An oasis of calm or a place of clutter and chaos? Whether your living room fits the former or the latter probably speaks volumes about the quality of life you lead in the domestic space. Because in this hyperconnected, hugely pressured age of phone always on and never on silent, of constant distraction and diversion, it’s so important to have a space where you can unwind. With that in mind, here are 5 IDEAL tips for a relaxing living room.

REMOVE CLUTTER

Is your living room full of ‘stuff’ that doesn’t appear to have any proper home? It’s all too easy for this busy space to become cluttered and messy; a dumping ground for the bric-a-brac of everyday life. Indeed, we’ve all been guilty of leaving last week’s newspapers piled up on the sideboard or forgetting to take our half drunk cup of tea back to the kitchen. Unfortunately clutter can play a huge role in how we feel about our homes and a messy room can leave us feeling anxious and overwhelmed, adding to the stress in our lives. As such, it’s important to minimise the clutter in our homes.

ADD SOME ARTWORK

Art has a transformative effect in any room and evokes powerful emotions. And as such, different pieces can instantly change the atmosphere of a room. Impressionistic pieces can add a whimsical, tranquil vibe. Also, bear in mind the psychology of colour when it comes to choosing your piece as different colours evoke certain feelings and elicit certain reactions. Yellow, for instance, is uplifting and associated with happiness and sunny dispositions while blue is known to soothe the mind because of its cool, calming and relaxing effect.

CHILLOUT SEATING

Comfort and relaxation go hand-in-hand, therefore you need a comfortable seating arrangement in your living room if you want it to be a space of chilling, relaxing and the rest. Avoid leather chairs; they’re slippery when you sit, noisy when you wriggle and just sap the laid-back energy from a space in seconds. Consider creating a relaxation corner – a chaise lounge underneath a window, or an armchair in front of the fireplace. And bean bags can bring immediate warmth to a room; ignore the student dorm stereotypes and just dive in.

DISGUISE YOUR TV & SOUND SYSTEM

If you spend all day staring at a screen, staring at another screen is probably not going to be relaxing, even if it’s off and acting as unassuming as it can. Instead, look to disguise its presence to bring a calm to the living room. Or consider a sleek, modern TV Stand like these rather than a large and overpowering one that draws too much attention to that part of the room.

DIM LIGHTING

The simple addition of a dimmer switch or application of a few flickering candles can completely change the mood of the room; from practical to pleasure at the flick – or twist – of a switch. If the lighting setting is only ‘stark’ in your living room then the chilling is never going to be genuine and fully realised. Instead, go for low lights and warmth by going old school and lighting candles, or installing a dimmer if you’ve got the DIY wherewithal to pull it off.

ADD SOME PLANTS  

When it comes to turning your living room into a soothing place a little greenery can go a long way. Plants can bring a natural calmness to your space; not only purifying the air that you breathe by removing the toxins that linger in houses, but also – as research has shown – making you happy too. Indeed, studies have shown that by having houseplants in certain rooms of your home, you are able to reduce stress, increase positivity, boost your mood and even reduce the risk of fatigue or anxiety. Whilst it may not seem like your plants are having much of an impact on your health, there’s a high chance that they will be, so there’s never been a better time to find some beautiful plants to make you feel more zen.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.