Most of us are spending more time at home than ever before. While many people may be enjoying the opportunity to relax at home, some might not be so enamored with the idea of staring at the same four walls for weeks or months to come. If your house is more hectic than heavenly, or it’s not quite the restful retreat you crave, there are multiple ways you can inject tranquility and induce calm. Here are some top tips to help you relax.
Image taken from https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-gray-ceramic-mug-846080/
Separate work and living spaces
When the clock struck midnight on the 1st January 2020, nobody could have predicted that a few months later, millions of people would be working from kitchen tables and home offices. If you’re working from home, and your house has had to become a versatile space that caters to work and play, it’s critical to separate your professional and home lives. Your living spaces should be areas where you can hang out with family and friends, chill out, and enjoy some well-earned time off. If you’re working at home, it’s essential to find a quiet spot, which enables you to focus and concentrate. If you don’t have the luxury of a study at home, there are alternatives. You could convert a spare bedroom or an empty loft room into a temporary office or studio, you could utilize extra garage or shed space, or you could take over one of your reception rooms during work hours. If you have areas that you use for both work and relaxation, you can use screens or curtains or simply close internal doors to provide privacy during the day and facilitate socializing after working hours.
If working from home is likely to be the norm for some time, you might be considering longer-term options. It may be worth exploring possibilities like converting an attic or a basement space, extending the ground floor to make room for an office or a creative area, or adding a conservatory, a log cabin or a garden room. These options will obviously cost money, but they will give you the secluded space and peace and quiet you need, and they will also add value to the property.
Create a serene, soothing bedroom
Your bedroom should be your number one priority when it comes to designing a more tranquil, serene home. As a place for rest and relaxation, your bedroom should be a peaceful, soothing space, which enables you to unwind, switch off and enjoy good quality sleep. If your boudoir isn’t quite the retreat you long for, or you haven’t got around to decorating or remodeling yet, it’s a great idea to take steps to create an environment, which is conducive to drifting off and recharging your batteries.
If you’re planning a mini bedroom makeover, it’s wise to consider colors carefully. Colors impact the look of the room, but they also have an effect on your mood. Some colors are uplifting and energizing, while others are calming. In your bedroom, stick to muted shades, neutrals and tones of blue, green and purple to create the right ambiance. If you want to add prints or inject brighter colors, use accessories such as wall art, cushions, rugs and throws, plant pots and vases, lamps and decorative ornaments. Opt for soft lighting to help you wind down after a busy day and add a romantic feel, and use blackout curtains or blinds to block out natural light when you’re ready to climb under the sheets.
Another important consideration for those eager to turn their bedroom into a haven is storage. If you’ve got piles of stuff everywhere or clothes hanging off the backs of chairs, this can ruin the aesthetic of the room and make you feel stressed. Storage is essential for quick and easy tidying, and it also helps to maximize space and light. You can use chests, wardrobes, racks and rails to keep clothes and shoes tidy, hang shelves and units to display photos, books, frames and ornaments, and keep towels and bedding in storage boxes or drawers under the bed. If you’re short on storage, and this is resulting in clutter mountains, take a look at bedroom furniture deals online and make the most of the space you have available. If you have a small room, for example, and you don’t have space for chests or freestanding units, wall-mounted storage is a brilliant idea. You can make a feature out of industrial or open shelving by adding books, plants, candles, flowers and framed prints.
Create child and adult-friendly zones
If you have children, you want them to be able to feel comfortable and to have loads of fun when they’re at home. Children make mess, and this is part and parcel of everyday life. As a parent, it’s natural to want your home to look good, but it’s not always easy to cross both boxes. One solution is to create child and adult-friendly zones. If you have an open-plan kitchen-diner, or you have a playroom, for example, set aside an area of the kitchen and use the playroom to enjoy messy play and to have fun together reading, playing games and being creative. Look for ways to make tidying up quick and simple, for example, using vinyl flooring in the kitchen and investing in storage tubs and boxes for toys in the living room, playroom and children’s bedrooms. You can also make living spaces more versatile by using modular furniture, which gives you the ability to switch a room from a play area to a more formal reception room, or adding fun touches like chalkboard walls to part of the kitchen.
As well as making space for your children to make a mess and play, set aside zones where you can enjoy adult company or make the most of ‘me time.’ You could use a screen or pull a curtain across if you have open living spaces to separate formal and informal areas, or turn a guest room or a vacant attic into a room where you can enjoy hobbies and switch off.
Lighting can have an amazing impact on the look of a room, but it also helps to set the tone. Bright lights are ideally suited to kitchens and workspaces, while soft lighting is perfect for snugs, bedrooms and chill-out areas where you can read, listen to music, paint, draw or write. If you’re thinking about replacing lamps or fitting new lights, take some time to browse different styles and consider the function of the room, as well as the theme. You can use lighting to add drama or create a stunning focal point, but you can also add ambiance to ensure the feel of the room is right. In the evenings and during the chilly winter months, using candles to provide light creates a wonderful, cozy feel.
Scents and aromas
If you’ve ever visited a spa or a boutique hotel, you’re probably aware of the difference scents can make to your mood and the atmosphere of the room or building. Some aromas are proven to relax and they make you feel calm in an instant. Burning a candle or adding a diffuser to your living room, bathroom or entrance hall can induce calm and help you unwind. If you have trouble sleeping, you might also find it helpful to use aromatherapy oils, sleep sprays or scented candles with lavender, chamomile, geranium, jasmine, vanilla or bergamot.
Picture courtesy of https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-putting-finger-on-mist-1582457/
Bring the outside in
Spending time in the great outdoors works wonders. Being in the open air is proven to benefit mental wellbeing, reduce stress and increase productivity. Even if you only have a small garden or a yard, you can reap the rewards of outdoor living by bringing the outside in. Connect your indoor and outdoor areas through sliding doors, oversized windows or patio doors, maximize natural light and add greenery and vibrant color using plants and flowers.
If you have small rooms, use light colors such as white, beige and pale gray to create the illusion of bigger, brighter spaces, opt for neutral vinyl flooring or light wood, and hang mirrors to bounce the sunlight around. Scatter vases of flowers or potted plants around your home, and use natural materials where possible. If you have a kitchen that overlooks the garden, or you’re hoping to channel the natural trend in your living room or conservatory, for example, look for wooden furniture, choose linen or cotton cushion covers and throws and add jute or bamboo floor coverings. There is a vast range of houseplants on offer, and you can match different types to different rooms depending on the size of the space. Fill corners of living rooms, offices and entrance halls with large plants like peace lilies, yuccas and palms that make a statement, and adorn bedroom, bathroom and kitchen shelves with succulents or cacti.
For many of us, there’s no place like home. Our homes should make us feel safe and relaxed. If you long for a more tranquil haven, or you’re in the process of renovating or decorating, hopefully, this guide will help you turn your home into a serene sanctuary.