The final stretch of winter often means frayed nerves, coughs and colds, and plain old cold weather blues. Coming home to a restorative environment can do so much to alleviate the frenzy of winter. I asked members of our design team to share their ideas of what brings a sense of calm to a home and here are a few of their suggestions:
This was the number one suggestion from everyone. No one ever associated a Zen atmosphere with stuffed closets or messy countertops. Clutter promotes a sense of chaos that is disturbing and unsettling. But de-cluttering is work and decisions need to be made. First, adopt the purging mindset. Second, decide what your criteria and benchmarks are going to be. Some folks use the “if I have not used it in a year, it’s gone” approach. A relatively new and trendy method is asking for every object in your home: “Does this give me joy?” Third, be ruthless. It’s scientific…to create more space, stuff has to go. Full stop. Remember a simplified, clean space is a calm space.
There is a proven connection between the cooler side of the color wheel and a sense of calm. So why not experiment with warm gray, heather blue or sea-glass green. Natural beiges and whites are also very effective…so go ahead…paint a wall, accessorize with new pillows or a classic wool throw or invest in new bedding.
Work on a calming playlist and mix it up. Some classical mixed with new age, jazz and art/indie rock help create a meditative background.
Clean Windows and Candles
Lighting is so important when it comes to mood. Plenty of natural light cheers the soul, so as soon as it is warm enough, clean those windows. Nothing makes a house feel more ready for spring than glistening glass panes. And for those remaining long winter nights, candles are not only a hint of romance but also a source of tranquility. Avoid scented candles and stick with white…tea lights, votives, chunky pillars…there really is no room in your home that doesn’t benefit from candlelight.
A soft fragrance does wonders to calm stress and nothing can replace the beauty of a natural floral scent. Splurge on a flat of paper whites for a more subtle fragrance or go full out with hyacinths, a true harbinger of spring.