Have you ever been in a home or business where you could feel your cares disappear when you walked through the door?

The environment you’re in plays a huge role in how stressed or relaxed you are. Certain factors have a soothing effect on your brain, causing hormones to spread throughout your body and create a sense of calm.

On the opposite end, though, there are things that work as a stimulant, overwhelming your senses and stressing the brain.

If you want to design rooms that appeal to you and are relaxing, you have to know what to avoid and what to include. Use these tips to guide you, and in no time, you’ll have a home that becomes your sanctuary.

1. Start With the Clutter

Studies have shown the impact of clutter on our mental and physical wellbeing. A disorganized room adds stress to your brain, making it harder to focus.

You know all those little piles of mail and notes laying around? The clothes you haven’t hung yet? The knick knacks that you think you have to display?

All of those things are seen and processed by your brain on the subconscious level, even if you can zone them out consciously. They’re distractions that your mind is dealing with, draining its ability to focus on the task at hand.

By getting organized before you do anything else, you’ll feel more at peace immediately. From there, the rest of your home improvement tasks will be easier.

2. Choose Calming Colors

The study of colors on our health is a legitimate branch of science. Called “color theory” or “color psychology,” researchers engage in experiments to determine how our minds and bodies react when exposed to various shades.

Each hue in the spectrum has an emotional or psychological connection to something in your mind. Some of these connections are cultural, some are individual, and others are universal.

The Impact of Colors on Your Mind

For instance, if you had a severe accident when you were in a red car, you could see all red cars as dangerous. On the other hand, if your favorite memories growing up were in a room with a green carpet, green could be soothing.

But there are some colors that are considered to be calming, regardless of your personal attachments. They reduce your stress levels and relax your mind. You’ll see these colors in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other businesses that want to create a sense of peacefulness.

Since you want to design that same atmosphere, use calming colors such as light blue, green, white, grey, pink, yellow, and violet. Keep in mind that the lighter the shade, the more calming it is. Bold and vibrant versions of the same color can cause the opposite effect.

3. Add Greenery

There’s just something about plants that causes us to relax and unwind. Walking through a garden full of greenery is peaceful, partly because of the view but also because plants absorb sound.

Without the background noise distracting you, you’re able to think more clearly.

Advantages of Plants in a Room

Indoor plants add extra benefits to the home. They reduce the toxins in the air around you, purifying it and helping you breathe better. Putting a plant in your bedroom improves your quality of sleep. And studies have shown that plants in a work environment boost productivity.

You don’t need an actual plant to get many of these benefits, however. Visual contact with nature is often enough to relieve stress and anxiety. Pictures of your favorite flowers soothe your mind.

Whether you want the real thing, an artificial version, or photos, find the plant that appeals to you most. Then, add it to each room in your home to help you relax.

4. Lower the Light

If you’ve ever been to a candlelit restaurant, you’ve noticed the difference in the atmosphere. People automatically talk quieter, move slower, and feel more restful.

This same quality in your own home does the trick, too. Instead of the glaring overhead lights blinding you and making you instantly alert, switch some of your fixtures to dull bulbs.

A lamp or candles in a room can replace the main lights in the evening. Add a dimmer switch to the brightest light sources you have.

When possible, stick with natural lighting. Open a window and let the sunshine in. You’ll feel more relaxed, and you get some of the benefits of the sun’s rays, like Vitamin D and improved sleep.


Creating a home that feels more like a sanctuary than a stressful place to be is an incredible goal. The hardest part may be the decluttering process. From there, everything else will fall into place.

All you need are the right colors, a few plants, and strategic lighting. Soon, you’ll have a house full of rooms that you can relax and unwind in after a long day.