By: Denise Smith
Northern Virginians live at a hectic pace. Our lives are stressful and after a demanding day of work and gridlocked traffic, most of us want to come home to a relaxing environment where we can rest and decompress. Creating a space that welcomes relaxation doesn’t need to be difficult; just a few simple steps can make a big difference.
The quickest and easiest way to create a more relaxing space is to clean up and de-clutter. Block out a period of time every single day for this task, even if the time is spent just for going through the mail. Organization is a habit, and habits can be formed in as little as 21 days. Imagine how much more inviting your home will feel and look in just three short weeks of committed sorting.
Choose soothing colors for walls and furnishings. Bright, pure colors are better in social spaces like dens and family rooms. Harsh red and orange tones raise heart rates and should be avoided where relaxation is desired. Use quieter colors for bedrooms and private spaces. Consider a soft shade of pale green for the hallway leading to the bedrooms and prime the mind for rest.
The residual noises from modern society and its technology usually go unnoticed, but the fact is our world is louder than ever before and this contributes to daily stress. The suppression of unnecessary sound can go a long way to creating a more restful, relaxing home. Wall to wall carpeting absorbs more sound than hard surfaces. Fabric draperies can be pulled closed to muffle the sounds from traffic or construction. Specially constructed sound-reducing windows can be installed for areas where external noise is especially bothersome.
A lengthy honey-do list can be stressful. If you can’t find the time or the energy to complete nagging little home improvements, consider hiring a handyman for an afternoon. Many will work on an hourly rate and can knock out annoyances like dripping faucets, tight doors and stuck windows in a short period of time.
Your home should be your haven, not just a place to land at the end of the day. Decorate with intention, aiming to create a place where you want to spend time and more importantly–a place where you can take a deep breath and relax.