What is #NationalRelaxationDay ?
National Relaxation Day was 'founded' in 1985 by Sean Moeller, who at the young age of 9 recognised that "too much work can make us sick, run down, tired and that’s just wrong". He wasn't wrong. Finding ways to relax is now regularly linked to stress reduction and overall health.
On the official website National Relaxation Day is described as "an important day as we all need a break from the fast-paced and often hectic lifestyles we live. Taking time to recuperate and rejuvenate our tired minds and bodies may help prevent many health risks." It's unreasonable to expect everyone to be able to get the day off work but that doesn't mean there aren't things we can do to relax. We've asked a handful of interiors experts how they'd suggest we go about making our homes feel more relaxing.
Slow down… breath, and relax. Relaxation Day is coming.
Here's How to Make your Home Feel More Relaxing:
Natalia is the author of STYLING ADDICTION - a blog with focus on Scandinavian design, interior styling, inspiring homes and interviews. As a big fan of Scandinavian design, meaning a minimal look rather than a monochrome scheme, she admits "it has always been a challenge to make the space feel relaxing. But when done well, minimalism can be truly inviting and warm".
To do minimalism well in this way, Natalia recommends:
"A good start would be to play with textures and layers to increase the comfort factor and to amplify the interest in that room. Rugs, blankets, sheepskins and linen, are only a few choices. The addition of natural materials like wood, leather that ages beautifully and glass are a must. All these elements will soften the interior and bring more balance.
After creating this base, it is time for some personal touches. Pick a few things that mean something to you and display them together. Create inviting areas, like a few books close to a comfortable chair and a good reading lamp, add a tea pot and a few cups ready to be used, candles and flowers."
Victoria is the author of Apartment 4 - an award winning home and style blog designed for those looking to create a beautiful home on a budget. Her top tip on creating a calm atmosphere in the home is all about how you style your lighting. She says:
"The key to creating a relaxing atmosphere at home is to get your room lighting just right. There's nothing better than coming home after a long day at work, dimming the lights, lighting candles and closing the curtains. I'm a huge fan of placing lanterns in varying sizes around my living room (usually grouped in three) and having a mix of church candles and tea lights burning. What's even more calming is to get a beautifully scented candle to wash those daily stresses away."
Victoria's Instagram is a great example of how the right lighting can make a home feel cosy. For more low cost interior design tips & home decor inspiration, read her blog here, find her on Instagram here & follow her on Twitter here.
Kasia Rutokwiak is the author of Scandinavian and lifestyle blog My Full House. Born in Poland, she's spent most of her adult life in Denmark, so her inspirational home has a gorgeous mix of design influences from both countries. Her top tip is to look out for your own needs, not current trends:
"My top tip would be to arrange the space after your own needs, not just the current trends. Your home must feel yours, no matter the season, mood or occasion. I love flowers and have them in every room. We also light plenty of candles and our home often smells of freshly brewed coffee."
Ellie Tennant is an interior stylist, journalist & author of Chic Boutiquers at Home - a best-selling book that brings you interior inspiration & expert advice from online sellers. For her, the key to comfort is simple living - a principle which she points out has seen a huge surge in popularity in the UK over the last year, despite the fact that trends like "hygge" and "lagom" have been used in their countries of origin for centuries to convey the ways in which "living a slower, more mindful, more thoughtful way of life can benefit us all".
To master the art of Simple Living, Ellie Says:
"Start small. Simplify your home, room by room, and your life, bit by bit. De-clutter. Donate anything you don't really need or want to a charity shop and you'll instantly feel less stressed. Sorting through your bookshelf, your wardrobe - or even just the kitchen drawer - can really make your living space feel less chaotic and busy. Gradually tackle every area of your home; sort, reduce, consider, reorganise. It's a therapeutic process, letting go of 'stuff'.
Don't panic - this isn't about hardcore minimalism or living in a clinical, white-painted space that is more akin to a sterile, clinical environment than a home. Simple homes can be warm and welcoming. They nearly always are, in fact. And shopping isn't banned - just live by the motto: 'less is more', and you can't go far wrong. For example, instead of splurging on cheap accessories in the supermarket that aren't built to last and will fall out of fashion within weeks, save up. Carefully consider everything you acquire. Invest in pieces that are well-made, with ethical origins, that will last you for years or, ideally, for life."
Heather Young is an interiors journalist whose blog, Growing Spaces, covers everything from decorating and family-friendly travel ideas to DIY and Craft tutorials. With over 14 years experience writing for UK interior magazines this writer knows her stuff, especially when it comes to styling your home to relax in it. Her top tip is to scatter lighting. She says:
"For me creating a cosy mood is all about lighting. Switch off the main light, and layer light from smaller light sources such as table lamps or floor lamps – you want to create warm pools of light rather than flooding the whole room. We don’t have a fire or woodburner in our house, but you can’t beat flickering firelight for cosiness, so I always make sure I’ve got some candles burning when I’m chilling out at home. Same goes for fairy lights – we have strings of lights dotted around our home, to add an in intimate feel."
Kate Baxter is an interior, lifestyle & travel blogger whose blog Fabric of My Life is full of stunning imagery, design ideas and interior inspiration. For Kate, the key to a relaxing home is scented candles. But you've got to do it right:
"My top tip for creating a relaxing home is to surround yourself with your favourite scented candles and actually burn them - for too long I left mine languishing on sideboards gathering dust and so didn’t get to embrace their relaxing, tranquility-inducing properties. Now that I’ve started to regularly burn candles, choosing the scent based upon my activities at the time, I’ve found my home to be a calmer, more relaxing space."
If you're a scented candle lover then you'll find loads of recommendations over on Kate's site. We suggest reading Kate's recent post #keepthecandleburning which talks about an amazing sustainable candle company KeapBK. For more interior, travel & lifestyle inspiration follow Kate on Instagram here and Twitter here.
Lucinda is a countryside-loving blogger who shares her tips around the house, baking tips and travel tips on her blog Bakes, Books & My Boys. For her, personalising your home is key to creating a calm and cosy atmosphere.
"Make sure your home makes you smile even before you get in! Beautiful flowers in a pot outside your door. A flowery seasonal wreath on the door. A fresh floral scent to great you as your door opens! Remember first impressions count even When it’s your own home."