Blog by Beebe Cline

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Keep Calm and Carry On: Going Beyond the Poster

When my husband and I bought our first house, I couldn't help but to look forward to choosing paint colors for the first time. Apartment living provided drab walls and flooring, and I was over it from day one. In anticipation of our closing date, I began to play with various color groupings and found myself leaning toward bright pinks and punchy citrons — surely the answer to my doldrums was color.

Soon, boxes were moved and I felt settled enough to paint. The ugly sage-and-mustard-colored kitchen was first to go. Slate blue and soft white soon swept the walls and cabinets, and I noticed the calming effects right away. It got me thinking about what I truly wanted and I quickly realized that I longed for a home that was calm and at ease. A home that was far from busy and easy on the eyes. So up went more grays and blues, and my pinks and citrons took the back seat.

When creating a calming home, there are a few thoughts to keep in mind. Pulling in multiple relaxed elements will make quite an impact. I wanted to illustrate this feeling by gathering photos all in one place. Take a look to see if anything strikes a chord with you.
Nature. Even if you don't have the greatest view of a natural outdoor setting, it's easy enough to bring a few large branches of interesting leaf forms indoors. This space went from stark to soothing by the simple addition of leafy green stems.
by MusaDesign Interior Design
Whenever you can incorporate nature into your space through a large window, go for it. This softly colored room has a great view of the subtle textures outdoors. The rustling leaves will pull you into a captivating state, and all your troubles will wash away. Well, for a moment, anyway.
by valerie pasquiou interiors + design, inc  
Lighting. With so many options on the market, it may be somewhat tricky to choose lighting for your home. But keep the general concept of this ideabook at hand and narrow down your choices from the get-go. Look for lighting with a design that's easy on the eyes rather than boxy pendants or ornate chandeliers.
by John Lum Architecture, Inc. AIA  
A clear globe pendant is an excellent choice when looking for something that doesn't distract too much. Its translucency allows this entryway to maintain its light, crisp demeanor.
by Feldman Architecture, Inc.  
Texture. Flowing three-dimensional ripples liven this space enough to let this wall remain blank without feeling unfinished. Organic shapes fit nicely with the calm and collected theme and add quite a bit of visual interest.
by Turn Collaborative
This gorgeous acorn-colored floor adds visual texture and warmth. The dark, ornate ceiling in the room ahead balances the color and pulls the eye toward a few more textural elements. Smooth marble countertops and stainless steel drawer pulls round it off nicely.
by Van Wicklen Design  
Softness. Enveloped by dark color and delicate lighting and backed by velum-like shades, this window seat is a smooth talker. The plush cushions and chunky blanket pull it all together, and before you know it, nap mode is in full force.
A gentle and comforting chaise is the perfect retreat after a long day at the office. With solid drapes and a tufted chaise wrapped in eggplant, this space is easy on the eyes. The acrylic desk provides flow and the white flokati rug seals this off as a package deal.
by Amoroso Design  
Cohesive color. A thoughtfully composed living room provides a peaceful vibe by using a minimal color scheme throughout. Black seems to be a color that many people avoid, but this room holds it high with ease. When using a strong color such as black, it's important to maintain color balance throughout the room so the weight doesn't fall to one side.
by The Couture Rooms  
This relaxed bedroom is a great example of how a color that's just a little more vibrant can be used while still providing a laid-back atmosphere. The soft yellow acts much like a neutral, and all the use of texture is amazing.
by Tara Seawright  
Repetition. A photo-covered hallway doesn't feel cluttered or chaotic, thanks to black-and-white photographs and frames of the same color. The lack of symmetry on the wall keeps this long hallway from feeling too rigid, which would most likely be the case if the frames were displayed in a grid.
by Dumican Mosey Architects  
Another great example of repetition, this warm, character-heavy room has both the floor and long row of bins going for it. It carries the eye with ease and represents a nice, calming flow.
by BraytonHughes Design Studios
Neutral colors. So maybe I'm stating the obvious, but an ideabook about creating a calm atmosphere would not be complete without the mention of neutral hues. These soft colors are easy to work with and provide a quiet and serene backdrop, allowing an overly busy mind to catch up on rest.
by Suzie Parkinson
  • This classy bar will sway visitors into smooth conversation. With a gradient of color on the wall, the room is anything but boring. Chrome details make the space feel crisp rather than dull — always something to consider when using hues in this range.