These past two weeks have been a couple of the most particularly busy and mentally “on” weeks I can remember. There has been dancing, teaching, choreographing, planning, packing, traveling, unpacking, preparing for company, cleaning the house…ufta.
I don’t know about you all, but I want my home to be a place of exhale. However, relaxation means different things to different people. Some may take a hike and get the heart rate up to relieve stress, while others take a soak in the tub with soft music playing to unwind. In the home beautification process, it’s important to choose colors, themes, furniture placement and accessories that allow you the privilege of walking into the room, sighing a deep, satisfactory *sigh* and being grateful for a home that soothes you.
Here are 5 ways you can create a calming presence in your home intentionally:
1. Choose YOUR “calm colors”
Mine are, for sure, white, light grey and pale blue. Like the frothy end of a wave, that’s the color scheme that makes me most relax.
This is a painting done by Francine Bradette, although this particular painting is sold out, you can purchase Francine’s work here.
The above painting showcases my “calm” colors. Others might appreciate deep, warm colors such as maroon, marigold, deep green or plum. Going on Pinterest and searching for “warm colors”, “calm colors”, “blue color scheme”, etc. will bring up a sampling of color palettes, see what jumps out at you and go from there.
2. Set the mood with lighting
For me, natural light is the most calming light during the daytime hours. If I am in a room with little to no natural light, I feel confined and stuffy. We are oh-so-blessed to live in a home with floor to ceiling windows in our main living area. I rarely leave this space during the day because the outpouring of natural light refreshes my mind regularly.
Think about what makes your mind stopping racing with the details of the day…is it a dimly lit room with a fire crackling? Is it candles everywhere? Is it a bright and sunny corner looking out over a lake? Whatever it is,try to replicate that lighting in your calm room. If you want dimly lit, try installing dimmer switches instead of flick on or off switches. Or, try lower voltage lightbulbs.
In the evening, candles are my perfect transition from day to night lighting. They are EVERYWHERE in my house.
Lighting plays a huge role in the mood of a room.
3. Use textural and tactile details to create a resting place
For me, this means soft-to-the-touch blankets and pillows on the couch, a fur rug under my feet and cushioned place to lay out.
You need to create an environment that beckons you to rest. One can assume that means you need a sitting or laying down space.
I had a friend who spent months looking for the perfect reading chair. She scoured thrift stores and garage sales until she found a chair that felt like her. She now describes that chair as “her chair” and she spends much of her time reading, thinking, praying and exhaling in that chair. She lives in a house with multiple other girls, so her private bedroom is her calm room. The chair, is the resting space she created within the calm room.
4. Choose your scent
….or family of scents. As I mentioned before, candles are where it’s at for me. Scent, as many scientists will tell you, plays a huge role in mood and thought process. When I light a candle in my calm room, the familiar scent of gardenia transports me to a sun-filled meadow by the sea. Find a scent you love and strategically place the candles near your resting place and where the scent can fill the room quickly.
Not a fan of open flame? An aromatherapy diffuser might be your trick:
It’s cute too, no? Just add any essential oil to the diffuser, add water and the diffuser will shake the water until it creates a scented steam that fills the room. You can buy this diffuser on Amazon.com here.
5. Create a sound barrier
…and only let in the sounds that soothe you. For me, I need near silence to feel at rest. Right now, I am listening to my Back to the Roots Aqua Farm aquarium (coolest thing ever by the way) trickle through it’s water cycle- very soothing.
My hubby appreciates soft music in the background when he is trying to focus and/or rest. If you’re like Luke, perhaps creating a “calm playlist” in iTunes or on Pandora or Spotify would help fill your space with relaxing sounds. By creating a playlist, you remove the work factor of creating a new collection of relaxing tunes each day.
My brother likes the sounds of nature to be his backdrop. If you are in his camp, I would suggest a sound machine or a water fountain. Or heck, combine your lighting and sound machine into one with this lamp:
This lamp actually gradually wakes you up with natural light and sounds, but can also be used during the day for mood lighting. Luke and I have a version of this, and it’s great. You can buy it here.
I highly suggest taking even just one room of your home and creating a calm room using these 5 ideas. Think of it as a retreat within a retreat where you can go rest up for what lies ahead. It’s important to rest my friends.
Color, lighting, tactiles, scent and sound.
Keep calm all.
Do you have a space in your home that allows you to exhale? Do any of these 5 tips speak to you directly?