Cozy Home

How to Make a Tranquil Home

Our homes should provide us with a relaxing, serene environment in which to unwind at the end of the day and escape from the problems of the outside world. Too often, though, our homes serve only to make us even more frustrated and irritated, such as when we leave everything a mess or our redecorating projects don’t turn out as planned. Cultivating a pleasing environment can be tricky, but it’s essential for our overall sense of well-being to have a place we’re proud to call our home. Here are some guidelines for turning your house or apartment into a space where you can enjoy yourself and forget about the troubles of work or other responsibilities.

The first step, as with most things, is to make sure that you have a clear goal in mind for how you want your space to look and feel. This starts with assessing your environment as it is: do you have too many knick-knacks scattered around? Do your decorative elements suffer from stylistically clashing with one another? Or do you simply have too many bare walls? Assessing the style of your home can be difficult when you’re so used to seeing it every day, so it can be helpful to invite a friend over for feedback or suggestions. And of course, if you have a partner or roommates, you should collaborate with them to brainstorm ideas that all can enjoy. Most importantly, try to consider the mood that your space puts you in, and what energy you’d like the space to inspire instead. Your environment impacts your mood in ways that can be easy to ignore, so it’s good to be in tune with how the space around you impacts how you feel.

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Once you have a vision for your ideal home in mind, the next step is to work on carrying out your ideas. Think about what activities you’d like to do in each space of your home, whether they be writing, playing board games, or exercising, and plan accordingly. Although the task of transforming a space can seem overwhelming, taking it step-by-step helps to make it feel like a more attainable goal. A good first step is to get rid of the things that you know you definitely don’t need or want anymore; not only is this easy to do, but it helps clear up your space, giving you an idea of where things can be added or rearranged. As you’re doing so, you can put the things that you’re not sure of what to do with aside to deal with later. You’ll begin to notice the energy of your space changing, which will help later on in the process when you introduce new elements into the environment.

During the organizational process, it’s helpful to differentiate between items that you want to keep in open storage and those you want to keep in closed storage. Useful, but unsightly items, like vacuum cleaners and cleaning supplies, should be kept in closets and drawers, whereas personal effects, like vases, pictures, and coffee table books should be kept out in the open. When you have less stuff in your space, the things that remain become more prominent in the mind’s eye, so it’s important to highlight the things you really care about and that contribute to the atmosphere you’re looking for. 

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With that in mind, it’s important that you coordinate the locations of your items with their functions. For instance, if you like to have a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, everything necessary to prepare your beverage should be closeby. Additionally, keep in mind that as time goes on, things are going to accumulate; as such, your should have a dedicated space to put your keys, your mail, your jacket, and so on. If you don’t, you’ll find that your newly redesigned space will quickly become just as unsightly and cluttered as it was before you began your efforts.

An often-overlooked, but essential, element of home decor is lighting. Lighting can fundamentally transform the atmosphere of a space, so it’s important to pay close attention to how your home is lit. Bulbs with a warm color temperature are generally preferred over cold, bluish lights, but you should choose the type of lighting that best suits your space. Also pay attention to your lighting fixtures of choice, as lamps can contribute to an atmosphere that is very different from overhead lights. If possible, ensure that all of your lighting fixtures are set on a dimmer, so you can experiment with the brightness of each bulb. And take advantage of natural lighting whenever possible by installing blinds, shades, and curtains as appropriate.

If you’re interested in, and able to repaint your walls, it’s usually best to choose colors that are bright and muted. Think soft grays, pale blues, and off-white. Ceilings should generally be painted a lighter tone of what’s on the walls. Smaller spaces, and those used primarily at night, can benefit visually from being painted in darker tones.

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When picking out furniture, it’s often better to choose pieces that are comfortable over ones that are visually striking. After all, you’re looking to create a comfortable environment that you’d like to spend a lot of time in. Make sure the texture of your couches, chairs, futons and tables is visually appealing and soothing to the touch. By choosing comfy furniture, you’re also creating a space with a serene atmosphere, both in terms of its tactile properties and visual appeal.

While it’s easy to focus on how things look, make sure to pay attention to your other senses too. An old chair may be comfortable to sit in, but if it creaks every time you get out of it, it can start to become annoying. Putting down a runner on a hardwood floor can help minimize the sound of footsteps, and lubricating hinges can help with squeaky doors. Additionally, incorporating candles, incense, or scent diffusers into the environment can be just the thing to complete your home’s transformation.