You've barely survived another hectic day at the office. The boss was on a rampage roll, colleagues left their brains at home, and deadlines were flying all over the place. And then you had the lovely task of facing traffic on your way home…
What you need right now is a welcoming place to unwind. The bad news is that most of us can’t afford a daily trip to the spa. The good news, however, is that with a few simple changes, you can create a similar relaxing and tranquil area in your home (whether it’s a free-standing room or an unused corner) to take a personal breather and recharge your battery.
No, you don’t need a 5 x 8m Zen garden or your own private masseuse next to a waterfall, just a space where you can retreat from your daily activities and stresses (although you can add a bonsai tree for some character).
So, breathe in, breathe out… and let’s see some tips on how to create your very own chill-out spot at home.
Your chill-out spot is not the place for angular or hard furniture (and we’re not suggesting splashing out on a whole new living room set either – just one seating spot for you). You can still opt for modern and contemporary furniture if you want, but the aim of the seating here is to help you relax.
Picture an overstuffed chair, a deep and cushioned sofa, a fluffy beanbag, or a comfortable futon that allows you to kick up your feet and let go of the day’s stresses – maybe even enjoy the occasional afternoon nap?
Those opting for a Zen vibe must avoid intricate designs and complicated lines, and focus on natural materials for a sense of warmth and leisure.
The right couch or sofa can make a huge impact, whether in your chill-out spot or living room. See some tips when it comes to: Coordinating Your Couch And Cushions.
You’ll want to use your relaxation spot for different activities, but whether that includes reading, napping, or daydreaming over a glass of Merlot, you’ll need adequate lighting. What’s the use of relaxing your mind and body while straining your eyes?
When it’s tranquillity time, keep the lights soft. A dimmer switch on your ceiling fixture is the easiest way to adjust your lighting needs. No overhead lighting? No problem – keep an extra small lamp close by that produces just enough illumination for a cheerful mood, but not enough to rival the sun.
homify hint: Go green and opt for LED lighting. They reduce your power bill and boast an impressive life span. Although available in different colours, opt for the “warm white” option for your chill-out spot. This produces a yellow hue, close to incandescent. Along with a dimmer, this is the ideal illumination source for your relaxation zone.
Your chill-out time is your private time, and you can fill it however you prefer. However, might we suggest adding some easy entertainment to your chill-out zone?
• A bookcase. It’s your choice whether to stock it with Stephen King novels, famous poetry, travel magazines…
• Music collection. Music promotes relaxation, so put on some soothing beats for your downtime. Everyone’s tastes are different, but this isn’t the time for harsh rock or angry lyrics. Rather use your stereo system (or iPad or MP3 player) to listen to tunes that’ll put you in a calm and positive mood.
• A TV set. Your chill-out time could also be the perfect occasion to catch up on some TV series, or watch that DVD you haven’t had time for.
homify hint: Make sure your entertainment elements stay organised. Allocate space for your magazines, CDs, etc. and see to it that they stay in their proper areas. A cluttered space won’t be a relaxing spot for very long.
Surround yourself with soft textures to relieve stress and take off the pressure. Toss a cosy wool blanket on the couch. Place a soft rug/carpet on the floor to add to the relaxation vibe in the room. Add a few pillows to make yourself comfortable and insert some colour to your chill-out area.
The colour of your fabric needs to be light and soft as well (see ‘Calming colour & décor’). Make use of natural fabrics that are comfy – opt for linen or wool for coverings and window treatments.
homify hint: Plants bring nature, colour and life into any room and purify the air. Potted plants (even a vertical garden) are a great space-saving option, but if you want to add a lush look to your area, opt for plants with heavy foliage.
See how the professionals over at Concept Interior Design & Decoration do it when it comes to mixing and matching furniture, styles, fabrics and colour.
You might love shocking pink, but is this really the prime place for bright, harsh colours? Soft colours found in nature are the most relaxing. Decide on a primary dominant colour for your chill-out spot (which can be the wall, the couch, the floor… ), and then add some complementary tones in the form of fabrics, curtains, etc.
Think of the tranquillity that comes with the calm ocean, soft sky, peaceful pasture, etc. and build your palette around that. Colour psychology suggests that the perfect hues for “quiet” spaces such as spas, dens or libraries are soft greens, light blues, warm greys/browns, or medium shades of warm pink/yellow.
And when it comes to décor, less is more! If you want to display some decorative elements, allocate a place for them, but make sure it stays simple and doesn’t give off a cluttered, busy vibe.
homify hint: How about adding some colourful fish? Watching fish in their watery world is a proven method for relaxation. When building your fin-tastic colourful collection, just be sure to ask the store team which species can be grouped together.
It is your personal, private area that is supposed to revitalise your senses and make you feel at ease, so feel free to add some elements that are meaningful to you. Display a few photos of family, friends, pets, or a fantastic vacation in some attractive frames. How about a stunning piece of artwork against the wall, your collection of snow globes in the corner, that vintage mirror you inherited, your favourite movie poster in a stunning frame…
Aim for some pieces that will conjure up good memories and happy thoughts, but keep the personal touches to just a few items to avoid a cluttered, messy environment.
homify hint: Scent is a powerful tool to evoke emotional reactions and can contribute to the mood that you’re trying to set in a room. A bowl of potpourri, incense, solid air fresheners, lavender plants, vanilla scents, oils, and scented candles can all add a calming ambience. So, add that certain smell that you love to make you feel invigorated.