Wish you could transport yourself to a tranquil oasis, far from the bustle of everyday life? We can’t beam you to a private island, but if you want to create a peaceful retreat at home, that we can help with. Choose from these 10 ideas to infuse your home with a calming, peaceful vibe. A burbling fountain, a meditation room, soothing hues and more ahead.
1. Opt for Solids and Subtle Patterns
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.
2. Bring In Natural Materials
Natural elements bring a calming energy that is beneficial in every room. Choose from woven baskets, natural-fiber rugs, unvarnished wood and natural collections of all kinds. Seashells, stones, driftwood, pressed leaves and flowers — anything from nature goes.
3. Use Restful Hues
This will mean cool, watery blues and greens for some. But cool colors aren’t the only hues that can have a restful influence — if blues aren’t your cup of tea, try muted shades of rose, taupe, peach or mocha.
4. Use Plenty of Closed Storage
Visual noise is anything you can see that stresses you out — reduce this, and your space will immediately feel calmer. Use closed cupboards, drawers and closets to hide most of your belongings, and be discerning about what you choose to keep on display. For instance: an open shelf with a bud vase and an art print, a cleared table with a single bloom in a bowl of water, or a row of seashells on the dresser.
5. Get the Light Right
Natural light is always preferable to artificial, so during daylight hours keep window treatments open — or, if an unattractive view is an issue, opt for sheer curtains that let the light in. As the light begins to fade, reach for the soft glow of string lights, candles, lanterns and lamps rather than the glare of overhead lighting. Especially at bedtime when you’re beginning to wind down, keeping the lights low will help ease you into a restful sleep.
6. Hide Your Tech
Nobody wants to stare at a tangle of cords. 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.
7. Soothe With the Sound of Water
A softly burbling fountain can bring the sound of nature to a city apartment, add a soothing soundtrack to your garden and mask the sounds of noisy neighbors. And fountains don’t need to be large or expensive to make an impact — choose a small tabletop version or make your own using the vessel of your choice and a basic fountain kit.
8. Carve Out Some Breathing Space
Whether you use the space to meditate, do yoga or just sit and take a few deep breaths, having a space where you can get away from the bustle of daily life is worth the effort. If you don’t have an entire room to spare, get creative: Take over a corner under the eaves, in the guest room or beside a sunny window. You don’t need much stuff — in fact, it’s the absence of stuff that will make this little corner so relaxing. Try a floor cushion, a candle on a tray and a potted plant for starters.
9. Create an Outdoor Sanctuary
To design an outdoor space that is calming and restful, think about incorporating privacy, lush plants, good smells and pleasing textures. Rather than focusing on activities like grilling and dining, make this a place for quiet chats and solo reflection. Encourage feathered visitors by including pollinator-friendly plantings, and consider offering a fresh water source in the form of a birdbath or bubble rock.
10. Be Choosy About the Little Things
Make it a goal to have less stuff overall but more things you love. This doesn’t need to be an all-at-once activity. Instead, gradually let go of items you don’t love, and take your time choosing when you need to buy something new. Having just the right teacup or footstool is worth the wait.