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17 soothing home decor ideas to make you feel less stressed
Here's how to create a sense of serenity at home.
Apr 20, 2022
Feeling stressed? From enhancing natural light to decorating with calming hues, there are lots of ways to create a sense of serenity at home.
Our indoor spaces can have a fundamental effect on how we feel. According to research conducted by Magnet Kitchens , more than 80 per cent of Brits believe paint colours can have a positive effect on our mood and wellbeing, while over a third say pastel colours are most likely to evoke happy feelings.
'The importance of our homes being a haven for relaxation is ever increasing, and colour psychology plays a huge part in that,' Tobie Lewis, Senior Brand Manager at Valspar Paint , tells House Beautiful UK. 'Colours such as hazy greens, blues, and greys are ideal for creating a de-stimulating environment to combat stress and enhance relaxation. Applying the right colour combinations in the appropriate room will help design the most effective palettes for soothing and mood-boosting interiors.'
Whether it's your bedroom or living room, keep reading for everything you need to know about soothing all the senses at home...
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1 Incorporate calming blue
Blue instils peace, tranquillity, calmness and serenity, as well as helping to reduce pangs of anxiety. According to previous research by B&Q , blue is a natural healer that can soothe us, improve wellbeing, and, in some cases, even lower our blood pressure. If you're not currently renovating, we recommend painting your kitchen cabinets to lift the mood of your room. You won't regret it.
Pictured: 'Chichester' kitchen from Neptune Kitchen . From £8,000
2 Go neutral
The spring season is the ideal time to transform your home into a calming, stress-free sanctuary. Not sure where to start? Transform your home with neutral hues, Scandi-style furniture and light linen fabrics.
Pictured: John Lewis dining table, chairs and accessories
3 Pretty in pink
Graham & Brown
Warm and comforting, pink is often associated with having a calming effect on people. No longer just kept for girls' bedrooms, grown-up pink can look quite smart when used around the home. We love how warm and inviting it looks in this boot room (left), used on both the cabinets and the panelled wall .
Pictured: 'Spiced Mulberry' by Graham & Brown
4 Discreet florals
James Merrell/Farrow & Ball
'Small wallpaper designs are often the most successful for calming interiors, such as pretty and discreet florals,' says Patrick O’ Donnell from Farrow & Ball . 'Try to avoid anything too challenging or busy – regarding the palette, think soft greys, neutrals, dusty pinks, or pale greens.'
Pictured: Wallpaper by Farrow & Ball in ' Atacama ', £114 for 10m roll
5 Organise your office space
Wondering how to create a calm and productive office space? If you're lucky enough to have your own study (or a work zone in another room), keep it clean, clear from clutter and free from distractions. A desk with drawers will give you a useful spot to pop papers and pens, while a well-lit room will help you focus on busy days.
When it comes to soothing paint colours, opt for an off-white. It's a great natural hue for inspiring minds.
Pictured: Shop the full look at John Lewis
6 Pick earthy shades
Bringing the feeling of a five-star spa into your own bathroom is not always easy. Natural materials can enhance your wellbeing and create a calm atmosphere, so we recommend choosing earthy shades or terracotta hues on your walls. You can add colour through accessories, or keep things natural with plants, foliage and wooden features.
Pictured: Bathroom accessories all Dunelm
7 Combine lights with darks
Colour blocking walls with paint is a great way to add drama and oomph to your space. Whites might be a go-to when creating a calming space, but a two-tone approach can work just as well in keeping things relaxed. Top tip: You'll need a steady hand and some masking tape.
Pictured: Walls painted in Mono Tones 01 and Mono Tones 09 from the House Beautiful paint collection at Homebase
8 Try wallpaper in the kitchen
Graham & Brown
Kitchens are the hub of the home and often the centre of family life, making them excellent places for taking a design risk. Need some inspiration? Featuring a tranquil blue backdrop with pops of soft yellow and sugary pink throughout, this breathtaking wallpaper from Graham & Brown (left) looks like a work of art, and is sure to keep everyone calm, even on those mornings when the whole household is running late.
Pictured: 'Edulis Sky' wallpaper by Graham & Brown
9 Keep it classic with white
Romney Wool, Dulux Heritage
Versatile and timeless, the best white paint colours stand easily on their own as a design element. We all love dabbling in dark shades (you only need to scroll through Instagram to see) but a crisp white scheme can work wonders when it comes to designing a soothing space. And breathe...
'Because white brings in light, it can cause an uplift in mood and bring an element of serenity if we are overstimulated,' says Lee Chambers, colour psychologist and founder of Essentialise . 'It also can really open a space both physically and in our minds.'
Pictured: 'Romney Wool' by Dulux Heritage
10 Let nature take over
Whether you're embarking on a full redecorating project or simply updating a tired-looking room with accessories, let nature take over. Being outdoors, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings, making it an excellent starting point for the home.
'As we move into springtime with its crisp mornings and sunny days, keep a neutral calming palette in the home,' Paula Taylor, Trend Specialist at Graham & Brown, tells us.
'The latest trend for baked warm colours fits perfectly in with this, as we see rich and inviting earthy shades work perfectly with either the contemporary grey shades or for a more tranquil timeless appeal pare back with clay and putty neutrals.'
Shop the full look at Dobbies
11 Keep your kitchen light
Keeping calm in the kitchen is vital (recipe testing can be a stressful affair), so you'll want to keep it bright, light and functional. Green might be the hottest kitchen hue of the year, but you can never go wrong with a soft, pale grey. Classic Shaker lines – like the Westbourne kitchen from the House Beautiful range at Homebase – is key to a streamlined, clutter-free look.
Pictured: Westbourne in 'Cobble' from the House Beautiful at Homebase range
12 Go green
James Merrell/Farrow & Ball
Green works in just about every room in your home. 'Deep greens such as Bancha help create a symbiosis between the interior and exterior, especially if you are fortunate to look out over nature,' explains Patrick.
Pictured: Walls painted in 'Bancha' by Farrow & Ball , £56 for 2.5L Modern Emulsion
13 Opt for white furnishings
As much as we love a colourful room, there is one colour palette that will never go out of fashion: creamy whites. Once you've painted your walls with a refreshing fix of white, complete the look by picking up a bouclé sofa. Famous for its fleecy, teddy bear-like appearance, there really is nothing more comforting and cosy.
Pictured: Walls painted in 'Silent White - Pale' by Little Greene
14 Go rustic
Our lives are fast-paced and hectic, so it's important to ensure our homes are as calming as possible. If you're lucky enough to be planning a kitchen refurb, tap into a rustic scheme: think open wooden shelving, industrial touches, flagstone flooring and shaker-style cabinets.