Hi ho. Hi ho. It’s home from work we go! *Insert magnificent whistle that is perfectly in tune* Whether you are working from home or going out into the world to make that dough, you deserve a relaxing, harmonious space in which to retreat and recover from the many stresses of the modern world. Your home is your private paradise, your personal heaven. Let’s discuss some tips for making your home more relaxing and harmonious.
Home Sweet Home
Before we dive into room specifics, let’s discuss some general tips for creating an exquisitely relaxing home. An important aspect of home decor is color. While you may think that a relaxing home requires neutrals and whites, simplicity may not be the right answer for you. Creating a relaxing home is about personalizing your space to fit your specific needs. Do you have a favorite color? Include that color in your decor! Neutrals are always a good idea, but just be aware that neutrals are not the only option for a tranquil home. Color can help elicit certain emotions. When choosing a color scheme for your home, decide what you want each space to feel like and research colors to complement that. Lighting is also extremely important in creating a desired vibe. Natural light is energizing, helping us follow the natural progression of the day so that we can be up and alert during the day, and relaxed at night. Allow all the natural light and include mirrors strategically placed to amplify the reflection of natural light and make your space appear bigger. Smells and textures also affect how we feel in our home. Natural textures and natural smells bring the beauty and serenity of the outdoors into the home. Aromatherapy can help enhance both physical and emotional health. Lavender, chamomile, and jasmine are great essential oils for anxiety, thus promoting relaxation. For even more nature indoors: plants, plants, plants, and more plants. I wrote a blog previously about the benefits of indoor plants and the best indoor plants to have even if you were born void of green thumbs like myself. Read more here. Finally, add a designated meditation corner for practicing mindfulness. A quiet corner with all the essentials to help you refocus and center your mind will help you achieve a relaxed state at any time.
Your Personal Oasis aka Your Bedroom
Your bedroom is arguably the most important room in the home when it comes to creating for yourself a paradise of relaxation and healing. Your bedroom is your most private space where you spend every night recovering from your day and preparing for the next. Make sure clutter is taken care of regularly. Products on dresser and nightstand tops, clothes behind the door, outerwear slung over your accent chair-- make sure it is all put in its place. A decluttered bedroom is a decluttered mind! Also, don’t allow yourself to leave the house without making your bed. I struggle with this one, but there is a notable difference in my stress and happiness levels when I keep my room tidy and my bed made. Upgrading your bedding and mattress is also a great way to increase your ability to sink into bed and relax at the end of the day. Soft whites and neutrals are a wonderful choice for your comforter to help brighten the space, but your favorite color as an accent will help create a space that is uniquely yours, which will help make your room especially personal, warm, and inviting. Adorn your space with a few art, pictures, and natural elements that remind you of your happiest moments. Whenever possible keep fresh flowers or a lush, green potted plant to add a burst of color and life. Wall color can also be very important. Shades of soft blues, greens and greys are perfect for creating a relaxing atmosphere. If you’re like me and love being woken up by the sun, make sure you allow for lots of natural light. Fill your space with the warmth of the sun, allow the sun to cleanse your space with its nurturing rays, let your aura be infused with vitamin D, but also have some decent coverage/blackout curtains for privacy and for sleeping in. Finally, consider enforcing a no-technology quiet time before bed and turning off all devices while you sleep. Disconnecting from the information-highway, world-at-our-fingertips devices will help the brain unwind and prepare adequately for rest.
Your At-Home Spa aka Your Bathroom
Let’s start with the obvious: keep it clean and organized! The bathroom can be an especially dirty place, so don’t let the grime of your washroom come between you and your luxurious, dream spa. Natural light and flowers or plants allow the harmony associated with nature to fill your space while simultaneously making it feel fresh and clean. This next part is the most important, so take notes: a few additions to your bathtub and to the bath-time experience will revolutionize your at home me-time. Fluffy pillows; a bath pillow; a bath tray for holding your wine glass; a speaker for playing relaxing sounds; candles to provide soft lighting! Put down that rubber ducky, this ain’t your kids’ bath time. It is much more than ok to pamper yourself, it’s necessary! You deserve and need to care for your body, so treat yourself to a transformative bath whenever you need a little extra care.
The Room Whence People Confer aka Your Living Room
Our living rooms are a communal space that we share with others when we invite people into our home, so it is our opportunity to share our relaxing home and create a space that is safe and welcoming. Consider the placement of your furniture. How does the energy flow through your home? Does the room invite and foster conversation? Does it allow for unity and ease of movement? Feng Shui can help you improve the flow of energy through your space. For help getting started and tips for ridding your home of static energy check out our Feng Shui Tips blog. Much like the previous rooms, comfort is very tactile, so introduce soft elements that enhance that comfort. Blankets, pillows, and soft rugs should be kept within reach (at least the pillows and blankets should... the rug can stay in place, obviously) preferably kept in a storage ottoman, a decorative trunk, or a basket so they can be out of the way when you are entertaining, but can be whipped out quickly when you feel like lounging around reading or when one of your guests needs a place to crash. Like always, keep a plant or two to provide color and life, and keep the natural light flowing whenever possible to make your living room feel bright and more spacious. Finally, surround yourself with images of your friends and family, mementos of your travels, and family heirlooms. Fill your space with items that remind you of who you are, where you’ve been, and what you’ve accomplished. That positive energy will help you destress and relax after a taxing day.
Your DIY Five Star Restaurant aka Your Kitchen and Dining Room
The kitchen can be the most chaotic space in the home. The cooking, the washing, the chopping, the stirring, the seasoning… creating sustenance can be quite the messy ordeal, not to mention time consuming! Make your life easier and more relaxing by keeping your cupboards and workspaces neat and organized. Get yourself a spice rack and organize your pantry and fridge so that your food is easily visible and accessible. Make sure you regularly check for food that may have expired-- you don’t need food that has gone bad to clutter your space. What about your food prep areas? Do you have a spacious countertop? Can it be made more spacious? Keeping a clear area will help your culinary artistry with an uninterrupted flow, the perfect recipe for the flawless execution of gastronomical masterpiece. As usual, lighting is a wonderful tool for creating a more relaxing space. Make sure to make best use of your natural light, but also consider your lighting fixtures. Dimmable lights are best for creating different moods. In terms of color, fruit is a beautiful way to add both color and a natural element. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter or as a beautiful centerpiece on your dining room table. Flowers or potted herbs are also a great way to add more life into the space. When it comes to furniture, we at Haiku Designs are big fans of the minimalist, Mid-Century Modern aesthetic. The clean lines of minimalist design encourage organization and minimal clutter. Check out our dining room furniture here!
Home is where the heart is. Home is where we retreat. Home is where we relax. Our home is our own personal oasis, our temple of harmony and serenity. Why not fill it with things that make us happy? Why not introduce components that can help us achieve a desired mood or vibe? We can design a space that is nurturing to our spirit and creativity; a home that helps us reach our potential on a daily basis. If you can’t implement every tip mentioned above, a great place to start is the declutter and organization of your home. You’d be surprised how much weight is lifted off your shoulders.