For many people, it’s become hugely important to have a home where they can actually wind down and relax. Home design can play a major role in creating a feeling of calm, even in a busy home. The great news is that it can be achieved on a tight budget. Here are five tips to help.
Calm the colours
Take a look, the natural world and you’ll begin to notice that what we would call neutral colours keep recurring. For example, take a look at a garden and you’ll find plenty of browns and greens, which is what makes the splashes of bright colours, such as flowers, really pop. Make this the inspiration for your inside space, particularly if you’re in a small home. Colour has a huge influence on how we feel (hence expressions such as “seeing red” or “feeling blue”) so make them work for you. Decorating your home in the right colour can not only help you to get more enjoyment out of your home, but also make it more attractive to potential buyers, should you decide to sell.
Add a touch of softness
Easy to clean but hard-working feet appreciate the softness of textiles, so compromise with strategically-placed rugs, which can be removed and cleaned as required. Likewise, see where you can use textiles to bring comfort to your home. Throws and blankets, for example, are affordable, easy to change (for example with the seasons) and bring instant impact. If possible, stick with natural fabrics or at least blends with a high percentage of natural fabric.
Remind yourself of simpler times
It’s frighteningly easy to let technology take over our lives. Give yourself a constant reminder of the importance of balance by incorporating reminders of simpler times into your décor. A great (and stylish) way to do this is to incorporate some ethnic elements into your home design. The term ethnic is quite broad and covers literally the whole world, including Africa, Asia and the Americas as well as, of course, Europe. You may never have thought of Provençal chic as being ethnic but it is. With such a wide range, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes and budget.
Change out your lights
Harsh light creates a harsh environment. As a minimum, check your lamp shades and see if these can be adjusted to create a more soothing effect. If possible switch out central lighting as much as possible for task-based lighting and replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs. You may also wish to consider bringing in some (Tibetan) salt lamps to cleanse the air and give off a soothing glow.
Simplify and declutter as much as you can
This is often an ongoing process, but a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Step one is to clean up and declutter by getting rid of anything you neither need nor want. It’s fine to have some items purely for decoration, but they should be ones you really love. Once you’ve freed up some space, try to keep functional items in closed storage (e.g. in cupboards and drawers) so they’re accessible but hidden, removing visual clutter. Only display items you actually want to see. While this process may be easiest with smaller items, it’s worth looking at ways to declutter your furniture too.
For example, you may be able to donate/sell some of your storage pieces now that you have less stuff to store and this may open up new options for your room(s). When it’s time to upgrade your furniture, invest in pieces which combine natural materials with simple lines and high functionality.