Stress. It is one of those near-constants in our daily lives. We feel the demand of our work responsibilities. We feel the weight of an ever-increasing to-do list. And when we get home, stress rarely stops at the front door.
But what if it did?
Stress is a normal part of life, but our homes should be the place where we feel rested and restored. It should reflect where you are in your life (or where you’re going) and be a place of peace… not another project on your to-do list.
The good news? With some careful consideration, a few thoughtful design decisions, and simple systems, your home can become a place that helps you destress, unwind, and relax at the end of each full day.
Today, I’m taking you through some of the biggest conscious and subconscious stressors I’ve seen at play in our clients’ homes, along with our solutions for minimizing or even eliminating them. The result will be a calming, peaceful home that eases your mind, lowers your heart rate, and leads to a happier, healthier life.
Come take a look…
Stressor #1: Heaps of Clutter
You don’t have to be a hoarder to accumulate a lot of stuff. Over the years, it naturally builds up. We are gifted items that we don’t have a use for. We buy home accessories and decor that we like, but it doesn’t work together and falls by the wayside. During a normal school year, we are bombarded with mail and projects sent home for our kids… all of which are important, but contribute to the clutter.
A lack of proper storage exacerbates this problem. If we don’t have a system in place to deal with the influx of “stuff”, it piles up on the kitchen counters, causing stress, frustration, and even resentment. Yikes!
Decluttering is the first step in creating a home that works for you and with you. A clean slate can also give you a renewed sense of purpose. It creates both mental and physical space for new pursuits or phases of life. Sounds pretty good, right?
Culling the clutter, organizing the items you plan to keep, selecting proper storage solutions, and implementing rules against future accumulation will alleviate stress, and even help you find time you didn’t know you had to tackle other items on that growing to-do list.
For step-by-step directions to transforming your home through decluttering, check out our past blog post. You could also hire a professional organiser for even faster results.
Stressor #2: Broken Stuff
We have all had them… the door that has to be slammed shut because the latch doesn’t catch… or the nail in the floor that you are always maneuvering around… or the electrical outlet that hasn’t worked in years. Can you relate?
Broken and damaged items cause stress, no matter how “used to them” we may be. Every time you have to work around these issues, the subconscious frustration with your home mounts… and it’s adding to your stress levels whether you realize it or not.
Hire someone to help you get all of those little items addressed. That bi-fold closet door that won’t stay shut? A quick fix for someone who knows what they are doing. Same with the nail… and the outlet… that chipped paint… and anything else that is broken or damaged in your home.
Sometimes, the hardest part is just making the call to the repairman. So set a date to get it down, and tell yourself that your happiness is worth it. You wouldn’t believe how much relief can come from resolving a tiny stressor that has been silently nagging you for years.
Not sure where to turn? Reach out… our team regularly tackles these items while completing projects for clients, or we can recommend someone who can help. By getting everything in your home back in working order, you’ll be able to move about your daily routine with a sense of lightness. I know because I’ve experienced this myself.
Stressor #3: Poor Sleep Environment
Considering we spend one-third of our lives sleeping, it’s important that those resting hours are quality. Every feeling of stress has a trigger… you just have to locate it.
Maybe it is the old, uncomfortable mattress. Maybe it is the fact that the bedroom is doubling as a home office and you’re in there alllll day long. Or maybe your bedroom is overflowing with clothes because you have insufficient storage. Or maybe you have a racing mind and your home is doing nothing to quiet it.
You’ll be surprised at the difference a well-designed bedroom can make on your quality of sleep. The right colours, textures, and layout can transform your bedroom from the place where you sleep to a room that immediately helps you power down.
In addition to the look and feel of the space, we’ll also make sure to build in storage solutions and a functional flow that limits clutter build-up and helps keep your space (and mind) clear.
Until you’ve felt it for yourself, you can only imagine the feeling of complete peace and contentment of your head hitting the pillow in a room designed just for you. It is bliss.
Stressor #4: A Lack of Design Harmony
Another subconscious stressor — inconsistencies in decor and design. When you have design that lacks cohesion from room to room, it really can weigh on your psyche. It could be mismatched trim, a variety of door styles, switchplates in various shapes and colors, or an assortment of finishes that simply don’t work well together. It all equates to visual clutter.
The same is true of design decisions gone wrong, such as the clashing combination of patterns. The colour scheme that worked in your head but not on your walls. The furniture pieces that match theoretically but are visually competing for attention. The framed artwork or photos hung just a bit too high, making the room feel off-kilter.
When there are even just a few things “off” in one room, the space feels unsettling. As a designer, I can see these stressors immediately, but most of our clients don’t realize what’s off until we point it out. That’s just the nature of our job! (I’m sure you’ve experienced the same in your area of expertise.)
A simple redecoration of your home can go a long way toward alleviating stress. By working with a designer to create a well-coordinated space with a harmonious, restful, inspiring colour scheme (and adding proper storage to keep extra stuff out of sight, of course), you’ll be surprised just how relaxing and beautiful your home can be.
Plus, most designers offer a complimentary Discovery Call…so if you’re on the fence about this investment, let’s talk. We will be able to help you get a clearer sense of the stress-free home that awaits you as we navigate what you love and what needs work in your own space.
Stressor #5: Dysfunctional Room Layouts
Are you someone who loves to cook for your family, but you have a tiny kitchen that doesn’t support your passions? Or maybe you work from home, but don’t have a suitable home office space? Or you host a monthly book club, but there is no reception room to comfortably accommodate the group?
If your home doesn’t work for your lifestyle, stress ensues. Simple as that.
Maximizing your space and re-working the layout of your home might sound like a daunting task to you, but to any well-trained design team, this is what we do. It is our job to create a space that accommodates the activities you love…and one that meets the needs of your entire family. And you often don’t need to remodel the floor plan to get what you’re looking for.
When we design your space, we’ll take into consideration your daily family rituals. If you read with your kids every night before bed (accompanied by your Labradoodle), we want to give you a comfortable place to do so. If your kids need a place to do their homework, we want to help create a designated area conducive to their best work. And if you put up a Christmas tree every year, we want to offer furniture arrangements that can be easily modified during the holiday season.
We believe in the magic of great design, the beauty and ease that comes from every detail being carefully considered, and the de-stressing affect everyday luxury can have on your health for years to come.
I think 5 sounds is enough for now so I’ll wrap this up. I hope this post has inspired you to identify the hidden design stressors in your home and make a plan to eliminate them one by one. (Or all at once, if you’re working with an expert.)
And if you’re ready to reduce the stress in your home, let’s chat. Our team would be delighted to create the perfect backdrop for your life, one that is refined yet relaxed, custom and comfortable… the epitome of everyday luxury.
Until next time,