The Best Ways to Design a Serene Home
Serenity: the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. Amidst all the hustle and bustle in our day-to-day lives, one of the best things we can do for ourselves and for our families is to create a calm and safe space to come home to at the end of a long day.
Read on to find out how you can reduce stress and anxiety in your life, one room at a time.
Good lighting is everything
Quality light, whether it’s natural or artificial, is crucial when creating an ambiance of serenity in a space. When thinking about winding down and relaxing, consider well-modulated, diffused northern light, and the use of dimmers to help with softening the light in the evenings.
Choose a calming color palette
David Mann, the founder of MR Architecture + Decor, believes that color is one of the easiest tools for manipulating mood in a given space. For example, bright colors are energizing, while muted colors have more of a calming effect.
Engage the senses
Smell, touch, sound: all of these elements can promote calm, and are just as important as the visual design of a room. Jennifer Bunsa, founder of Bunsa Studio, says "The more you can engage the senses, the more you will impact mood." Consider the use of aromatherapy, soft textures, and even relaxing music when setting the post-work tone. The brain will slow down as it engages with these elements, taking the focus away from the stressors of the day.
It is well-known that nature has a calming effect on mood, whether that means going for a walk outside or simply having plants indoors. Think about the placement of your planters, your windows, your outdoor spaces; avoid cluttering the home with unnecessary objects that felt designed, rather than natural to their setting. Less is more.
Choose functionality above all else
Functional design increases the ease of everyday living, and in doing so it also promotes a sense of calm. Designer Regan Baker believes that if something is a part of your life on the daily, making it more functional is going to have a pretty big cumulative impact on your level of calm.”
Create designated spaces
Mixed-use spaces are great, until you want (or need) to escape. "We often talk about a work/life balance in the emotional/mental sense, but that applies to physical spaces as well," says Regan Baker. "It’s much easier to put the stress and commitments of the workday on hold if you can close the door to your home office and join the family in the kitchen." Designated spaces can help one shut off, whether we’re talking about a home office, craft space, or meditation zone.
Step one, declutter. Step two? Organize! Making sure that everything has a proper home means that there are fewer things to worry about on the home front. Melanie Charlton Fowler, the owner of Clos-ette, a professional organizing company, explains "When clutter is tempered, styled, organized, or decorated there becomes a flow."
Cramped or bound spaces can often create feelings of claustrophobia. Therefore, it is incredibly important to consider things like wide windows, open-concept layouts and the like, when it comes to creating a calm space to relax in.