Whether it is coming home after a full day of hard work or finally relaxing after a day of looking after the
kids, the opportunity to sit down and relax at home is certainly one to look forward to. Creating a relaxing
atmosphere in the living room or bedroom can be accomplished in a variety of ways; through lighting,
through colour and texture, through fabrics and accessories, and by bringing the outdoors inside.
Soft lighting options are the first step in creating a calming and relaxing retreat in the living room or
bedroom. Low level lighting using lamps or ambient mood lighting are excellent choices for these rooms,
offering ambient lighting for the entire room without being overwhelming. The addition of a dimmer switch
will make the lighting even more flexible.
Natural sunlight is an important consideration as well, as it lifts a person’s spirits and improves their
overall feeling of well-being. Even when clouds hide the sun, the brightness of natural daylight should be
taken advantage of, so remember to raise blinds and pull back curtains to allow the light in.
Candles instantly evoke an atmosphere of calm, come in many varieties and should be embraced in all
their forms, from tapers to tea lights. White candles are always a reliable choice, but careful selection and
use of scented candles can also create the ideal atmosphere. Aromatherapy candles made with essential
oils will create the best quality and longest-lasting fragrance. Floral scents, such as rose, jasmine and, of
course, lavender, will create an aura of peace and tranquillity in a room within minutes.
Colour and texture
The choice of colour for a room is always up to a person’s individual taste, but paint colours are more
likely to create a calming effect if they are lighter, more soothing hues. Light-toned neutrals and soft
shades of green, blue and grey add quiet colour to a room. White is considered by some designers as the
most soothing choice; touches of warmer colours, such as pale yellow or gold, may be added to keep the
room from looking too monochromatic and warm it up.
Using white or light-toned neutrals as the primary colours in a room requires the addition of texture to
keep it from being too sterile. Textured wall treatments, such as Venetian plaster, or painting techniques
that add dimension will break-up the effect of a flat-white wall.
Fabrics and accessories
Fabrics are another key element when creating a relaxing air in a living room or bedroom. Soft fabrics that
hang and drape easily are ideal for window coverings and slipcovers. Pillows in a range of shapes, sizes
and fabrics offer flexibility as well as comfort; they can be easily changed and moved around, enlivening
the room without losing the air of relaxation.
Plants and other natural touches
Though live flowers and plants will require regular attention and care, the addition of heartier plants such
as ferns can add a welcome touch of the outdoors to the room. Topiaries and vases of fresh flowers
are both lovely ways to add a natural touch to any room. Sculptures in natural materials such as wood,
granite or marble can be the perfect way to complete the look of your relaxing room.