Our homes are our sanctuaries. It’s where we create memories, build relationships and feel safe from the craziness of the world. But sometimes they can get a little chaotic too. 

We continually acquire things – whether they’re things we need, or are given or just happen to like. Kids bring in stuff and mess. Partners have their own projects that take up space. And pets bring in their own style of mess. It can be overwhelming.

Calm interior design can help you build a calm space that embraces elements that make you feel peaceful. So even when life gets crazy, you’ll have a true sanctuary in your home.

Calm interior design: How to create a calm home you’ll love to be in

A calm space featuring a well-lit living room with white sofa and turquoise floor rug opening onto an outdoor pool area

Calm spaces need calming proportions

We’ve all been in rooms that just don’t feel very good. Maybe the ceiling is too low, or the windows too small. Maybe it’s stuck on the back of a renovation and just doesn’t follow the flow. Maybe you can’t tell what it is, but something about the room just gives you a sense of unease. 

There are many reasons for this, and the space we live in can have a direct impact on our subconscious. This contributes to the way we feel, the way we see the world and our own wellbeing. Because of that, we want to ensure we get this space right.

While every calm interior design project will have its own unique demands, using the golden ratio is always a great place to start. You will also want to consider scale, pattern, shape, location and more, to achieve the right balance and proportions in your interior spaces. Your interior design team can absolutely help you with this.

Calm interior design in a living room with comfortable neutral coloured modular sofa with a selection of coloured and textured cushions

Calm spaces need calming colours

When it comes to calm spaces you’ll want to consider the colours you’re using first and foremost. While neutrals are often considered to be peaceful, there are other colours that can work just as well. Greens inspired from the outdoors, blues and golds reminiscent of Versailles and French styling. Even orange is psychologically proven to provide a sense of security. 

Of course, if you love your neutrals then shades of white, cream and grey are always a beautiful choice. Whatever you choose, it’s best to use complementary contrasting colours in order to allow our minds to rest in the space. 

Finally, consider using a monochromatic colour scheme. Using all one colour can be very appealing, especially mixed with different textures and styles. It allows for creativity without being overwhelming.

Calm interiors in an outdoor alfresco area with soft green upholstered, wicker furniture on a light-coloured floor rug

Calm spaces need calming influences

When you’re building out your calming space, think about what makes you feel good. For many of us that’s the outdoors. That’s also why so many people feel so strongly about biophilic design

You can add plants and natural elements to your space of course. And you can also create spaces that bring the outdoors in (and you out). These might be wide windows and doors, easily accessible porches, decks or patios and a focus on flow. 

Of course, calming influences are certainly not limited to the great outdoors. For example, some people might find books calming. In that case, building in spaces that allow for bookshelves, reading nooks and other elements relating to this pastime would certainly create a calm space for the avid book lover. Or you might find natural textiles and textures calming. Then you would want to focus on large, overstuffed sofas, textural rugs, plump cushions and chunky throws.

A freestanding bath and soft greenery in a brightly lit bathroom creates a calm space to relax

Calm spaces need a calming feeling

Once you’ve designed your space, you have the proportions right and have focused on your calming influences, you also need to ensure that your décor brings a calm feeling. For most of us that means minimal clutter, soft furnishings that are both beautiful and comfortable and lighting that creates a restful ambiance.

A young girl reading a book on an upholstered bench seat in light, airy, calm interiors


When it comes to your space’s details, flooring can be very important. This isn’t just about the look, but also about the feel. If you lay wooden floors directly over concrete, you might find it less soft and gentle to walk on, for example. And tiles will feel cool under feet, which might feel restful in summer. Again, this comes down to personal choice, but when it comes to choosing, consider both how they will feel to walk on and how they make you feel when you look at them.


Lighting is another element that will add to the feeling of calm in your space. When a space is brightly lit, you may feel more productive and energised. And this is likely what you will want (and need) in spaces like your home office, or on winter days that are naturally short and dark. 

But it’s important to have layers of light, such as side lamps or dimmers. This allows you to soften the light on days when you don’t need it or just don’t want it. This kind of soft lighting creates a restful ambiance in the home and allows you to feel tranquil and calm. But you also have the option to switch it up when you need something more.

A white wicker outdoor cabana with soft blue patterned cushions typical of poolside luxury interior design Brisbane

A home designed with calm interiors

We were recently so privileged to work on the stunning Garfield home. A classic Federation-style Queenslander home, Garfield was transformed into a truly luxurious space, with calm interior design centred around lifestyle. 

In this case our clients had an immense love of the Mediterranean, so we designed an all-white exterior offset by terracotta roof tiles, a green and lush garden and a beautifully calming open plan interior. The result is truly a haven from the world.

View the Garfield Portfolio

Calm interiors are individual and unique

Your calm interior will be individual and unique to you. Spend some time online (Pinterest is great!) looking at spaces that feel good. Spend some extra time in spaces you already love and try to pinpoint what it is that makes it feel calm to you. Then brainstorm the elements you might want to bring into your own home.

Of course working with an interior designer is a great step to creating a calm space. As an expert interior designer in Brisbane, our team know how to work with our specific climate and seasons to create flow and bring wellbeing into a space. And we’re happy to work together to implement all the elements that create a calming space for you.

Further reading

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