Surroundings affect us more than we realize. Colors, textures, and aromas influence how we feel about ourselves and how we relate and engage with others. When our environment feels chaotic and overwhelmed, so do we. Our homes, therefore, become a reflection of us.
This thought may be daunting, but the exciting and freeing reality is making some small changes can completely transform the entire look and feel of a room, of a home, of you! When we choose to surround ourselves with colors, elements, and aromas that calm, relax, and revive, we extend those energies to others. Here are three easy concepts to keep in mind:
Paint: Color and balance
Colors can relax, soothe, energize, and even evoke a range of emotions from happiness to rage. Blues and grays conjure feelings of calm, tranquility, and peace. For this reason, blue or gray is a popular choice for bedrooms and family rooms. Red is associated with passion and has been shown to stimulate conversation and appetites, which is why you’ll find shades of red in kitchens, but keep in mind that same color in a different shade might have different effects. For example, soft, warm yellows make people feel cheerful and energetic. When overused, though, bright primary yellow is shown to cause fatigue and anxiety. The key is finding the balance between warm and cool colors.
Plants: Health and design
In addition to improving the air quality of living spaces, house plants soothe and create an ambience and element of design that improves moods. Choose low-maintenance plants that require minimal watering and pruning. Orchids are sturdy, offer an elegant pop of color, and soothe the nerves with a fresh fragrance. Ferns have a delicate and lacy feel that creates a tropical and inviting feel. The fiddle-leaf fig is an extremely popular house plant because it provides an architecturally appealing element to the room with dark green tones and lines. Whatever your plant preference, these natural additions are helping you breathe easier and creating calm.
Purposefully personal: Scents and sentimental
When you walk into a room, scents and sights can tell a story. For this reason, intentionally choose aromas and items you wish to reflect. Many people draw fond associations from vanilla scents and correlate citrus smells with cleanliness. Lavender and thyme are calming aromas, while peppermint is said to energize. Visually, what is displayed in a room also can articulate calm and reassurance. Stacks of papers and cluttered countertops and closets will make anyone feel stressed. Often, the task of decluttering and purging spaces can seem overwhelming. But remember, these choices ultimately change more than a room—they can change you. And, by extension, change others.
About the writers→ Suzanne Hardaway and Denise Munn have offered a sophisticated eye for detail, form, and function since 2005 at Inspired Decor, 1134 E. North Blvd., in Leesburg.