feeling stressed? From enhancing natural light to decorating with calming hues, there are many ways to create a sense of serenity in your home.
Our interiors can have a profound impact on how we feel. According to a study conducted by Magnet Kitchens, more than 80 per cent of Brits believe that paint colors can have a positive effect on our mood and well-being, while over a third say pastel colors are the most likely to evoke happy feelings.
“Our homes are becoming increasingly important for relaxation, and color psychology plays a big part in that,” says Tobie Lewis, Senior Brand Manager at Valspar Paint House Beautiful Britain. “Colors like blurred greens, blues and grays are ideal for creating a destimulating environment to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Applying the right color combinations to the appropriate space helps create the most effective palettes for calming and mood-enhancing interiors.’
Whether it’s your bedroom or living room, read on to learn everything you need to know to soothe all your senses at home…
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Incorporate soothing blue
Blue conveys peace, calm, serenity and composure and helps to relieve anxiety. According to previous research by B&Q, blue is a natural healer that can calm us down, improve well-being and in some cases even lower our blood pressure. Unless you’re renovating, we recommend painting your kitchen cabinets to brighten the mood of your room. You will not regret it.
Pictured: “Chichester” kitchen by Neptune Kitchen. From £8,000
The spring season is the ideal time to transform your home into a calming, stress-free sanctuary. Not sure where to start? Transform your home with neutral tones, Scandi-style furniture and lightweight linen fabrics.
Pictured: John Lewis dining table, chairs and accessories
Pretty in Pink
Warm and calming, pink is often associated with a calming effect on people. No longer just for girls’ rooms, grown-up pink can look pretty chic when used in the home. We love how warm and inviting it looks in this shoe room (left) used for both the cabinets and paneled wall.
Pictured: Graham & Brown Spiced Mulberry
“Small wallpaper designs are often most successful for calming interiors, such as Pretty and subtle florals, for example,” says Patrick O’Donnell of Farrow & Ball. “Avoid anything too pretentious or overdone – in terms of palette, think soft greys, neutrals, dusty pinks or bright greens. “
Pictured: Farrow & Ball wallpaper in Atacama, £114 for 10m roll
Organize your office space
Wondering how to create a calm and productive office space? If you’re lucky enough to have your own study (or a workspace in another room), keep it clean, clutter-free, and distraction-free. A desk with drawers gives you a useful spot for papers and pens, while a well-lit space helps you focus on busy days.
When it comes to soothing paint colors, opt for an off-white. It’s a great natural shade to inspire the spirit.
Pictured: Shop the full look of John Lewis
Choose earth tones
Bringing the feeling of a five-star spa into your own bathroom is not always easy. Natural materials can increase your well-being and create a calm atmosphere, so we recommend choosing earth tones or terracotta tones for your walls. You can add color through accessories or keep things natural with plants, leaves and wood elements.
In the picture: bathroom accessories all Dunelm
Combine light with dark
Color blocking walls with paint are a great way to add drama and panache to your space. White might be a good choice for creating a calming space, but a two-toned approach can work just as well to keep things relaxed. Top tip: You’ll need a steady hand and some tape.
Pictured: Walls painted in Mono Tones 01 and Mono Tones 09 from the House Beautiful paint collection at Homebase
Try wallpaper in the kitchen
Kitchens are the focal point of the home and often the center of family life, making them excellent places to take a design risk. Need inspiration? Featuring a tranquil blue background accented with soft yellow and sugary pink, this stunning Graham & Brown wallpaper (left) looks like a work of art and keeps everyone calm, even on those mornings when the whole household is running late.
Pictured: Edulis Sky wallpaper by Graham & Brown
Keep it classy with white
Versatile and timeless, the best white paint colors easily stand alone as a design element. We all love dabbling in dark hues (you just have to scroll through Instagram to see it), but a crisp white can work wonders when it comes to creating a calming space. And breathe…
“Because white brings light, it can uplift mood and bring an element of calm when we’re overexcited,” says Lee Chambers, color psychologist and founder of Essentialise. “It can also really open up a space both physically and in our mind.”
Pictured: “Romney Wool” by Dulux Heritage
Let nature take over
Whether you’re embarking on a total renovation project or just accessorizing a tired looking room, let nature take over. Being outdoors or even contemplating scenes in nature reduces anger, anxiety and stress and increases pleasant feelings, making it a great starting point for the home.
“As spring approaches, with its fresh mornings and sunny days, keep a neutral, calming palette at home,” explains Paula Taylor, trend specialist at Graham & Brown.
“The latest trend in baked warm colors fits in perfectly as we see rich and inviting earth tones either pairing perfectly with the modern grays or held back with clay and putty neutrals for a calmer, timeless appeal.”
Shop the full look at Dobbies
Keep your kitchen bright
Keeping calm in the kitchen is important (recipe testing can be a stressful affair), so keep it bright, light, and functional. Green may be the hottest kitchen color of the year, but you can’t go wrong with a soft, pale gray. Classic shaker lines – like the Westbourne kitchen from Homebase’s House Beautiful range – are key to a streamlined, uncluttered look.
Pictured: Westbourne in ‘Cobble’ from the House Beautiful at Homebase range
Green works in almost every room in your home. “Deep greens like bancha help create a symbiosis between indoors and outdoors, especially when you’re lucky enough to be looking at nature,” explains Patrick.
Pictured: Walls painted in ‘Bancha’ by Farrow & Ball, £56 for 2.5lt Modern Emulsion
Opt for white furniture
As much as we love a colorful room, there’s one color palette that never goes out of style: off-white. Once you’ve painted your walls a refreshing white, complete the look by picking up a bouclé sofa. Famed for its fluffy, teddy bear-like appearance, there really is nothing more soothing and cosy.
Pictured: Walls in Little Greene’s Silent White – Pale
Our lives are fast-paced and hectic, so it’s important to make sure our home is as comforting as possible. If you’re lucky enough to be planning a kitchen makeover, resort to a rustic scheme: Think open wood shelving, industrial accents, flagstone floors and Shaker-style cabinets.
Pictured: Little Greene paint in “Flint 236”
Look for the light
It pays to look for the light, especially when choosing the right color scheme for your room.
Patrick explains, “When creating a calming retreat, the best place to start is by determining the direction of the light that falls in each room. For example, in east-facing rooms, the cooler evening light with bright blues and greens can have a wonderfully soft and calming effect.”
Pictured: Walls painted in Farrow & Ball Potted Shrimp, £52 for 2.5lt Estate Emulsion
Keep the clutter out
Whether it’s the kitchen or living room, a cluttered space can get things out of hand. Keep shelves, sideboards and tabletops clean while creating a calming living space. We recommend bringing seagrass baskets for storing magazines or blankets, and suggest putting anything else you don’t need in a closet.
Pictured: Crown cut white oiled oak fronts, from £1,868 for a small kitchen from Custom Fronts.
Bring peace to your garden
Finally, don’t forget your outdoor space. Any garden, no matter how small or large, can be transformed into an oasis of calm in time for summer. Bring on the calm with layered outdoor rugs, plush outdoor cushions, and blindingly white sofas (if you don’t mind an occasional fingerprint or two). Pour yourself a tasty drop and let the worries of the day fade away…
Pictured: Shop the full look of John Lewis
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