We all need somewhere to unwind and decompress, and where better to do that than the living room? If yours is less relaxing than it is hectic, a few little changes will soon bring it up to scratch. Decluttering, adding some soft, sumptuous fabrics, and making a few small changes to the lighting can make a dramatic difference in how it looks and feels. For more top tips on how you can make your living room more relaxing, read on.
No matter how pleasing the general aesthetic of your living room, a musty odor can undo all your good work. A delicate waft of scent, on the other hand, can work wonders at setting the scene for some serious relaxation. Whether you opt to do it with scented candles, big bowls of potpourri, oil diffusers, incense, fragrant flowers, or just a big squirt of air freshener, make sure your room smells as good as it looks. If you really want to maximize the relaxing qualities of certain fragrances, choose ones with base notes of lavender, vanilla, or rose.
Nothing spells trouble for a relaxed, calm atmosphere like a ton of unnecessary clutter. If your tabletops are groaning under the weight of a thousand magazines, if your sofa has more coats and clothes hanging from it than your closet has, and if you can’t quite remember the last time you saw your floor without a scattering of brick-a -brack running across it, it’s time to get down to some good, old-fashioned de-cluttering. You don’t have to go full-blown minimalist simply remove anything that doesn’t need to be there, chuck the things you don’t want anymore, and find everything else a home of its own. You’ll be amazed at how much more relaxing the room will feel once you’re done.
Few things scream relaxation quite like a big pile of pillows. If you want your sofa to look like a haven of calming bliss, do as Healthy One suggests and load it with pillows. And don’t stop there… scatter some large ones on the floor to create a new relaxation spot, add a few to chairs… basically, if there’s a spot you can turn into a comfort zone through the addition of a few pillows, load it up.
4. Soft Fabrics
Bare surfaces and hard lines may work in some settings, but if you want to make your living room as relaxing as possible, softness is key. Look for soft, deep cushions that invite you to sink into them, cozy rugs to warm your toes, and warm, cuddly throws to snuggle into.
Lights can make a dramatic difference to the look and feel of a space. Although you obviously don’t want to eschew lighting altogether, anything that looks like it’d do a fine job of lighting up a factory has no place in your living room. Rip out anything fluorescent and install some soft, warm lighting in its place. Ideally, aim for a tiered effect: rather than rely on one big, bright, centrally placed ceiling light to do all the work, add some wall lamps and table lamps so you can adjust the lighting, and the mood, as the occasion calls. While we’re on the subject of lighting, don’t forget about bulbs: swap any bright white LED bulbs for softer, yellow ones.
One of Huff Post’s chief recommendations for making your living space more relaxing is to introduce a little natural greenery. Just as spending time outdoors can do all kinds of good things to your endorphins, so letting a little of the outside in can lift your spirits and boost your mood. Whether you opt for big, blousy displays of cut flowers or add a scattering of potted plants, you’ll find the relaxing properties of nature hard to beat.
7. Low Tech
Sure, we all know how hard it is to be separated from our phones for more than a few minutes, but if you want to create a true haven of relaxation, you’d do well to consider Home Guides suggestion of making it a gadget-free zone. Box your TV in a cabinet so you can shut it away when you’re not watching it, and leave all laptops, smartphones, videogames and the like at the door. It may take a bit of getting used to, but you’ll be surprised at just how relaxing going tech-free can be.
8. Personal Touches
While you want to avoid clutter, don’t think you have to get rid of anything and everything. Little personal touches can add to the general vibe of relaxation, increasing your sense of happiness and sparking good vibes. A few photos of your family, a treasured heirloom or two… just a few items with a personal significance can make a dramatic difference.
9. Natural Colors
Electric purples and pillow box reds might have their place in the home, but wherever that place is, it’s not the living room. Avoid anything too hard, too bold, or too bright, and stick to a color palette that embraces the soft, natural colors of nature. Serene greens, dreamy blues, misty greys, warm yellows, blush pinks… the options are almost limitless, giving you plenty of opportunities to inject some of your own personality into the space.
10. Tidy Up
Just as excess clutter can instantly put the damper on a relaxing vibe, so can mess. If you’ve got kids, keeping things tidy can seem a never-ending task, but trust me, if you want your living room to feel relaxing, it’s one you’re going to have to keep up with. If you hate tidying more than you love life itself, try getting into the habit by setting yourself just one task per day (clearing the coffee table, vacuuming the floor, straightening out the sofa cushions… you get the idea). The thought is that tidiness begets tidiness: start small, and pretty soon, you’ll be doing more and more without even realizing it.