1. ADD A WINDOW SEAT
Gazing out of a window onto a beautiful view is one of life’s simple pleasures - a chance to empty the mind and replace it with calm. So why not build comfort into the opportunity - and encourage a longer spell of relaxation - by adding a window seat in front of this portrait of nature.
2. CREATE A BATHROOM SPA
3. PAINT A ROOM PINK
Why go for neutral walls - the tried and tested route to calm, though also not massively inspired - when you can go for pink? “Pinks have quietly overtaken grey in recent years to become a nuanced ‘new neutral’,” declares the interiors stylist Joanna Thornhill, author of The New Mindful Home and How to Make it Yours. “According to the American Institute of Biological Sciences, pink can enhance feelings of empathy and love, and helps to soothe the energy of a room. It even lowers heart rate and blood pressure.”
4. GROW AN INDOOR GARDEN
Scientists understand that a vision of lush green foliage has a calming effect on our brains - as all gardeners will attest, walking into an oasis of ready-to-pick herbs and salads is an instant “aahhh!” moment. And now it can be achieved without all the labor behind the scenes, or even having to face the elements outside, thanks to the rise of smart indoor gardens. These automated systems see the end of endless watering (or shame at having forgotten).
5. HANG A CALMING PICTURE
A well-chosen piece of art can alter the atmosphere in a flash. And if you’re keen to create a sanctuary, a calming picture can do much of the metaphorical heavy lifting for you. But what’s the best kind of art to ensure tranquility? “Art is such a personal preference, it comes down to what makes you feel calm,” explains the Australian interior designer Natalie Walton and author of Style: the Art of Creating a Beautiful Home. “This can relate to the color palette or the subject matter.”
6. STICK TO A MONOCHROME PALETTE
In a modern bedroom, you definitely don’t want any design elements screaming for attention. The way to avoid this, says the LA-based interior designer Katie Hodges, is to stick to a monochromatic color palette, which, without lots of different competing colors, will “create a serene, calming space”. Even better if that base color is natural and soothing.
7. CREATE A WELLNESS SPACE
Whether you’re into meditation, journaling, reading a transporting book or listening to music, carving out a “sacred spot” to do this, says the interior stylist and author Joanna Thornhill, will “help your brain’s neural pathways begin to associate that space positively” with unwinding.
8. GIVE YOUR BATHROOM THE ORGANIZED PANTRY TREATMENT
Admit it - behind most of our bathroom storage's doors is a veritable department store’s worth of barely used product, not to mention the visual disarray of all sorts of different brands. Organizer to the stars Justin Klosky, who works between LA and New York, and who counts Kim Kardashian, the Osbourne family and Bryce Dallas Howard among his celebrity clients, says the bathroom is a key place for achieving and keeping calm, and if we could only give it the attention we give our pantries, an elevated sense of order could be ours.
9. SET UP A WFH HAVEN
“Humans are happier when we have boundaries,” notes the American therapist-turned-interior designer and author Anita Yokota. “The same goes for our homes. If we bring our work into every area of the house, it’s hard to separate ourselves from it.” Anita recommends containing all your materials and mess in a designated work area: “Work from home spaces are best when they are defined — I love a closed door to allow you to punch out.” And make it calm: “Science tells us that cooler, muted tones invite calmness and creativity,” she explains, “as do soft blankets, cozy chairs, and the right lighting - try to get close to a window or install a skylight if possible.”
10. MAKE YOUR ENTRYWAY FEEL LIKE A LIVING ROOM
With research proving that time spent in nature is good for our wellbeing, why would we not want to bring that positive influence into the house? “Bringing nature into our homes gives us the opportunity to enjoy the benefits in a tangible way,” says the Australian interior stylist and author Natalie Walton.