How to create a calm interior
We live in a crazy world these days, with stress and anxiety constantly rearing their ugly heads. Now, more than ever, we need to make our homes a sanctuary; and to ensure that when you open the door you are met with a soothing, not to mention restorative, sense of calm.
Here are a few of our top tips on how to create a peaceful environment in your home:
BALANCE AND SYMMETRY
Walking into a space that feels thoroughly thought out and mindfully planned will automatically create a sense of calm. We find that using symmetry in a room instantly helps to make it feel balanced.
This sitting area leads off a busy family kitchen. It’s a great example of how a well designed and perfectly balanced room can transform a chaotic space into an inviting place in which to relax. The symmetrical layout of the sofas and tables in front of the triptych of mirrors gives an immediate sense of order and serenity.
Large spaces in particular need expert planning to ensure that there are “zones” that can be used separately, as well as linked when the home is busy with people.
These 3 images show how we designed one large space to incorporate multiple zones. The zones we included were: a main seating area, a dining space, a small work station, a breakfast bar and a “snug” corner to retreat to if you wanted a quiet space in which to read a book, mediate or simply contemplate life.
As with every interior, colour is key when it comes to mindful design. Of course, colour choice is personal: what colours make you feel calm? We often find that the colours our clients choose to wear help to make them feel really relaxed when used in the home. If you don’t know what colours you like, use a paint chart to find out - you’ll find that your eye is naturally drawn to one end of the spectrum.
In this bedroom, which was up in the eaves of a London townhouse, we used a selection of soft whites and pastels with warm undertones. We mixed textures to create a serene space to escape the hustle and bustle of the street outside.
Comfort is key to making you want to curl up and chill out in a space, which is why we ‘sit test’ each and every seat we supply. After all if a product isn’t comfortable, what’s the point?
This country sitting room is one of our favourites. The addition of lots of cushions and throws makes the space extra snug, so you can kick back, relax and focus on how great it is to be alive!
Lighting is essential for a true sense of wellbeing. We all need our daily dose of vitamin D to feel well and energised, and it is vital we get some natural daylight each day. But how we use inside light is crucial too. This is why we use a variety of different lighting styles, such as task lighting and accent lighting to create atmosphere and warmth – lighting, after all, is so much more than simply having light to see by.
If you are lucky enough to have lots of natural light then maximise it: create your key spaces around places with big windows and make sure curtains and blinds don’t block out too much natural light during the day.
This sitting room in the basement of a mews house only gets a minimal amount of natural light coming in via a roof light. To counteract the lack of natural light, we had to make sure to provide additional lighting that was not only balanced but could also worked at different levels to compliment the room’s many different uses. We used warm lights to help add a sense of calm and to make the room really welcoming.
A glowing fire or collection of lit candles can also add light to a space. They both, when lit, give an immediate sense of tranquillity and have the added bonus of giving off a great smell too.
BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN
We all know that being around nature helps us to feel happy and relaxed. If you are lucky enough to have outside space, no matter how small, it is worth making the most of it. Adding a few plant pots and chairs not only allows you to sit outside on a sunny day, but has the added bonus of making the interior of your home feel even calmer. Added to which, looking out on a little bit of green, even on a grey day, is great for the endorphins.