An English person’s home is their castle, as the old saying goes. But increasingly, with the demands of modern life, it can feel more like a crumbling fortress whose drawbridge is creaking, turrets exposed and moat run dry. Perhaps we’ve gone a little far with that one, but without your domestic space being a place of sanctuary, recharging and replenishing in order to take on the world each day can be difficult. Change all that, with these; our 5 IDEAL ways to make your home an oasis of calm. 

OWN IT

Nope, we don’t mean you have to buy your property outright to find that inner calm, although this certainly wouldn’t do your sense of wellbeing any harm. Nope, we’re talking about personalising your space. Sometimes tough, we know, with tyrannical landlords having to ‘ok’ even a nail going in, but still.

Ask yourself; is your home truly yours? Does it reflect your identity? Or are you living with the décor and design ideas of the previous occupants? Changing things up could be through something as simple such as changing the carpets and repainting the walls in a colour that suits your style better, or if you do own your property, it might be via a larger project such as looking at bathroom design Hertfordshire or installing a new kitchen. 

REMOVE THE CLOCKS

Time really is a manmade construct, and being on time, waiting for something, timing events and wishing time would either speed up or slow down is stressful, to say the least. Couple this with the incessant sound of a ticking clock, a reminder of a countdown to the end, and you’ve got a problem on your hands. So, remove some of the more overt reminders of life’s impermanence; a clock on the wall is a constant reminder that you have lots to do and little time to do it in – as everyone does. Removing that reminder could reduce your stress levels considerably. 

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.

CREATE A DEDICATED CHILL OUT SPACE

If possible, why not dedicate an entire room to relaxation? We’ve all heard of the ‘man cave’, but r’n’r needn’t be gender specific. It can be your little sanctuary away from a busy home, as you will have a space to enjoy some time to yourself to chill, pamper your body or embark on deep breathing or meditation techniques. 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 longue 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.

STREAMLINE

Is your home full of items you don’t really need? Are they there because they have always been there and you don’t really think about them anymore? Is the amount of ‘stuff’ in your home growing? If so, it’s time to declutter. And ruthlessly. 

Actually, we prefer to think of it as ‘streamlining’, simply meaning removing anything that you no longer want or need and that doesn’t serve a purpose in your life. How you do so is up to you; you can pass it on to friends, recycle, give it to a charity shop, or even sell it online and make a little bit of money. Try not to add to landfill, though.

Whatever you do, decluttering and leaving your home feeling clearer and fresher will reduce your stress levels and make your domestic space a much more comfortable place to be. If you’re concerned that you might need the items you’re ridding, why not hire a storage locker and keep it there for a few months? If you still don’t need it when the time comes to renew the locker, well, that says it all, right?

 

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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.