There’s nothing worse than going home after a long, stressful day only to feel just as on-edge within your own four walls. And while there could be any number of stressors settling in around your home sweet home, more often than not there are ways to de-stress and decompress simply by making a few interior design changes. You may be surprised to learn that the way you decorate your home has a direct effect on your mood and energy. In fact, there’s a new field of study called neuroarchitecture that researches exactly how humans respond to the environment around them. While the study is still young and developing, there are some very interesting findings which are being made everyday! From aromatherapy to the fabrics you use in your decorating, we’ve found four easy steps you can take to make your home more relaxing.
Scents and Aromatherapy
For instant relaxing energy, turn to aromatherapy. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to stimulate the olfactory system which is the part of the brain that is connected to the sense of smell. Different scents send different signals from the olfactory system to the limbic system that controls emotions. The limbic system then releases chemicals that cause the person to feel relaxed. Aromatherapy can be used to stimulate and awaken as well, but relaxation is by far the most common goal of aroma therapy practices today.
When you want a relaxing, calming atmosphere, use these scents:
Sounds of Nature
Do you go home and relax by watching TV or playing a videogame? You could be doing more harm than good. Studies have shown that while you may think having the TV on in the background is a white noise that helps keep you calm, it’s one of the worst sounds to listen to when you’re trying to relax, similar to trying to relax in a busy office setting. Instead, listen to nature. Babbling brooks or mountain streams have the perfect amount of randomness to their sounds that they act as relaxing white noise. So next time you need to take a few deep breaths, find a fountain to sit by or download sounds of mountain streams. Or, you could set up your own surround sound system in your home to play the soothing sounds of nature when you get home from work.
Soft, Cozy Fabrics
There’s a reason spas use super soft, terry cloth robes. Soft fabrics make you feel cozy and relaxed. To bring the atmosphere of a relaxing spa to your home, invest in soft, fluffy, and cozy fabrics. Drape faux fur over the back of your couch or use them as rugs to muffle unwanted sounds. Keep a pile of thick, cotton blankets by your bed and use soft towels for your bathroom to give it a spa-like atmosphere.
Paint Your Walls
Color is the biggest asset you can have when creating a calming and relaxing home. If the color of your walls hurts your eyes when you look at it, it’s not helping you relax. Nothing is better than going home after a long day of work and settling down on your couch with a faux fur blanket, in a calming blue room, with some lavender incense burning, and the sounds of a bubbling brook playing. Blue is, according to research, the most calming and tranquil color for most people. The second best color for relaxing rooms is green. Neutral colors such as white and beige are also considered very calming. If you’re looking for the ultimate way to make your home relaxing, calming, and tranquil, repaint your walls.