De-stress with interior design

Experts give tips for creating a serene home

By: Samantha Shriber | C&G Newspapers | Published August 16, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Your home is your special space to relax and unwind after the day’s stresses. But before you can sit down and let loose, is your décor living up to its safe haven obligations? 

“Color definitely plays a huge role,” interior designer Carolyn Heikkila, of St. Clair Shores, said. “Color theory definitely plays on our emotions. For instance, red is known to cause high blood pressure, along with other bright colors.” 

Heikkila, an interior designer from the Trend Design Group in St. Clair Shores, said to use earth tones and soothing paints similar to those featured in spas and calming facilities. 

The goal is to make your home someplace that is a sanctuary and serene to your emotions, and color can be a key way for doing it, she said. 

“Avoid bright, loud colors like bright reds, oranges and anything that raises your blood pressure and gives a sense of restlessness,” she said. 

Ash Showroom interior designer Matthew Finam, of Bloomfield Hills, said to strictly use neutral tones. He said that bright colors can be featured through home accessories like pillows, rugs and small decorations.

President of First Impression Home Staging Corie Conroy, of Bloomfield Hills, said she also suggests selecting a palette that is serene and channels softness. She said it is important to keep the number of colors limited. 

“The trick is to not use too much color,” she said. “Having a different color in each room quickly erects a lot of stress.” 

Finam said that one of the biggest goals to have when selecting color schemes is to capture continuity with one or a few prime colors. 

“It creates something that is a lot less busy, and what once was several different rooms becomes one space,” he said. “It is an optical illusion that unites everything together.” 

When it comes to creating a more relaxing system for organizing, Conroy said to minimize. 

“When you need to have things put away, make sure you’re storing them in containers that are pleasing to the eye,” Conroy said. 

Avoid chunky boxes and storage units that suggest clutter and an overflow of belongings. Keep things chic and calming with multi-use items like ottomans, dressers and shelves. 

Conroy also said not to store a lot of things in the same space. Instead spread everything out in spaces that are nearby and easy to return items to. 

“By avoiding packing things all together in one spot, people don’t have to feel as though they’re constantly trying to catch up on life,” she said. 

Keep things at a distance — it brings a sort of relaxing, laid-back energy to a home, she said. 

“I just feel that it’s important to have things placed in a way that relieves the stress of constantly having to be on your feet to manage your home,” she said. 

Heikkila said that you can rid a home of toxic energy by keeping the air clean and enjoyable. 

“With winter coming, so does the routine of closing everything up. We need something to cleanse the air and purify the rooms,” she said. 

Heikkila suggests purchasing air purifiers or essential oil diffusers. 

Conroy said to make a home more relaxing by bringing the outside in. 

“I love using a lot of florals and indoor plants,” she said. “With living in Michigan, we only get the nice weather for a small period of time. Always strive to create a nice space to rejuvenate yourself and to surround yourself with nature, when it’s available.” 

Heikkila said that a lot of natural light makes for a happy environment. 

“Take advantage of the season and get a lot of light in,” she said. “Take the opportunity to get as much sunshine as possible.” 

Conroy said that one of the best ways to de-stress your home is to surround yourself with the things that make you happy. 

“Surround yourself with photos from happy times in a positive place,” she said. “Photographs of friends, family or from a vacation you took can bring you back to a time where you were feeling the best.” 

Finam said that the only thing that can really guarantee a more relaxing home experience is a blindfold and a pair of ear plugs. 

“There’s not a special trick or an object you can buy; it’s a very long, complicated process that requires a period of editing and decluttering and dewiring everything. It’s not like you can buy a mirror and a runner to make it better,” he said. 

The first step to take is to throw out mix-match items and things that don’t have primary purpose, he said. He suggested that at least 25 percent of belongings should be donated or thrown out in the decluttering process. 

“There is no reason why someone should have three different china sets in their kitchen cabinets,” he said. “You only really need one set.” 

Heikkila said that another feature of a relaxing atmosphere is comfort.

“Have a nice cozy throw blanket, and stock up on warm blankets and fluffy pillows,” she said.