By Elaine Quigley
Your home should be your sanctuary, but sometimes it’s hard to brush off the stress of the day and sink into the serenity. That’s especially true if your home is more chaos than calm. Use these tips to create a space that’s soothing, so, no matter what the day holds, you always have an inviting place to come home to.
Add some greenery
Studies have shown that plants can make your home feel calmer and ease anxiety. Plants like jasmine and English ivy can improve sleep, lavender and rosemary can lower stress, and several other plants have been shown to improve air quality so you breathe easier.
Hide the electronics
“Nobody wants to stare at a tangle of cords,” said Houzz. “Thankfully, we have more options than ever for keeping our tech devices hidden away. When possible, choose smaller, wireless devices that look less obtrusive even when left out in the open. Tie up cords in a media center so they are not visible, and dedicate a single drawer to storing all of your chargers, power cords and small tech devices when they’re not in use.”
Get a dog
Or a cat, a bird, or a turtle, for that matter. Yes, having a pet can mean more noise and more mess. But, there are all kinds of studies that show that having a pet lowers stress. “Researchers found that pet-owning patients with high blood pressure could keep their blood pressure lower during times of mental stress than patients without pets,” said AnimalSmart.org. “Another study shows that pet owners may also have increased odds of surviving for at least a year after having a heart attack.”
Clear the clutter
Going all Marie Kondo on your home can have surprising effects on your mental state. “Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves,” said psychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter in Psychology Today. “Messy homes and work spaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed.”
Tone down the harsh colors
There’s something to be said for going bold, but soft colors can bring on a calming feeling. If you want a deeper color, consider shades of blues and greens—two colors that are known to be more serene than, say bright yellow, orange or red.
Clean up your entryway
It’s the first place guests see, and while you probably don’t pass by or through your front entry all that often if you park in the garage, it may not feel as welcoming as you’d like when you do.
Soften the lighting
Harsh overhead lighting can make you feel like you’re being interrogated, and can also be hard on your eyes. If you need to keep it because the space will be too dark otherwise, a dimmer can at least give you some control over just how bright it is, and allow you to create a mood with lower lighting as needed.
Limit the patterns
“Opt for solids and subtle patterns,” said Houzz. “Busy patterns have their place, but if you’re aiming for calm, then solid fabrics are your friends. Don’t be afraid to include subtle patterns, though: herringbone, tone-on-tone stripes, and tiny dots can add textural interest without competing for attention.”
Buy some fresh flowers
According to a study by Rutgers, “The presence of flowers triggers happy emotions, heightens feelings of life satisfaction and affects social behavior in a positive way far beyond what was originally believed.”
Make your master bedroom a zen zone
Getting good rest is key, and there are several ways you can create a soothing space. Keeping the colors serene is pivotal, and so is a good mattress. Loading the bed up with soft textures can also help. “The sensation of touch is often overlooked, but a powerful way to unwind.”
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Westborough, MA 01581