How to Design a Serene, Trigger-Free Home

This post focuses on how to design a serene, trigger-free home. By considering and implementing these tips, you’ll not only create a home that promotes tranquility but also establish a nurturing environment that respects your sensory sensitivities, ultimately enhancing your overall well-being.

1. Streamline and Simplify

Decluttering your living space is the foundational step to creating a sensory-friendly home. Start by going through each room and identifying items that don’t serve a purpose or hold sentimental value. Donate, recycle, or discard these items to reduce visual and mental distractions. Minimalist interiors often provide a calming environment where every item has a deliberate place.

2. Choose Soothing Shades

Colour can profoundly impact our emotions and overall well-being. Sensory sensitivities are highly individualised, and what may be a trigger for one person might not affect another at all. Select a colour palette that resonates with you and promotes a serene atmosphere. Gentle blues are known to evoke a sense of calm for some individuals; soft greens connect with nature, and neutral tones like beige and grey offer versatility and tranquillity. Experiment with colour combinations to find what soothes your senses best.

3. Master the Lighting

Lighting sets the mood in your home. For individuals with sensory needs, consider coloured lighting. A simple and affordable option is LED stripes, a small portable battery-operated light projector (that can be easily moved around the home) or smart bulbs. Consider installing dimmer switches or using lamps with adjustable settings to control light intensity. If you’re sensitive to natural light or streetlights at night, blackout curtains can provide a peaceful sleep environment.

4. Texture Variety

Engaging multiple senses through texture is key to a sensory-friendly space. Incorporate various textures into your decor, such as plush rugs, smooth wooden surfaces, or textured fabrics like linen and velvet. These elements add tactile richness to your home, making it more inviting and comfortable.

5. Quiet and cosy retreats

Designate specific areas in your home as quiet and retreats. These zones should be free from electronic devices and excessive noise. Consider creating a cosy reading nook or a meditation corner where you can escape daily commotion and find solace in peaceful solitude. A small tipi or play tent will offer a welcome retreat for children wanting to escape noisy environments. Personalise the space to cater to your sensory needs; add soft cushions, throws, and elements that bring you comfort.

6. Mindful Scents

Scent plays a significant role in sensory experiences. Be mindful of fragrances in your home. Opt for natural scents like essential oils or soy candles with gentle aromas. Avoid overpowering or synthetic fragrances that may overwhelm your senses.

7. Sound Management

Curtains from Hillarys Calm Living collection

If noise sensitivity is a concern, incorporate sound-dampening materials into your home. Thick curtains, rugs, and acoustic panels can help reduce echoes and external noises. Create a quieter environment by strategically positioning bookshelves as noise barriers, or consider using white noise machines to mask disruptive sounds.

8. Organisational Tools

Invest in organisational tools to maintain an uncluttered living space. Drawer dividers, storage bins, and labels simplify the organisation of belongings, preventing sensory overload from a chaotic environment. Organised spaces promote a sense of control and ease.

Image credits: Image 1, Joanna Henderson, images 3&6 Jemma Watts

Click here for more advice on sensory design.

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