I'm running into more and more friends expressing frustration and tiredness and overwhelm. You probably know what I'm talking about right? I do too. We seem to always be trying to do more, and more seems to be asked of us all the time. Our days are hectic and we struggle to relax. But often we come home and our homes inadvertently keep us on edge instead of soothing our frayed nerves.
Our homes - I believe now more than ever - need to be a calm in the storm; an oasis from the chaos of life.
Look around you. How does your space make you feel? Is it dark and dreary? Are too many bright colours overwhelming you? Does it feel cluttered and stifling?
I've seen over and over how redesigning our homes can be so effective in helping it's inhabitants to slow down, rest, and recharge. And most of the time, it's by toning down anything visually 'loud' in favour of calming and neutral spaces, with smaller hits of colour and texture and personality mixed in. I'm not saying that means you have to paint your walls white. Often times you can acieve a calming effect with other light neutral colours. But perhaps give it white a second thought.
I'm sure you know the benefits of decluttering (a cluttered space = a cluttered mind). However, using white paint at home and work is a solution you may not have considered when trying to figure out how to relax and slow down your life. Research shows that white spaces have a positive effect on mood and energy. I choose white for walls 90% of the time for myself and clients, and the spaces always feel fresher, lighter, and more relaxed and serene.
White spaces are known to help you experience restfulness, airiness, calm and joy. In colour psychology, white generates a sense of purity, balance and harmony. I know I've never felt more calm and renewed as when I lived in a tiny condo with white walls that bounced the sunlight around everywhere. Even though I had only 700 sqft, it felt spacious and I spent a lot of time there in peace.
In a light white space it's almost impossible to be anxious or depressed. And in turn, the sense of calm it evokes allows to you create space mentally and emotionally as well. It helps you to slow down and be more mindful. Which of course will help you be more productive and effective in everything you do.
A few ways to use white to help you slow down:
-Paint walls in a neutral white eggshell or satin paint. Good neutral choices include Sherwin Williams Pure White, SW Extra White and Benjamin Moore Simply White. Or dowload my free guide to white paint choices.
-Paint tables, desks, and kitchen cabinetry with white semi-gloss and then add a few layers of water-based polyurethane so that they are protected and easily wiped down. They'll instantly brighten your space and reflect the light coming in from outdoors.
-Cover dark or patterned furniture in white slipcovers made of cotton or another natural material that can be thrown in the washing machine.
-Use light white sheer or linen curtains to create a relaxed look and let as much natural light in as possible.
-Paint a floor that's seen better days with white floor paint. It will bounce light and be easy to clean up.
-Have lots of soft white throws and pillows hanging around to encourage rest and relaxation in comfort.
-Stack fluffy white towels in the bathroom for an immediate "spa..hhhh" feeling.