Nowadays, we’re constantly on the go. Between the morning commute, the mounting paperwork in the office and keeping up with social appearances, getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of life is a hard habit to break. Many of us wish we could enjoy some much-needed relaxation and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.
It’s why so many bookshelves are now adorned with self-help books on mindfulness – putting meditations and mantras into motion to make us slow down and appreciate some self-care before we speed up (yet again!). But for all the yoga classes, Headspace sessions and daily reminders to ‘breathe’, too many of us still end the day feeling more stressed than when we started it.
Does this sound like you? The good news is you’re not the only one. The other good news? We’ve got a plan to help you replace the chaos with calm and restore some peace back into your life. Read on for how to create a sanctuary that allows you to set aside your stresses and to-dos, making you want to put the kettle on (or pour a glass of Pinot), grab your favourite book (or the remote control) – and put your feet up for a proper bit of ‘you time’.
Clearing the clutter
Before your living room can be transformed into a relaxation station, it’s time to give it a detox of unnecessary ‘stuff’. Our minds can’t be clear when our room is full of clutter, so giving it the spring clean that it deserves will go a long way. Get rid of anything that makes the place feel messy or reminds you of things you need to do, whether that’s washing on the floor, piles of paperwork, crockery to be cleaned or even (god forbid) a notice board – in this instance it truly is a case of out of sight, out of mind.
When it comes to the things that you simply can’t get rid of, there are solutions whether your living room is the size of a matchbox or a football stadium. Clutter-clearing storage is the perfect way to have all your favourite things to hand without being in your face, or even in your eyeline. Bookshelves are a great way to display your favourite items in your home and offer pride of place, but there are many alternatives for keeping your belongings tucked away to create the illusion of clear space.
Consider investing in footstools, coffee tables or units with internal storage and hidden compartments. The Legend Fabric Storage Footstool has the versatility of providing a place to put your feet up whilst offering a lift-top lid to store all your bits and pieces out of sight. Magazine? Blanket? Chocolates? All stashed safely away whilst your room is left looking calm and uncluttered.
Or if you’re looking for space-enhancing furniture, why try not try the Home Large Fabric Box? It comes in a vibrant array of plain or accent fabrics, and can serve as an impromptu coffee table (with a tray) or a place to display all your current reads.
Creating an ambience
Now you’ve made some space, setting the scene is a sure-fire way to help you unwind. There are many things you can do to create a peaceful ambience within your home, making you want to get oh-so-cosy and comfortable right where you are.
One way to do this is through your colour scheme, scientifically proven to impact our psychological, emotional and physical moods. It is said that lighter, more neutral shades are great for putting our mind at ease and influencing how we feel. Blue is an exceptionally calming colour that soothes us in the same way as the calm ocean or the clear and cloudless skies. If this isn’t your style, try neutral greens and yellows symbolising all things nature, or white for a constantly fresh and clean feel.
And there’s no better way to set the mood than with your lighting. A desk lamp or floor lamp close by your chilling spot is a great addition to ceiling lights, allowing you to create a setting that’s perfectly suited to you. These lights give you control, bringing the room into brightness or turning things down to a tranquil vibe, and are just the trick to help you transport yourself to somewhere wonderful!
Finally, we all find a sense of serenity through being close to nature, whether that’s through letting in as much natural light as possible or bringing in greenery or flowers from the great outdoors. Many studies suggest that being around plants can improve concentration, memory and productivity. And it seems the health benefits are endless, not only soothing our minds but cleaning the air, deterring illness and even offering healing properties. Who wouldn’t want that? Give us those plants.
The perfect spot
And how can we relax without the perfect spot to sink into after a hard day’s work? Your sofa needs to be comfortable and cosy, whether you’re on your own or sharing the space with someone else.
Is it cool leather or cosy fabric that takes your fancy? Either way, L-shaped sofas are a great way to go – especially if you’re sharing with friends or wanting to be near your significant other whilst still having your own space.
If you don’t have the room for a luxurious L-shape, no matter what size of sofa you go for you don’t need to compromise on comfort. Fabric sofas such as the Comforter collection are so cocooning, it’s as good as getting into bed! Spruce them up with a throw for extra cosiness, opting for wool or woven to snuggle beneath in winter months, or lighter cottons for the summer season. And if your other half’s less than thrilled about you stretching your legs across their lap, a fabric footstool in a complementary colour will keep you comfy and free from any sofa-centred arguments.
If you can’t master the art of putting your feet up in your own home, where can you? Turning your living room into a place to kick back and relax needn’t be an expense, but it does require some tender love and care. Remember, only fill your room with things that bring you happiness, and eradicate the things that act as a distraction or cause disruption to dreamy days. This clear space will make for even clearer headspace and a happy home.