5 Design Secrets from the Most Relaxed Rooms

published Jul 28, 2015
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(Image credit: Monica Wang)

Feeling like a relaxed home is an unattainable goal? It doesn’t have to be. Let go of the big picture–a totally serene home that’s potentially a 180° from your current lifestyle–and zero in on the little things you can slowly change to create your peaceful place.

Looking at rooms that get it right, you start to see the little tricks that style-savvy designers use to give a room tranquility. Here’s how you can get the relaxed look on your own.

Do Lots of Neutrals (shown above)

Take a mental inventory of the most saturated colors in your space and see if you can’t replace it with a neutral or a toned-down version of the same shade.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Layer Textures

Is everything flat in your room? Add something more plush like a faux fur rug or throw pillow. Bring in something metallic. Maybe a piece made from rustic wood. And remember: keep it all neutral.

(Image credit: Sarah Gerber)

Check Your Lighting

Switch off or dim any overhead lights and opt instead for spot lighting, like a side table lamp or sconces on either side of the bed. If it’s in the budget, switch out your light bulbs for full-spectrum bulbs which better simulate natural light.

(Image credit: Fabienne Ayina)

Say No to Knick-Knacks

I’m a huge fan of surrounding yourself with objects you love, but if the number one goal is designing a relaxing space, clearing out clutter is the easiest way to do it. Aim to have just one or two objects on a shelf or table top.

(Image credit: Jacqueline DuBois)

Create Space

Floor space equals freedom. Don’t be afraid to remove an end table or two–chances are, your space will feel more full without them.