Interior design can be defined as the art and science of enhancing the interior aesthetics of a room or building to achieve a healthier environment for people to enjoy. The physical environment in which you surround yourself in plays a major role in your mood and mental well-being so no matter how stressful your day-to-day life can get, your home should be a safe haven, a place to de-stress and switch off.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Whether you realise it or not, your eyes are constantly scanning your environment and sending signals to your brain. If you have lots of visible clutter, this causes your brain to take in an overload of visual information causing you to feel stressed and even claustrophobic.
Minimalistic design is a trans-artistic philosophy and a proliferating popular trend born in the later 21st century in response to a visual overstimulation that characterised our culture and society in the 20th century, particularly the 60s.
Whether it be in your bedroom, living room or kitchen, keeping your clutter out on show will contribute to your stress levels as your eyes are working harder. Having adequate storage to keep your things out of sight is key to reducing stress. Ensure that your things are stored in ways that are easily accessible as this will also reduce stress (we all have that one cupboard that we never open because we know nothing else can go in or out).
Colour is a magnificent tool for reducing stress and has a significant impact on your mood and well-being. Science has proved that looking at specific colours can relax you.
The colour blue is mainly associated with emotions of calmness and tranquility. Blue has tremendous power to manage stress by soothing your mind, slow down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure and reduce anxiety. It is important to note that blue is also a very cool toned colour, so picking the right shade is vital.
Green and Yellow are extremely peaceful and warm colours. Not only will these bring a sense of happiness and warmth to a room, but their symbolization of nature is said to be comforting which defuses anxiety and stress. Beige greens and pale yellows are the most stress-reducing shades as they are soft on the eye.
White symbolizes clarity and peace and is a great colour to be surrounded by in times of stress as it can clear your thoughts and make you feel fresh. Off-white is a great choice if you want your room to remain feeling cosy and warm.
Lighting is one of the biggest opportunities to effectively influence the ambience of your home. It can encourage a wide range of emotional responses from causing stress and unease to making things calm or romantic.
A well-lit living room will make you feel energized and happier however this doesn’t mean with a main light. Natural light is the most effective source of light which is proven to energize and lift moods. This can be achieved through the use of large windows and open spaces.
Mirrors are also a great way of manipulating light by reflecting light back into the room as well as creating the illusion of more space.
Your end of day, pre-slumber ritual is an important step in transitioning from stressful day to a calm relaxing wind-down. Lower light levels will help you make this transition, so it is a good idea to have one or two lamps to light up small areas of the room, as opposed to a main light.
Dimmer switches are the best and easiest way of changing your lighting by allowing you to create a soft glow as well as lighting the whole room. Creating a softer glow will instantly help you to feel more relaxed and less anxious.
Fairy lights are the best way to add a magical and therapeutic ambience to any room. Choose warm toned fairy lights such as orange and warm white instead of cool toned lights such as white or blue as these will make the room feel cold and unnatural.
Simple and Natural Furniture
Zen style furniture can be characterised by simple and clear lines whilst avoiding complicated detailing and patterns and bright colours. Such style is typically found in modern furniture trends as opposed to dated or antique pieces that tend to be flamboyant and heavy on the eye.
The furniture should be of high quality and use naturally sourced materials as these tend to bring a sense of warmth and relaxation. If decorating your bedroom to creating a calming space, then a good idea is to place your bed close to a source of natural light and avoid placing it near the door or passage area.
Adding a beanbag to the corner of a room is a great reminder of taking time to relax as the bean bag offers a full body support and level of comfort that you cannot typically find on a sofa chair. The ultimate level of relaxation is achieved when your whole body is relaxed which can be achieved when using a bean bag.
Bringing nature into the home is a great way of adding a sense of calmness and tranquility into a room. They also have a number of health benefits too, including the ability to soothe headaches, reduce anxiety and aid a better nights sleep.
The Red-edged Dracaena is a great way of adding a pop of vibrancy to the room with its purply/red edges and green stem. The fast-growing shrub is also great for its air purifying properties which promote a clean and relaxing ambience.
The Areca Palm plant purifies the air as well as being extremely easy to maintain. It is able to remove unwanted toxins from the air which can help reduce anxiety levels and blood pressure as well as contribute to a better sleep.
Spider plants remove carbon monoxide from the air which creates more oxygen, a method to have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels. These plants look especially night in a hanging basket which is a unique and quirky décor idea that works well in larger rooms with lots of ceiling space. Although this does not alway have to be treated with vinegar like most people think you should. Although the acid in vinegar is great at dissolving dirt, it also discards any shine and polish leaving your floors dull and matte.