Your home … it’s a place to sleep, eat, raise a family, entertain friends. But home is so much more than that. It’s a place to manifest your best self, your best life and to dream the dream for yourself and those you love, according to Susan Fredman, ASID, Founder & Chairman, Fredman Design Group. “Your home is a place to return to every day to recharge and provide sanctuary.”
Does the collective space in your home consciously restore you — or is it time to create a special, dedicated area to relax and recharge?
5 Ways to Create an At-Home Relaxation Retreat
Great spaces don’t happen by chance. Rather, it requires both reflection and intention. Whether a corner, room or outdoor area, consider these guidelines in designing a space that inspires peace, harmony and joy:
1. Choose a relaxing palette — Science supports the psychology of color, which has a significant impact on mood. Bring calming colors — particularly blues and neutrals — into your space. In smaller spaces and in accents, white lends a bright, airy and clean feel.
Jody Michael, CEO and founder of Jody Michael Associates says that before opening her downtown Chicago office, she sampled 29 paint swatches on the wall. “I knew I hit the target when, within the first several months of opening, several clients remarked that the office was so ‘soothing.’ It was the exact word that defined my color choice.”
While Jody has redecorated and refreshed the office several times since then, she always pays close attention to the environmental impact that she strategically crafts for her clients.
2. Delight in the details — Neutral colors, natural textures, soft lighting and comfortable seating all contribute to a relaxing atmosphere. Choose lamps and fixtures that not only accent a room in style, but also provide soothing hues.
Details personalize your space; always incorporate items that reflect you. Fredman recommends including “pieces that bring you back to the best of yourself,” including artwork, spiritual items, stones, or your favorite chair and pillow.
3. Welcome the outdoors in — Being outside in nature can boost your wellbeing in many ways; why not bring a bit of the outdoors into your living space? Plants are more than just pretty decoration; they’ve actually been proven to stave off stress, elevate mood and improve cognitive function. Pressed botanicals can also bring the calming effects of nature into the room.
4. Form follows function — When you reflect on your home environment, Fredman emphasizes the importance of keeping each room’s purpose in mind. Create a space that honors a room’s primary function — in a way that aligns with your style. Even a kitchen can be a relaxing space if it is conducive to your cooking style and inspires you.
5. Tune in to your senses — While your eyes take in the overall mood of a room, don’t ignore your other senses. Smells, sounds and textures all contribute to a room’s vibe. Ambient music, playing softly in the background, relaxes without distracting. Drape soft, fluffy blankets over the arm of a couch. Use candles, reeds and oil diffusers to add hints of lavender, vanilla, jasmine and pine, which all have calming properties, to a room.
The Inspirational Power of Space
“I have many, many examples of creating a space for a client where we lived into the dream of who they wanted to become. And, as we created the intention, through beautiful, functioning and thoughtful interior design, they did become that person.
“That is the gift of my work … and the gift of creating a peaceful space in your home.”
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