A relaxation room is designed to imbue a sense of peace and tranquility, giving its visitors a mini vacation from the bustle of a busy or stressful day. Everything from the colors on the walls to the accessories in the room plays a role in creating this peaceful environment. Calming colors, comfortable furniture and pleasant sounds and scents are key. Any element not key to the decor, or which doesn’t contribute to a sense of peace and well-being, should be removed from the room, as is the case with any item which contributes to clutter.
Calm, soothing colors, such as neutral greens, beiges or blues, bring peace to a room, as does lavender or a light purple. Busy, bright colors such as bright red, yellow or orange have the opposite effect and are the color equivalents of loud sounds. While those bright colors may work well for an office or brainstorming room, they will not exude a sense of peace to those relaxing within. The furniture should also be kept to simple, minimalistic colors; otherwise, a bright piece of furniture will overwhelm the calming effects of the room itself. Lighting functions in a similar fashion to color in a relaxation room; it should be kept at low, calming levels, or even feature natural lighting from a window, rather than harsh lighting such as fluorescent overhead lights.
Complete comfort is the goal for furnishing a relaxation room, whether the room is in a spalike environment or simply a place of respite within your home. Comfy chairs — especially those in which you can lounge or read a book — belong in a relaxation room. Overstuffed armchairs work well for the reader. Comfort and simplicity are key to all furnishings in a relaxation room. Layout of the furniture is kept to the perimeters of the room in most cases; a clear and simple walking path brings peace to the room, whereas a layout that nearly causes stumbling over the furniture to get from one place to another has the opposite effect.
Sounds and Scents
Sound, or lack thereof, is as important to a relaxation room as any other element, or even more so. A noisy room in which you hear the cacophony of a busy street or construction area, for instance, isn’t going to bring relaxation no matter how calming and comfortable the room is. Pleasant sounds such as flowing water in a tabletop fountain; a CD pumping quiet instrumental classical, ambient or New Age music into the room, or even white noise can be used to bring an air of peace to the room. White noise or gentle music is helpful if outside noises would otherwise be heard from within the room.
Fragrance works much the way sound does in terms of creating a relaxing atmosphere; pleasant scents such as lavender or vanilla create a sense of peace in the room, whereas obnoxious or strong odors have the opposite effect. Even citrus fragrances, much like their associated colors, can be a bit much in a relaxation room. While citrus scents can be pleasing, they are more invigorating than relaxing, much like their respective colors.
Small elements of detail in the room’s accessories also contribute to the peaceful atmosphere. A small Zen garden sand tray — a frame full of sand, a few smooth stones and a small rake — creates a sense of peace while you rake patterns into the sand. Photos of peaceful settings, such as clear mountain stream or light shining through a thick forest, also bring peace to the room. While a window’s view may not commonly be thought of as an accessory or decor element, it certainly can be if the view is stunning or beautiful. With such a view, place seating near it so those in the room can enjoy the beauty easily. A few smooth river pebbles stacked on a table or stand also exude a Zen-like peaceful quality. Other decor in the room should be simple and uncluttered; clutter creates a sense of tension which diminishing the relaxing qualities of a room.