Interior Design Tips for Making a Room Feel Calm - The House of Routine

Interior Design Tips for Making a Room Feel Calm

This article originally appeared on:

People tend to spend most of their time in their homes, which can be a wonderful haven away from the world. Or, it could be a place where people feel more stress than they do elsewhere. The way a room looks and functions serves as a determiner for the stress it creates or relieves. For people who deal with regular anxiety, making a room feel calm is an integral part of their care. By following these tips, homeowners will know how to design and decorate a space for relaxation and contentment.

Table of Contents

How to Make a Room Feel Calm

To design a room to increase calm and lower stress, people should pay attention to the space's primary function. A few changes or minor upgrades may make a big difference, allowing the décor to have a beneficial effect.

Why It's Important to Declutter

For many homeowners, the process of decluttering is the first significant step toward making a home feel calmer. Unfortunately, clutter can create distractions and cause stress. When people surround themselves with clutter in their communal living spaces, they may find it challenging to pay attention to the tasks they need to complete. Clutter also makes it harder for people to find what they need. In a bedroom, clutter can result in less sleep, often of lower quality.

The good news is that people can usually make significant improvements to the room with a regular commitment to decluttering. If the room is particularly messy or piled high with items, people may want to invest an hour or two to make a lot of progress. They can start with:

Homeowners who do not have a lot of time for cleaning can still make headway on decluttering. In this case, they may prefer to dedicate 15 to 30 minutes each day to the task. By the end of the week, they may notice a significant difference.

Color Can Affect Emotion

Experts have long argued that the color of a room can affect the way people feel while they are in it. For example, a room with lots of bold, reddish tones may increase energy but also stress. By comparison, rooms in cooler shades of blue or green can relieve stress and anxiety. A bright yellow can make people feel happier, but too much of it causes confusion.

In any case, people may want to select cool shades and avoid too many bright colors in their décor. This strategy is particularly true for the bedroom, especially if people want to improve their sleep routines. 

Jen Stark, of Happy DIY Home, says, "many people are surprised to see that green has a calming effect on people, and it's very restful. It can relieve stress, and there have been claims about it improving fertility. It works well in the living room or bedroom."

Soundproofing for Quiet Spaces

A noisy room can be stressful or distracting, so people may want to pay attention to their soundproofing options. In most cases, homeowners only need to make a few simple changes that can dramatically change the dynamic of sound conduction throughout the room. These include:

  • Installing heavy draperies around windows
  • Installing foam tiles on the ceiling or walls
  • Increasing the cushion under flooring
  • Buying furniture with soft upholstery or adding blankets and pillows

Hard flooring is currently popular, but it tends to be noisier than carpet. To fix this problem, people may want to consider a particular type of underlayment for the flooring that will minimize the sound of footsteps. If they do not want to install carpet, they might purchase rugs to go on top of the flooring for softer footfalls.

The Importance of Lighting

People often need several light sources in the room throughout the day. Because lighting varies in color temperature and brightness, it's not surprising that people may have different experiences with distinct lighting types. For example, bright lighting with a blue tint increases alertness, but it can also make it harder to relax. Lighting that mimics the sun and natural sunlight from windows and skylights is known to improve mood. Those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder may need to use lighting with a warmer color temperature, similar to the sun.

In most cases, multiple lighting options are best. Homeowners might want to have bright lights available for work or cleaning tasks. Additionally, adding wall lights or lamps with softer color temperatures may make it easier to calm down after a stressful day. That way, people can choose the approach that works best.

Scent & Anxiety

Aromatherapists have known for centuries the connection between the scents that people keep around them and their stress levels. There are many scents that people can add to the home by growing the plants that emit them or using essential oils placed in a diffuser. These scents commonly include:

  • Lavender
  • Jasmine
  • Sage
  • Vanilla
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint

People should keep in mind that scent can be a powerful tool, but it may not work for everything. For example, using a diffuser to cover over troubling odors may not ultimately solve the problem.

Separating Stressful Spaces

A room does not have to be cluttered or overstuffed to become stressful. For example, larger rooms with too much activity can be a significant trigger for stress. Therefore, people may want to evaluate their activities in the room and plan to divide them.

There may be enough space to create separate stations in a large room, such as one area for work and one area for leisure. In smaller rooms, people can take advantage of wall storage to conceal items needed for specific tasks. That way, they can focus on one activity without seeing equipment or tools for others.

Calm Décor Ideas

For a room to provide comfort and peace, homeowners can shift to selecting décor that will work best for the space. Natural additions like plants and organic textures are ideal for managing stress and improving health.

Natural Textures & Plants

There's a reason that even the most minimalist spaces often include one or two items from nature. Nature is the world's best stress-reliever because it can engage the mind without overstimulating it. People may want to start by encouraging natural lighting in the room as much as possible. The use of light-filtering shades can provide privacy without sacrificing the natural view. People tend to feel better during the day if they can look outside and see trees, gardens, or the sky.

