Design & DIY

How to create a relaxing living space through design

Life is stressful, but a home that’s peaceful and comforting can help relieve some of your daily worries. Like diet, exercise, and a good night’s sleep, your home can also help you reduce stress. Follow these basic interior design elements to make your home a tranquil oasis.

Choose calming colours

In Feng shui, there are five colour elements, each bringing their own energy to the space. For example, the fire element, represented by reds and purples, nourishes passion and high energy. On the other the hand, the water element, represented by blue, brings ease, serenity and calmness. In fact, according to the ancient Chinese wisdom, soft blues can slow down heart rate and lower blood pressure. Along with the blue family, other stress-reducing colours include muted greens, dusty pinks and pale grays.


If you’re feeling stressed, the first thing you should do is de-clutter your home. Psychologists say that messy rooms can cause anxiety and leave us feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Clutter overloads our mind with extra stimuli, causing us to subconsciously feel stress. Not only does surrounding yourself in clutter make it impossible to relax (both physically and mentally), it also hinders productivity, as you may find yourself constantly trying to find that one thing—like your keys, those receipts, that paperwork from six-months ago. If your home is incredibly cluttered, take some steps towards simplifying. Start with a desk or a kitchen counter, and finish the job completely before moving on. Remember that even small changes will make a big improvement.

Natural lighting

Feeling stressed? A little sunlight will help. Vitamin D is nature’s best remedy to stress. If you work from home, we recommend setting up your office in a sunny room with plenty of windows that let the rays pour in. Natural sunlight positively impacts both mental and physical health, while also increasing productivity. If your home lacks spacious windows and skylights, outfit your home with mirrors (they take small amounts of light and reflect it around the room) or lamps, which add dimension by lighting up different angles in the space. Whatever you do, stay away from harsh, fluorescent lights.

Bring the outdoors inside

Another easy way to increase your home’s tranquility is with plants. Whether it’s an African violet on your desk, a Boston fern in the kitchen (as a bonus, this plant acts a natural humidifier and absorbs common air pollutants), or a jade plant, also known as a money tree, in the living room, fresh plants will instantly make your home more relaxing and refreshing. If you’re known to let your houseplants wither, try resilient species like Aloe Vera. Another idea is picking up a pre-assembled terrarium filled with several species—they’re cute and compact. 

Make your bed comfortable, soothing and relaxing

At the end of the day, a comfortable bed can make all the difference. Turning your bedroom into a stress-free zone starts with where you sleep. Choose a mattress that feels best to you, whether it’s springy or dense. Or upgrade your current mattress with memory foam, feather bed or egg crate. For sheets, opt for Egyptian 100% cotton sheets with a thread count over 200—they will just get softer with every wash! Finally, pick a comforter that suits your natural body temperature. If you’re often cold while you sleep, go for down. If you get the night sweats, a few blankets will probably be perfect. Like your sheets, a duvet cover should always be 100% cotton. 


Want to put these tips to use in your home or cottage? Find everything you need to love your space here: