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6 Tips to Create a Calming Home: Interior Design for Highly Sensitive People

Soothing monochromatic interior design

Highly sensitive people, or HSPs, are thought to make up about 15% of the population, according to psychologist Elaine Aron’s research. If you’re one of them, you might notice that certain environments and stimuli leave you feeling overly anxious or upset.

There are certain characteristics that highly sensitive people tend to share, such as being deeply moved by beauty, being highly attuned to their environment, and having a low tolerance for loud noises or strong smells. Whether certain stimuli cause you physical pain or brain pain, it's time to start looking into how you can create a more relaxing and comfortable home design that will stem from your sensitivities.

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The benefits of interior design for a highly sensitive person

By creating a relaxing and comfortable home environment, you can help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Designing with your sensitivities in mind can also help increase your overall sense of well-being and make your home a haven from the outside world.

Tip #1 - Good Natural Light

Good lighting is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for highly sensitive people. Poor lighting or bright lighting can cause headaches, eye strain, and even migraines. Good lighting can help lessen current and future health problems. Make sure to get plenty of natural light in your home. Black-out window treatments are often the preferred solution to light sensitivity, but don't forget to design it so that you can easily reveal the natural lighting on a frequent basis. When choosing light fixtures, look for ones that are dimmable and have a relaxing design. Create a natural light pattern when windows are sparse by using multiple, warm Kelvin light fixtures throughout the space to avoid bright spots.

Tip #2 - Textured Surfaces

If you're a highly sensitive person, you know that tactile experiences can be overwhelming. To create a sense of safety in your home, find the textures you enjoy and surround yourself with them. Basically, build your stimming into the space. Consider textured surfaces like soft fabrics, natural materials, and anything else that feels good to the touch. Put a glass top on your side table if you like to slide your fingers over the smooth surface. Help your significant other fully understand that you need a rug under your feet at all times, despite the beauty of hardwood floors. Try a matte tile in wet areas to give you an extra sense of stability.

"The word stim is short for self-stimulation." "One hypothesis is that stimming causes the release of beta-endorphins in the body, which then causes a feeling of anesthesia or pleasure." – Friendship Circle author Karen Wang

Tip #3 - Reduce Noise

One of the best things you can do to reduce stress and anxiety in your home is to sound proof your spaces from sharp and loud noises. This can be done by installing double-paned windows, adding rugs or carpets to hard floors, and using white noise machines. Try not to put the beds on the same wall of adjoining bedrooms. Use heavy drapery or tapestries for your décor. By reducing noise, you'll create a calmer environment that will be more conducive to relaxation and sleep.

Tip #4 - Peaceful Colors

When it comes to interior design, color is everything. The colors you choose for your home can either make you feel calm and relaxed or stressed and anxious. If you're a highly sensitive person, it's important to be aware of how different colors affect you before using them in your home. Consider what colors make you happy, calm, energetic... and use those colors in the appropriate areas of your home. Remember to create contrast to help give your eyes a rest as they sweep the room.

Want to dive deeper into how color can affect your PEACE? Have a listen to podcast episode #11 Your Color Theory of Interior PEACE with QuianaRose

Tip #5 - Remove the Mess

A cluttered and disorganized home can be agitating for highly sensitive people. Our eyes and brain are constantly trying to process and make sense of the mess, which can lead to feelings of anxiety and overwhelm. To create a calm and relaxing environment, it's important to declutter your space and keep things organized. This will help you focus on what's important and feel more in control of your surroundings.

Tip #6 - Avoid Strong Fragrances in the Home

When you're trying to create a calming home environment, it's important to avoid strong fragrances. These can be distracting, triggering, and even painful to a sensitive nose. Artificial fragrance has been shown to cause health problems with prolonged exposure.

Instead, opt for more natural scents like essential oils or diffusers. You can also try using unscented candles or opting for fragrance-free cleaning products. Try your hand at making natural cleaning products that can leave your home smelling fresh without triggering a migraine. If you have allergies, I recommend checking the labels of everything that goes into your home. For instance, if your allergies are triggered by carpeting with synthetic fibers, then swap out those carpets for ones made from wool or cotton that won't aggravate your symptoms.

Tranquil chic modern living room idea with pink sofa and upholstery side chair. interior design by Design A Rose Interiors in Chicago, Illinois

A Calming Home for the Highly Sensitive Person

The research of psychologist Elaine Aron estimates that there are about 15 percent of people who are highly sensitive. There are some people who are overly anxious or upset when exposed to certain elements even inside their own home. You can achieve a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere in your home by following these 6 tips.

I'm QuianaRose, and it's important to me to create comfortable, visually stimulating, and aesthetically pleasing spaces for you. Your home should nurture all of who you are and help you to be at your best.

Design A Rose Interiors focuses on the notion of Internal Peace. The principles of P.E.A.C.E. combine years of study and work in psychology, human behavior, ergonomics, ADA needs, and evidence-based interior design.

Begin Your Journey to a Nurturing and Rejuvenating Interior Environment


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