Our homes are supposed to have a lot of functions, which can be one of the hardest challenges of decorating — how do you create a space that is not only appropriate for everyone living there, but also for all of the activities you like to do there (yoga, post work cocktail hour with just yourself, Netflix-and-chill)? But, of all the things that your home should be is a place of calm, a small part of the world that makes you feel comfortable. While we can’t dictate the decorating terms of what makes a space a place of visual comfort for you (some prefer extreme minimalism, others crave pattern and color), there are certainly a few things to consider that are pretty universal to make sure your home is sending you and others who share it good vibes.
Here’s our list of tips for a calm space:
We had to get this one out of the way, because although it’s obvious, it’s still one of the biggest obstacles to making us feel happy in our homes. Take a weekend to go through that big pile of old bills, or clean out your wardrobe (we advise a one year rule, if you haven’t worn it in the past 12 months, donate it). It’s not fun (unless you are obsessed with organization and in that case, first of all, we envy you, and second of all this tip probably doesn’t apply). So, to make it something that you’ll want to tackle on a weekend, save a great bottle of wine, or the promise of your favorite take-out to reward all of your hard work.
We’re not talking about a cosmetic clean, we’re talking a deep clean. According to the principles of feng shui, making sure that all of your drains are completely unclogged and well functioning, for example, brings proper flow to your home. We recommend washing or dry cleaning your sofa covers, steaming your carpets, and getting the grease stains off your oven. No part of your home should be questionably clean.
3. Maximize daylight
Another principle of feng shui is to have as much daylight in your house as possible. Although heavy drapes can look fantastic, they aren’t helpful in making sure your home feels cheerful and fresh — solar shades or semi-sheer roman shades will give you the privacy you need while still allowing light to come in.
4. Consider you furniture placement
Along with decluttering your home of useless papers and totchkes should be to donate furniture that is crowding up your space. Your home should have a good flow, so if it’s hard to get around your living room, dining room, and bedroom, consider getting rid of less popular pieces. Furniture placement is also key — think about how your room’s layout is working for you. One guideline to think about is to have your sofa placed so that you don’t have your back to the door; instinctually it makes us feel safer.
5. Balance with symmetry
Regardless of your personal style, our brain enjoys symmetry. If you don’t have the ability to purchase new side tables or lamps, rearrange your furniture such that each side of the room feels balanced. In other words, pair two mirrors together, put table lamps of similar heights on either side of your sofa, and don’t put all of the heavy furniture on one side of the room.
6. Bring in a little green
Plants not only bring the outdoors in, but they are our natural air purifiers. It doesn’t matter if it looks like Gotham outside your window, you can find a little peace by bringing in a fig tree or a row of potted flowers. Keep an eye out later this week for a round up of our favorite plant-focused tech products on the market.
7. Always let a little fresh air in
Even if it’s 20 degrees outside, for at least 10 minutes a day have several windows open to let fresh air in. Try to open windows on opposite ends of your home to let a current run through your space. And if you want to take it a step further, there are lots of great, aesthetically appealing air purifiers to purchase.
8. Consider the lines of your furniture
How many sharp angled pieces do you have versus those that are curvy? Too much of one or the other can throw off the feel of a space — too many angles feels visually aggressive and too many curves lacks structure. Interiors need balance, so if you are looking for a new coffee table, check to see if your sofa has more curved or angular lines.