Is your home your absolute favorite place to be? I believe it should be. Don’t get me wrong; most of us love a nice tropical vacation from time to time. However, when it comes to the place that makes you feel like the embrace of a nice warm hug, home is what it’s all about! I think that’s one of the reasons I love my job so much. Interior design truly has the power to transform any space into what we want and need it to be. With the craziness of today’s world and our nonstop schedules, having a tranquil place to return to each day shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be everyone’s normal practice. If you’ve been wishing for that to be your reality, I’ll help get you started with easy tips in this blog!
The Power of Home
Most people never think about the concept of “home” outside of a structure that keeps us warm and dry each day. But our homes do so much, and they mean so much! I have been blessed to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, an organization that has made it its mission to fight for everyone to have access to fair and safe housing. I can think of no better reason for what I do than this. I also work to end child marriage and FGM in Kenya, and one of the biggest risks the girls and women take on the road to a better life is leaving the home they know with nothing but hope for a safer future. They often live in buildings that also house the classrooms they attend.
Home for so many is a sanctuary. It is where we look forward to resting after a long day of work and stressors. It is the place we raise our children, gather with our loved ones and take shelter from storms. Home is everything. So finding ways to ensure these spaces can transform into the ultimate in tranquility is so important. More than that, though, it is achievable with the right choices in interior design.
Summon the Spa
When a client tells me they want a space to feel peaceful, one of the first things I do is consider the places that immediately conjure up those relaxing vibes. For many, that is the spa! Spas typically feature neutral color palettes of white with hints of shades of blue. A good rule of thumb is to go with creamy neutrals when your goal is tranquility because it tends to make the space feel…well, spa-like!
If you’re not a fan of those particular hues, don’t feel pressured to use them. The next step is to simply consider when you feel the most at ease. What do your surroundings look like in those moments? For instance, say you adore bright yellow. Your first thought may be to put it all over your room, because it makes you happy, right? Wrong! Colors affect us in various ways. That means, you can love yellow, but if it energizes you, maybe it’s best in a space meant more for productivity than relaxation. So remember to hone in on the shades that bring about a serene feeling when you’re using home design for these results.
Don’t Forget Your Senses
All too often we forget that interior design isn’t just about what you see, it’s also how a space engages the other senses. Creating a calm space involves the way things smell as well. In fact, you can impact the way someone feels in a space with smell in several ways! I’ve heard realtors talk about baking cookies when they are doing open houses for homes they’re looking to sell. Why? Because it evokes a certain familiar (and positive) feeling. That could potentially sway things for a potential buyer while they peruse the home.
You can use a similar trick with something like candles or a diffuser. We can even take another nod from the spa here. Masseuses will often use scented oils and lotions on their clients. Now, of course those are needed so that their hands glide over skin more easily. However, much of the benefit lies in the aromatic quality of the oils and lotions. In fact, the National Institute of Health, or NIH conducted a study that proved that after inhalation of certain essential oils “Different sets of responses would be triggered…” that “… would ultimately affect both mood and emotion.” Grab some calming scents and let them waft through your home. You’ll definitely feel the tranquil vibes!
Be Inspired By Your Favorite Places
Where is your favorite place on earth, besides your own home? When you think of that place, what are the first things that come to mind? Is it the way the sun shines in a particular way that feels warm and soothing? If so, consider smart lighting! You can purchase bulbs for your fixtures that allow you to change the shade of light and even when it comes on each day in order to mimic that relaxing orange hue that you love.
If your mind immediately goes to the architectural features of a place, such as the structure of the houses, or the ornate gates, I can help you find ways to incorporate them in your space. I loved the detailing of the doors in Morocco, and I knew I wanted to capture a bit of that at my own home. I sourced a hundred year old gate and had it custom painted. It remains one of my favorite parts of that house.
It isn’t unusual to cling to memories of the natural and physical characteristics of a place. Often, people will mention how comforting they found the sounds of waterfalls in their favorite locales. They will remark about the beauty of the trees and green grass, or the rich blue tones in the ocean. When I hear these comments, I immediately begin to think about how to bring those components to their spaces in imaginative ways.
Soothing Sounds and Natural Beauty
Fountains are a beautiful way to bring in the sounds of running water, and they can be used in many places throughout the home. They can be as decorative or organic looking as you wish. I have placed them in and around bathrooms in my projects, and they’re always a huge hit. Of course, using gorgeous greenery to surround yourself with nature is always a great idea! I even have a trick for those who aren’t blessed with a green thumb. Interior design can be a visceral and palpable experience if you lean into your own sensitivities and passions.
Décor that feels well-traveled is always a great addition to a space, because it becomes a conversation starter as well as a memory trigger tied to serenity. Get retrospective and really dive into the feelings you get when you are in the lands that make you feel most at home. We can easily recreate those sensations with interior design!
Your home isn’t a place that should be tolerated. It should be celebrated. I want my clients to be excited to return home each day. I want them to know that no matter what life throws at them throughout the day from work and other stressful encounters, they get to go home to an atmosphere rich in relief. If you’re seeking a tranquil home, contact me on The Expert! Let’s design one together.