Zen Your Space

6 Ways Your Living Room Is Stressing You Out—and How to Make It Zen

By Jamie Wiebe 

In a perfect world, your living room should be a space for relaxing, entertaining, or playing with the kids—a one-stop shop to hide away from the worries of the day. So why do some of us end up avoiding this space at all costs?

It turns out, your living room decor choices (or lack thereof) could be stressing you out. Stop the tension in its tracks by making these easy design changes, which promise to smooth your mood and transform the space into the laid-back paradise you deserve.

1. Clutter

You had to know this would be the first thing we’d call out: It’s OK for your living room to look lived-in (it is in the name, after all). But too much “living” can leave a space looking like a junkyard. And, you guessed it: Mess and stress are psychologically linked.

“The living room is a notorious catchall and, as humans, we love to dump our stuff there,” says Leigh Spicher, the national director of design studios at home builder Ashton Woods.

Spicher’s living room has “beautiful architectural finishes, large windows, and a glorious brick fireplace”—but she doesn’t notice those things. Instead, she sees the toddler toys, dog bones, shoes, remote controls, magazines, and more.

Improve your mood: Tuck away games and books in built-ins, and choose furniture with storage so you can easily keep odds and ends out of sight.

2. Sounds and smells

Clutter isn’t just visual. “It’s also found in other senses, such as noise and scent,” Spicher says.

Think about your living room: Do you have a Sonos and a television? Do your kids watch YouTube on their tiny screens while you’re watching “The Bachelorette” on the big screen? All that noise keeps you on edge and prevents relaxation—no matter how many glasses of rosé you down during the show.

Think beyond the audio, too: “Avoid numerous scents,” Spicher says, “especially unnatural scents, such as plug-ins.”

Improve your mood: Pick one primary scent—ideally a natural one, like your favorite potpourri—and make sure to play only one audio source at a time. Really, try it.

3. White fabrics

You might love the all-white look, but a living room isn’t always the best space for stark, minimal decor.

“Yes, we all want our living room to be nice and perhaps a bit more formal than the rest of the house,” says designer Mark Cutler. “But stay away from white fabrics or you’ll constantly be worried about spills and stains.”

Darker colors cover up messes and allow you to live in your living room—not just tiptoe through the space.

Improve your mood: Of course, if you can’t live without all-white decor, go for it. But consider your limits: Will you feel stressed out whenever a guest sips red wine or coffee? Are you willing to drop everything and scrub away whenever you spot the slightest bit of dirt? If not, consider a darker decor scheme.

4. Bare windows

Even if you’re tucked away deep in the woods, it’s hard to shake the spooky sense that you’re being watched when there’s nothing between you and nature.

Full-strength, unfiltered sunlight causes stress, too. (Think about your living room heating up with the afternoon sun, or not being able to see your TV due to a full-screen glare.) Covering up your windows returns your sense of control, and helps your living space feel private and personal.

Improve your mood: “Don’t skimp on blinds, curtains, and shades,” says Nicolette Powell, an interior designer at Oasis Rug & Home. “They bring style to a living room, and they’re functional.”

5. Artificiality

If you’ve been feeling a little on edge lately, take a look around your living room: Are you missing some greenery?

“If we omit natural elements in our living room, we are inviting stress in,” Spicher says.

Improve your mood: Add more plants. If you’re allergic to greenery or just not a fan of the look, there are a number of other options. Consider adding a small water element, like a fish tank, or starting a fire in the fireplace. Mixing natural elements throughout your decor—think stone, metal, and wood—adds that outdoorsy feel, too.

6. Lack of design

“Living rooms are often left as an afterthought and simply built as a big box,” Spicher says. But “if there’s one room in the home that needs design and organization—besides the kitchen—it’s the living room.”

So ditch the unadorned white walls and dull decor. But beware of designing for someone else, or blindly copying what you see on Pinterest. If you pick decor that doesn’t suit your lifestyle or tastes, you might feel like you’re occupying someone else’s space—and that can be downright stressful.

Improve your mood: Consider what makes you feel the most Zen. Comfortable couches? Bright colors? Bold patterns? Play it up. Craft a well-designed space that’s tailored to your desires, and turn a stressful, empty box into a retreat you adore.

Got Questions – The Caton Team is here to help. We are but a call or click away!

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 35 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/living-room-design-stressing-you-out/?identityID=9851214&MID=&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2018-0629-WeeklyNL-blog_5_livingroomstressout-blogs_trends

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at:  Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522  Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.com/thecatonteam/

Visit us on FACEBOOK:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

YELP us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or YELP me:  http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts and the information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. 

Published by

Sabrina Caton - The Caton Team Realtors

Sabrina is a native Californian born and raised in the Silicon Valley with a passion for Residential Real Estate and writing. Sabrina is partnered with her mother in law Susan - together they have 35+ years local experience. A full time Realtor Team with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Drysdale Properties out of Redwood City. The Peninsula is our backyard - let us help make it yours. We represent Buyer’s and Seller’s throughout the Bay Area. Effective. Efficient. Responsive. What can The Caton Team do for you?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.