Feel busy and overburdened by life? You’re not alone: living in a digital world with multiple demands on our time means that many people are looking to redefine their homes as sanctuarieswhere they can relax and recharge.
“It’s that sense of finding an escape from the world and everything that’s going on,” says Philippa Prinsloo, partner & head of design for home at John Lewis & Partners.
The retailer polled its customers to discover shifting patterns in how they were using their living rooms, and discovered that 53% believed it should be a space for calm and quiet reflection – and with 77% having used it for reading over the previous month, and 18% practising exercise, yoga or mindfulness, it’s clear that we’re not just slumping in front of the TV to switch off.
“Encourage a sense of calm by having a space that is less cluttered,” says Prinsloo. She adds that this doesn’t mean a bare, minimal room, just making sure that everything you do have on display sounds a restful note, including lots of natural materials and inviting textures, from lambswool to jute. Build on these tactile layers with other sensory features such as home fragrance and discreet home speakers.
Daylight is naturally reviving, so let in the light with sheer voile curtains or a strategically placed mirror, and a palette of warm neutrals such as soft pink and grey. By night, lighting some candles and using dimmable or colour-changing bulbs will set the mood and ensure that your living room’s transformation into a relaxing retreat is complete.
Philippa’s picks for wellbeing:
“Rather than using bright colour to bring visual interest, use a mixture of textures, and introduce pattern in a more subtle way via the texture itself.”
“Think about all your senses, including sound, touch and smell. Choose a scent that’s going to help you relax.”
“Greenery has become massive. Create an indoor landscape of plants and choose from all kinds of vessels to put them in, from woven baskets to ceramic pots.”
“Materials that offer a connection to the natural world are inherently calming, from timber furniture to wicker baskets and linen cushions.”
“A calm living space needs the right storage. If it’s used as a kid’s room by day, then make sure you’ve got a place to put everything away in the evening.”
Room for wellbeing
Natural light, plants and textures all help to create a space that’s calm amid the chaos. John Lewis + Partners make it easy, using sustainable materials and mindful design for a living room that’s good for the soul.
See the whole range at johnlewis.com