First, go for an overall design that “flows” (no rough edges or abrupt breaks in the décor) easily and peacefully from the window arches to the table edges to the furniture. You don’t even have to redecorate the entire room to achieve this; start small by substituting a round throw pillow for a square, or using a small circular rug as an accent point.
Also strive for balance; symmetry creates a sense of harmony and peace. For example: a set of matching chairs can flank a table or matching mini-couches can be directly across from each other.
Biophilia is the scientific term for connecting with nature, which in turn reduces anxiety and lowers blood pressure. Using a lot of natural light, wood, bamboo and other elements in the décor relax and soothe. Even just a couple of plants and a few animal ceramics will help!
Have you ever walked into a living room and felt instantly comfortable? Or just the opposite-stressed out? What you may not realize is that your reaction has a lot to do with color (a section of the brain called the reticular activating system receives sensory input-including colors-and tells the body to either calm down or rev up. If the colors “resonate”, we’re relaxed; if not, we’re stressed).
Here’s a good formula for a stress-free living room (or any room):
Start with a soothing primary color as the base, such as blue and green. This is your “anchor” and will be your true color. The rest of the room should be mainly earth tones-cream, tan, white, terra cotta and taupe.
Additional Tips and Ideas
Create a restful environment in a living room with fabric and furnishings in an easy-on-the-eye palette of cream, beige, taupe and pale blue.
Got a large living room? A high-backed sofa will give it intimacy. Or….
Fill the corner of your large living room with a sectional sofa with thick cushions, topped with lots of pillows for extra comfort. Or….
For a sense of coziness, set up two distinct seating areas.
For a soothing atmosphere, encase a living room in caramel, biscuit and cream tones. Also include subtly textured rugs.
Create an intimate gathering space by angling four wingback chairs around a starkly modern fireplace.
And for added comfort, put some down-filled pillows onto a pair of the wingback chairs.
Combining old and new furniture in a living room creates a homey, lived-in feel.
For more info on serene living rooms, go to www.freehouseinteriordesignideas.com/serene-living-room/