People can also bring much of nature inside the home as well. They should start by researching safe plants to keep in the house, particularly if they have pets or young children. Otherwise, adding a touch of green to the room can improve indoor air quality and relieve anxiety. Popular indoor houseplants include:

  • Palms
  • Succulents, such as Aloe Vera
  • Herbs, like mint or rosemary

People may want to look for a plant that works with the kind of lighting in the room and the level of upkeep they can provide. For homeowners who cannot have plants in the room, adding natural elements like driftwood can give them many of the same benefits.

Using Texture to Create Harmonious Variety

Varying the use of textures can create interest in the room without causing confusion or stress. To create a comfortable room, people may consider adding softer textures to make the space feel more relaxing.

It's essential to keep in mind the ways that colors and patterns can mimic textures. A clash of conflicting patterns in bold colors may make other textures feel too stressful, even if the fabrics are flat. People might prefer to choose one or the other to make the space work in ideal harmony.

Interior Design for a Cozy Room

People may be surprised to discover how much the décor and flow of a room can change its feeling. By opening up the room, adding soft textiles, and creating a functional layout, people can have a perfectly cozy space.

How to Make a Room Warm & Cozy

People do not have to dramatically increase the temperature of a room to make it feel warm and cozy. For example, the addition of furniture, fabrics, and textures may be more than sufficient. Soft lighting in warmer tones can create the sense that the room is comfortable, even before adding furnishings. When selecting furniture and fabrics, homeowners may want to opt for:

  • Plush options, like velvet
  • Faux fur throw blankets
  • Genuine leather, in natural colors
  • Upholstery with a contrasting texture

The style of the furniture itself should be everything that someone needs to relax. For example, a wraparound couch or sectional softens the lines of furniture. Overstuffed cushions are easy to sink into for reading or watching a movie.

Adding natural accents to the walls gives the sense of the outdoors without compromising the softness and warmth of the space. Installing a combination of light-filtering shades and heavy draperies provides a contrast, as well as opportunities to make the room warmer or cooler. For multipurpose rooms, hanging curtains between sections can effectively divide the space and create a cozier area for relaxation.

How to Open Up a Space

A small room may feel cozy by definition, but there are limits to it. Smaller spaces are easier to fill up with furniture or clutter, which can cause more stress than they solve. Instead, homeowners may want to create a design that opens up the room. The best way to do this is to emphasize length or height wherever possible. Experts usually recommend trying one or more of the following ideas:

  • Designing the room around its longest side
  • Minimizing the amount of décor
  • Using one larger piece of furniture, instead of several pieces
  • Choosing sofas or chairs with exposed legs
  • Adding small rugs to divide up spaces in the room
  • Minimizing décor on the walls to make them seem taller
  • Adding color or patterns to the ceiling to draw the eye upward
  • Placing furniture away from the walls
  • Emphasizing wall or floor lighting, not ceiling lights

People may need to try various combinations before they find one that works. Sometimes, even the best ideas can make the room feel smaller by accident. For example, installing a narrow bookshelf around the ceiling gives the illusion of extra height. Installing multiple shelves in the same fashion could make the room feel boxed-in instead of spacious.

Functional Spaces Reduce Stress

Maintenance of the room's décor and layout may be one of the most critical steps. People should consider how they will store items in the room when they are not using them. They may also want to set a regular schedule to tidy the room and remove clutter as necessary.

A room that fills up too quickly might need to have a few items taken out to simplify it. If people can pay attention to these common issues, they can eliminate them so the room will continue to be a sanctuary of comfort and peace.

How to Make a Hotel Room Feel Calm

Although people usually want to make their own living spaces calm, they can also make changes to rooms that aren't theirs. Minor, temporary adjustments to a hotel room can improve mood and make it easier to sleep or relax.

Bring Scents, Sounds & Textures from Home

People tend to be most comfortable when they are at home. As such, it makes sense to bring a handful of items that will help re-create the calming space in a hotel room. These might include:

  • Pillows from home
  • Favorite throw blankets
  • Diffusers with common scents
  • Favorite soaps and lotion
  • Comfortable clothing and slippers

People should keep in mind that certain things might not be allowed. For example, excessive use of heavily scented oils or incense may leave an odor that's difficult to remove. Using a light touch on these will minimize the problem.

Keep Your Routine

Although people often go to a hotel for relaxation or vacation, sticking to a routine is one of the best ways to manage mood. Travelers may have difficulty feeling relaxed if they are suddenly trying to adhere to a completely different sleep, eating, or relaxation schedule. They are more likely to notice these problems in children or pets. People may want to do things like bring personal coffee or tea, buy travel versions of tools they use for regular exercise, and ensure they give themselves extra time to get to sleep at night.

Get Started Creating a Calming Space Today

Many people feel like their lives are too stressful. However, the way they set up their homes can make a significant difference in managing their stress. By evaluating the design and flow of a room, homeowners can turn the space from something that feels frustrating into an area that promotes focus and calm. Using colors, textures, lighting, and décor known to relieve anxiety helps with this goal. The result gives people the perfect space to relax whenever they need to.

Additional Reading

For more tips on how to create a calm home for a calm mind go here:

    Back to blog

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.