When I walk trough my front door and into my home, I want a gentle embrace from my surroundings— I like homes that create a calm and inviting welcome. The way the muted sunlight filters through windows or how the gentle texture of a rug feels underfoot can offer soft comfort. Calm homes are created by incorporating light and textural spaces, a neutral colour palette, architectural features, good lighting, and thoughtful selection of furniture and accessories. Today I’m sharing the key interior design elements all of my favourite calm rooms have in common. Here’s why each of these elements matters.
10 Interior Styling Tips For Calm Homes
- Neutral Palette: Opt for muted, soft, and neutral colours such as soft greys, creamy whites, pale sand, tan and other gentle earth tones. By including personal touches, quality materials, cozy textures, and simple silhouettes, you can create a serene and calming environment while maintaining a clean and clutter-free space.
- Natural Elements: Incorporate elements from nature—be it wood, stone, or plants. Houseplants not only purify the air but also provide a touch of nature’s tranquility.
- Declutter: Keep spaces minimalistic. A clutter-free space can lead to a clutter-free mind. In our increasingly hectic lives, our homes often unintentionally become a reflection of our mental clutter. Piles of papers, unused items, or even an excess of decor can feel overwhelming and disruptive to our inner calm. By creating an environment with fewer items, we allow our minds the freedom to rest, without the constant reminders of tasks or responsibilities. It’s crucial to make it a habit to regularly sift through our belongings, asking ourselves if they still resonate with our current needs or bring joy. As the renowned organising guru Marie Kondo suggests, if it doesn’t spark joy, perhaps it’s time to let it go. Regularly go through your belongings and keep only what brings value or joy.
- Soft Lighting: Avoid harsh lights in cool shades. Instead, use soft, warm lighting through floor lamps, table lamps, or dimmable fixtures. Candles, in moderation, can also set a calming ambiance.
- Accent Colors and Materials: Add interest to your calm home by incorporating muted accent colors such as camel, blush pink, mocha, olive green, mustard, terracotta, or rust. Additionally, warm-toned woods and mixed metals like brass, copper, antiqued gold, and blackened iron bring depth and warmth to the space.
- Architectural Features: Architectural elements add interest to calm homes. Incorporating timber beams, trims, joinery, millwork, cladding, rendered brick, bamboo panels, or wall mouldings to create architectural interest and a connection to nature
- Flooring: Light timber flooring in simple planks or herringbone patterns add dimension and visual interest to open-plan living spaces. Complement the flooring with raised rugs and runners made from wool, woven jute, sisal, or seagrass, contributing to an inviting and calm atmosphere.
- Furniture: Furniture choices should be intentional, focusing on quality and function. Blending antique and vintage finds with contemporary pieces is an art in itself. Antique pieces carry a story from a bygone era that adds depth and character to our homes. Pairing these with sleek, modern designs creates a harmonious juxtaposition. Contemporary pieces often bring in clean lines, innovative materials, and ergonomic designs.
- Texture and Materials: Utilise raw materials and raised textures to add character, warmth, and comfort. Natural woods, rattan, cane, leather, and travertine will add calm interest and layers to your decor. Incorporating boucle and chunky knits, lightweight cotton, linens, cashmere, tactile weaves, faux furs, and decorative throws and cushions to layer textures and make your calm home feel warm and inviting.
- Minimise Electronics: The incessant pings of notifications, the glow of screens, and the hum of electronics have subtly, but firmly, integrated themselves into the fabric of our daily lives. While these tools offer convenience and connection, they also come with a hidden cost—our peace of mind. The blue light from screens, studies suggest, can disrupt our sleep patterns, strain our eyes, and even impact our mental well-being. Designate areas in the home that are tech-free zones. Whether it’s a cozy reading nook, a tranquil meditation corner, or the dining room table, these zones encourage genuine face-to-face interactions, deeper conversations, and a return to simpler pleasures like reading a physical book or enjoying the tactile sensation of crafting.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to start, prioritise decluttering as that’s often the easiest way to create calmer home. Then take your time utilising the styling tips above to create a warm, inviting and calm home that brings peace and balance to your daily life.