Caves were the first form of shelter known to man. Humans have always sought shelter to feel safe and protected. This need for a home and shelter is considered a primal necessity, and homes should be considered the most sacred place, as they affect where and how we eat, relax, sleep and interact with friends and family. Therefore, creating a calm environment should be at the forefront when arranging your home.
A stress-free space can mean many different things depending on who you ask. We all have different ideas of what a stress-free design means. It is just as subjective as the concept of beauty. Therefore, in whatever design you choose, when there is more than one person occupying the space, the room should be able to adapt in order to accommodate the daily activities of all occupants. Still, there are some general ideas that can help promote a stress-free design.
First and foremost is to declutter your space. Sometimes, this process is hard to do, and the longer you wait to d-clutter a space, the harder it will become. So just tackle the room. Get a few boxes, and start one corner. Go through the entire room. If something has sentimental value, such as a family memory or an accomplishment, it can stay, as good memories and achievements promote a sense of well-being and help one feel grounded. Magazines, unnecessary accessories or items that are rarely used should be put in the box to discard, give to charity or store in an attic.
While you may like color in your decor, make sure the colors and patterns do not clash in a way that is aggravating to those in the room. It is always best to go for neutral backgrounds such as whites, off-whites, beiges and grays for the primary pieces of furniture, such as upholstered pieces, and then use color to punch interest in decorative pillows, accessories and art. These colorful add-ons will add to the visual interest of your room. As for patterns, it's OK to mix and match to get a bit of a "wow factor," but choose wisely with different scales and patterns so your room doesn't end up screaming at you. Remember, what you are going after is a beautiful and stress-free space.
Finally, it's a designer's cliche, but it is true: Bring the outdoors in. These are the best accessories for any room. Plants add a touch of color, and they are subtle as accessories. In most cases, they even help the quality of your air. Your selection of plants should be easy to maintain; the ultimate goal is creating a stress-free design. However, tending and nurturing your houseplants can be cathartic and promote a sense of calm. A floral arrangement, for some, is an indulgence, but it is a small price to pay when you consider the visual benefits.
Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Florida. To find out more about Joseph Pubillones, or to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.