Between rushing to work, worrying about bills, and taking care of the kids, our lives are busy and often stressful. Home should be a haven amidst the madness, and the ability to return to a relaxing, rejuvenating environment is crucial to our well-being. From soothing colors that remind us of nature to theraputic sounds and organic textures, here are a few easy ways to make your home feel more like an oasis.
Select a color palette that encourages relaxation. Chromotherapy is the use of color to control stress, fatigue, and various medical conditions. Different shades are well-known for impacting our mental states in different ways. Red, for instance, is thought to increase blood pressure and pulse rate, while blue is believed to encourage relaxation.
When choosing colors for your home, it’s important to consider hues that soothe and create a sense of balance and well-being. Natural colors that remind us of the outdoors such as pale blues, soft browns, organic greens, and pale yellows are often used in spa environments because they help the body to relax. Try using these shades throughout your home, especially in your bedroom and bathroom where you unwind from the day. Look beyond your walls to incorporate the colors into your decor with textiles, furniture, and accessories.
Embrace the soothing effects of natural materials. Similar to color, natural objectswith textural qualities can help relieve the body of stress. In your furniture, look to natural materials like seagrass, jute, straw, organic cotton, and other fibers that encourage you to reach out and touch. Choose organic bedding with a higher thread count for a luxe feel that will pamper your skin and help you sleep more soundly. Have fun with contrast, combining coarse and smooth textures for a stimulating, visually appealing look.
Framed artwork and canvas paintings that feature landscapes, flowers, and even soothing abstractscan help relax you as well. Finish off the natural look and clear the air withlow-maintence ferns, succulents, and orchids tobring color and depth to your decor.
Don’t forget about your other senses! We’ve talked aboutsoothing your visual and tactile senses — now what about the rest?Making an effort to please all five of your senses will result in a truly calming home environment.
For your sense of smell, embrace aromatherapy throughout the house with candles and essential oils. Fresh herbs such as lavendar, chamomile, and rosemary are known to relax the body, soul and mind. Boiling a fresh pot of herbal tea or a stock pot full of cloves, mint, or citrus rinds can make your entire home smell wonderful after a stressful day at the office.
For your sense of hearing, avoid turning on the TV right away and instead consider installing a small water feature or bubbling fountain in your entryway or living room to create soft white noise. Playing light classical or jazz music can also help while you sip on your favorite herbal tea and enjoy a healthy snack that makes you smile.
Instead of taking the day’s stresses with you to bed and waking up with the same routine, why not bring a sense of serenity to your interiors with these ideas? Spring is a great time to rejuvenate your home — and your lifestyle.
Ronique Gibson, a LEED AP certified design expert, is also a home health and lifestyle writer for Shutterfly.com. Her ideas on stress relief through soothing home décor were inspired by many of the home décor options found here.