We live in the age of stress. Our working hours are getting longer, our bosses expectations are stretching higher and the economy is unstable. We all need a place where we can relax and forget about the pressures that weigh us down. Our home should be a sanctuary, a place of retreat and a secure haven. If your house is more cluttered than calm or more uninviting than homely then take a look at these 5 tips for a stress busting transformation.
Adding mirrors to help reflect the light and give the appearance of extra space is now quite a widely used practice. The light and airy feel created will help to reduce anxiety and lift your mood. You could take it a step further and create a ‘mirror wall’ using mirror tiles or buy mirrored furniture for something with a strong designer edge. For those rooms where there is a small window, or even no window at all, consider replacing part of a wall with glass blocks to let more light through.
First Impressions Count
What are you greeted by when you walk through the front door? Piles of coats and shoes, muddy footprints or a cramped hallway are not the most welcoming of sights after a hard day at work. Paint your hallway a bright (but not overbearing) colour such as beige or pale yellow. Find a piece of artwork that you love and place it within eye sight of the front door. This could be a picture, a vase or a family photograph that is guaranteed to make you smile as soon as you cross the threshold.
Storage Solves All Problems
There is nothing more stressful than having to clamber over clutter in order to carry out every day activities. Ensure all that your kitchen cupboards are organised in a sensible and easily accessible way. Nifty storage racks can make things like spices and other smaller ingredients easy to locate and will take the hassle out of cooking dinner and preparing packed lunches.Try and utilise space that is not otherwise useful such hanging pans in overhead space, popping up shelving in stairways and building in window boxes in bays.
Activate Your Senses
Aromatherapy is the art of using certain smells given off by essential oils to help calm you down of improve your mood. Create your own aromatherapy spray by combining a favourite essential oil (lavender is a particularly good one) with water and a small amount of fabric softener. Spray your upholstery and soft furnishings with your uplifting homemade spritz. It will help to banish odours and give your fabrics a new lease of life. You could also try and place a few decorative scented candles in places around the house where you might go to unwind.
Sounds can also be used to help you relax. Many people find that the sound of running or bubbling water can help them to unwind. If you are not lucky enough to have a pond or hot tub in your garden then you can recreate the sound with an indoor water feature.
Bring Nature Inside
There is nothing more relaxing than being outside. Many people enjoying outdoor pursuits such as walking, climbing or cycling because of their de-stressing abilities. Capture some of the relaxing properties of nature by painting your walls in earthy tones, accessorising with rustic materials such as wood and jute and investing in some beautiful potted plants. You could also try keeping a vase of bright fresh flowers on your mantel piece or filling jars with attractive pebbles and shells.