if you want a truly relaxing space, you have to start with a neutral palette. Bright and saturated colors are known to be stimulating and energizing. They grab your attention and make you feel more alert. And while that is definitely not a bad thing, we’re going for that calm, relaxing vibe here. Muted neutral colors are easier on the eye, and can have a calming effect on the mind.
Again, we’re not going all beige. There is still plenty of variation when it comes to neutral tones, so it doesn’t have to be boring at all. Aside from mixing and matching different neutrals, you can also play with textures to keep it interesting. Soft gray-blues, dusty pinks, ivory and off-whites, and even muted greens can help you create that serene feeling. And if you have a favorite color that you just can’t live without, use it for accents or a statement piece for a pop of interest.
Introduce Natural Warmth
Have you ever noticed that spas usually include a lot of wooden accents in their decorating? I don’t know what it is, but using wood always makes a room feel safer and calmer. It is likely due to the warm tones of the material, and the fact that it comes from nature. Using wood to decorate somehow changes the overall feel of a room. Wood can suggest relaxation and make it feel warmer and cozier.
The best part about introducing wood into the space is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. Wooden furniture definitely makes a big impact, but you can achieve the same effect with inexpensive accents, as well. Try wooden coasters, picture frames made from wood, and other decorations that won’t break the bank.
Bring in Some Green
While we’re talking about the relaxing power of natural elements like wood, we also have to talk about plants! From houseplants to flower arrangements, bringing a little bit of the outdoor world inside can breathe a sense of calmness into your space.
If your room has poor lighting – or you have a hard time keeping plants alive! – you can still tap into the outdoors without killing plant babies. Try an arrangement of branches in a large vase. Hey, you can’t kill twigs! Or, fake it with some realistic-looking artificial flowers and greenery, or even some dried flowers. Visually, the effect is the same.
Get Cozy With Textiles
Cozy textiles like velvet, suede, knits, fluffy faux fur, and more bring an inherent softness with them. Sure, they are definitely soft to the touch, making them extra comfortable. However, they are also soft visually. Our brains see them as soft because we know they are soft, but they also drape and move in a soft, organic way.
All that cozy softness will definitely turn your space into the plush, soothing space you deserve. Think soft and luxurious comforters or throw blankets, some velvety throw pillows, plush rugs, and drapes that pool on the floor. Stick with your neutral color palette, of course. This will also help add some of that interesting texture that I already mentioned!
Add Aromas You Love
Our sense of smell can invoke certain moods and memories. That’s because smells have a strong link to memory and emotion – perhaps an even stronger link than any of our other senses. Use that to your advantage when you are setting up your perfectly soothing space. By utilizing aromas that you love or that bring up pleasant memories, you can tap into those emotions. This is probably one of the easiest ways you can create a space that soothes you.
Decorating your home with arrangements of fresh, fragrant flowers is definitely an option, particularly in the spring and summer. But you can also take advantage of burning scented candles, melting scented wax, or burning incense. Essential oil diffusers are also a great way to fill the room with relaxing scents, giving it a spa-like feel. Lavender is one of the most popular for relaxing, but oils like eucalyptus, chamomile, and ylang ylang are also good choices.
Hang Up Photos of Family and Friends
Tapping into your happy memories is a great way to feel at home, and it’s one of the easiest ways to boost your mood. In the same way that certain smells can evoke memories and emotions, pictures can help take you back to your happiest times. Definitely take advantage of this as you decorate your home!
Think about the people that make you feel comfortable and memories that leave you feeling blessed. It can be family members or your best friends. Does a photo of your grandparents’ home make you feel at ease, or what about pictures from an amazing vacation? Hang ‘em up! Put them in really nice frames and create a gallery wall, or stand them on end tables.
Make a Playlist
Sound is another thing that can easily boost your mood and transport you. Music can reduce anxiety, boost your mental alertness, lower blood pressure, and put you in better spirits – almost instantly. Make a playlist, and make your own happy!
Have a playlist (or several to choose from!) that you can play in your home. Hey, you can even have playlists for any mood you’d like to set. It’s an easy way to turn your space into a relaxing or comforting space, without much effort at all.
Ditch the Clutter
I’m sorry. I know that no one wants to hear it, but you probably need to get rid of a few things. You can’t have a comfy, soothing space with all that clutter hanging around. Having a cluttered space is the opposite of relaxing. It creates extra stress and can have a negative impact on your mental health.
Clutter distracts your attention and it’s always in your face. It invades open spaces that allow you to think, and it can be pretty frustrating when it prevents you from finding what you need, or you’re tripping over things when you’re just trying to relax.
Everything needs a permanent place to live. You don’t need to be a minimalist: you just need to figure out what to do with your stuff. First off, make sure that you’re only keeping things that you truly enjoy or need. If you’re keeping something useful but not using it, is it really useful? Donate it so it can actually get used. Similarly, if you’re keeping something only because you spent money on it, consider the value of the space you will gain by getting rid of it.
Now, for all the things you keep, you have to figure out what to do with it all. The mantle, a side table, or the top of a dresser are not storage spaces – this only contributes to visual clutter. Instead, take advantage of hidden storage: a decorative storage trunk at the foot of the bed, end tables or nightstands with extra drawers, or storage bins on a shelf.