Let’s be honest: the idea of a stress-free life is almost laughable these days. We live in a world with numerous obligations, responsibilities and little-to-no room to breathe. Soon, even the place that serves as our sanctuary can become another time and energy suck.
With a few changes, your home can become a beacon of stress-free design. By setting up your space with care and establishing a few simple new routines, you can choose to replenish your energy instead. Consider these tips, or add your own in the comments section to undo daily stress.
Stress-free Design: Aim for Space
Sometimes you just need space to breath. Humans naturally feel threatened and closed-in when they perceive that space is lacking.
Builders can incorporate this by improving the general flow and function of your floor plan. D.R. Horton offers a wide-selection of brands, including Emerald Homes, which provide the luxury of custom-design.
Consider large windows, high ceilings and extra natural light in high-functioning areas, such as the living room. Either way, it’s important to do what you can to make your space feel bigger.
Small rooms can make you feel claustrophobic and anxious. To make them feel bigger means making the most of the empty space. Whether a wall or a floor, this gives your eyes somewhere to glance, rest and relax. Even subconsciously for a minute or two.
Most importantly, don’t fill a space you because you feel the need to make the most of it. Remember: less is more.
You want your home to promote a sense of efficiency and flow. To help you feel in charge of your space and maintain a clear head, keep your home clean and uncluttered. Put items you need and use most near you and out in the open.
Tip: A well-positioned mirror can dramatically enlarge the visual area of a room.
Stress-free Design: Color Your World
Never underestimate the effects a simple color can have on your general well-being.
According to experts at the American Psychology Association, there is a certain psychology to invoke the right mood in every room of your house.
Walls painted blue, sage green or other light-colored walls produce a calming effect perfect for the bedroom or other places geared toward relaxation.
Always remember to keep the design of your home cohesive, with minimal style and color clashes. Some people enjoy bold colors as a way to keep them motivated. But it could also prove overwhelming to others. That is, if you’re aiming for stress-free, it could lead to a headache-inducing, chaotic mess.
Flat, matte finishes are also less visually intense and appear more soothing than high gloss finishes that increase the vibrancy of the color.
Believe it or not, color also pertains to what’s below the surface.
Research has shown people tend to gravitate toward light-colored wood that shows its grain, rather than non-grain surfaces like Formica or dark wood. Wood is even preferred over clean, modern materials such as chrome and glass. However, try to keep it under 45 percent coverage. Studies also show it tends to lose its stress-busting impact if wood-grain coverage goes too far.
Stress-free Design: Set your Sights
Along with the benefits of mood enhancing Vitamin D, natural lighting is a major booster for general well-being. Studies even show it’s useful in treating seasonal effective disorder, a form of depression that creeps up in the winter months.
For eye-level windows, aim for views of natural, calming scenery. Ever notice how certain places, like the dentist’s office, have calming sights? Looking at pastoral landscapes and other types of tranquil distractions can give your mind a rest. Research shows it helps you step out of your thinking realm and tune into your feelings. If possible, avoid overlooking busy sidewalks or roads full of sounds and sights.
No windows? No worries.
Invest in table and floor lamps that provide soft lighting. Avoid overheard fluorescent lighting. This will help create the effect of bright, natural light. There are also light bulbs that simulate natural light, great for creating a tranquil ambiance.
Remember, it’s about lighting up locations and not the entirety of the room. Try to have a variety of light sources. This could include areas where it’s necessary to have brightness, such as on a table next to an area that you read. Highlight focal areas and points such as calming artwork. Or, if you prefer a bit of over-head lighting, invest in a dimmer switch.
Tip: Lacking natural light? Try a low-sheen paint. it bounces light around the room, bringing it to life.
Stress-free Design: Structure your Space
When it comes to unity, proportion and balance of your space, it’s going to boil down to your individual floor plan.
So how do we determine what feels “right?”
Consider the unique functionality of each room. For bedrooms, bathrooms and other relaxing “sanctuaries”, choose calming shapes and lines. This means, choosing furniture to compliment the space in your room without upsetting its equilibrium. That is, avoiding a single statement piece such as a dresser in the far end of a room.
Good news? The need for balance doesn’t have to be boring. A good rule of thumb is sticking to the Golden Ratio of Symmetry and Proportion in design.
Keeping minimalist designs free of clutter is the key to continued stress-free living.
Most people live pretty hectic lives that come with a side of clutter. According to experts, having too many belongings in a room can actually cause claustrophobia. This why a key measure to positive energy is not having to worry about mess and junk.
It is easy for homes to become cluttered. We have so many belongings that rooms are easily filled and your space starts to induce a sense of claustrophobia. To avoid this, your home should be a space where you can kick back and relax, basking in positive energy and not worrying about mess and junk. Having fewer belongings can often feel liberating and will make your interiors feel more spacious and calming.
To reiterate earlier, furniture can play a major role in your environment. Try not to opt for furniture that is larger than necessary. Relaxing environments honor your need for space and privacy. When you design your home, be thinking about where you’ll place furnishings.
When thinking about your floor plan, consider places where you spend a good portion of your time. Or, what about other homes you’ve visited and the features you enjoyed.
Tip: Draw up a plan to decide where your furniture pieces will go prior to purchasing. Arrange rooms for a smooth flow of traffic through the home.
Stress-free Design: Keep it Simple
If the thought of decluttering your home is stressful in itself, there’s good news.
Even small remodeling projects can vastly improve your spirits. An unrelated action such as painting the front door or swapping out a painting for one that’s more calming brings a fresh outlook. Or, rearranging furniture can help with healing and making your environment that much more meaningful.
Designing for serenity is a personal process, but it affects much more than the self. Through the harmonious arrangement of colors, patterns, and shapes, every being in the household—albeit children, pets, and aging parents — will be positively impacted by incorporating these types of changes in the home.