Style your way out of Blue Monday
Having a space where you can escape and relax when life gets overwhelming with endless emails, notifications and work stress can do wonders for your mental health. As we approach Blue Monday, we're looking at uplifting colour palettes, feng shui principles and more to create a happier, relaxing space.
What is Blue Monday?
Blue Monday takes place every year on the third Monday of January and is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. It's a day where celebrations have ended, bills are impending, the weather is poor and lots of us may be struggling with our New Years' resolutions.
It doesn't have to be all doom and gloom though, you might prefer to think of January as an exciting time for new beginnings and opportunities for the year ahead.
To help get you into a more positive state of mind, we've come up with our top 10 relaxing and uplifting interior design tips to create a space where you can get away from it all in time for Blue Monday.
1. Follow the ways of feng shui
Following the ways of feng shui will help to create a sense of harmony within your space and allow positive energy to flow.
Houseplants are an excellent way to start practising feng shui. Many of them have strong connotations with wealth, love and luck and they offer soothing shades of green which is known to help our minds relax.
Additionally, by following the feng shui design principles, you can create a more calming and uplifting space. Changing the layout of your furniture, so that your sofa or bed isn’t directly facing a window or doorway, and introducing plenty of natural light will all help to keep the positive energy flowing and make your space all that more relaxing.
2. Choose the right houseplants
Using houseplants that are easy to care for is a win-win. You won’t find yourself worrying over browning leaves or watering schedules and they’ll add to your relaxing home décor.
It’s best to mix up your plants and choose different sizes from tall botanical beauties to greenery that can highlight your walls and warm up the smaller spaces of your room.
The fun part is that you can make your space as #jungalow-like as you want, either by using a whole plethora of plants in your living room and really filling your space or pairing it back with a few leafy friends. Here are a few of our top plant picks:
Of course, bamboo is top of our list! It’s well known for exuding calming vibes and it looks great in most interior styles. We think it looks best when popped in a large seagrass basket, which is both very much on trend and won’t distract from your bamboo’s soothing greenery.
Fiddle leaf fig
With its large fiddle-shaped leaves, the fiddle leaf fig has plenty of greenery to add some warmth to your space and it’s been very much loved on the interiors scene in recent years.
Its soft-shaped leaves help to promote a sense of gentle calm, but despite its popularity, the natural tree needs a lot of TLC. There’s no need to give up on your dream of a fiddle leaf fig however, our faux fiddle fig looks just like the real thing and there’s no maintenance involved!
Give your walls some leafy love by styling up your shelves and introducing hanging plants that draw eyes upwards and enhance the leafiness of your space.
Ivy is a staple for just about any high-up space, whether that’s a shelf, windowsill or trailing down tall furniture. Its inviting greenery excels at softening harsh, cold corners and it matches any colour scheme.
With bushy, apple-green leaves, the Boston fern can bring an empty corner or table-top to life in an instant. Its timeless style can work with any interior design making it one of our top picks and there’s the option to forego the risk of pests (something this plant is sadly susceptible to) and maintenance with our faux Boston fern.
We love the calatheas unique foliage, with spectacularly patterned tops and purple undersides that can add exciting colour to your space. They're susceptible to disease and prefer filtered water, but their beauty is worth it! Alternatively, we’ve got a few faux options that don't need any hassle, including our pinstripe, rattlesnake and artificial medallion calathea.
4. Pot styling
The pot you choose to pair with your plant can totally change the feeling of your room.
Brightly coloured pots dotted around will give your space a fun, exciting look, whereas earthy tones including rust and warm neutrals from seagrass baskets and terracotta-coloured pots will give your space a calming effect.
5. Choose a mood-boosting colour palette
If you prefer the sound of a calming sanctuary this Blue Monday, try neutrals, earthy and natural colours, including blues and greens which are key for warm, cosy and relaxing interiors.
On the other hand, if you want your space to be fun, lively and cool to lift your spirits, look inwards to the colours that make you happiest. In most people, they tend to be bright and warm colours like yellow, orange and pink.
One of the easiest ways to add new colours to your space is to paint your walls, which can be especially affordable with colour-matching services available. Choose colours with warm undertones and don’t be afraid to play with colour. Alternatively, you could create a feature wall with some fun-looking wallpaper.
As well as adding colour to your walls, similar or complimentary colours throughout your room in cushions, curtains and other décor.
6. Take your lighting seriously
It’s surprising how much of an impact lighting can have on your space and your mood. Bright artificial lighting can not only cause strain on your eyes but also throw off your circadian rhythm, which tells our bodies when it’s time to go to sleep.
Throwing back your curtains or blinds in exchange for natural light during the day will help to give your space a warm sunny glow which in turn will help to boost your mood. In the evening, consider using table and floor lamps to gently cast a warm light instead of using harsh overhead lighting and we guarantee you’ll see a difference in the cosiness of your room.
7. Add calming accessories
Using the right accessories is key to giving your space a homely feel, whether it’s a soft rug underfoot or a candle to scent your space and help you unwind after a long day.
Pile on the cosiness by layering soft textures like cable knits, suede and velvet and give your space a closer link to nature by using natural materials like jute, wood and stone, similar to Japandi styling.
Try to choose accessories that have meaning to you like family photos to give your room character and a personal touch. Don’t worry too much about your accessories being perfect, in fact, you can embrace the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi by finding beauty in imperfections from chipped or unglazed pottery to a stack of worn books.
8. Introduce a comfy seating space
Whether you’re creating a relaxing bedroom, office or just a quiet corner to get away from it all, having a comfy space to sit and relax is a must-have for relaxing interior design.
One of the best things you can do is choose a soft fabric like velvet or chenille, or in your bedroom, choose bedding with a high thread count for the softest feel.
Although they may look good, rattan, wooden stools and thin plastic chairs won’t bring you much comfort. Instead, ensure your seat is nicely cushioned so you can sink into it with a glass of wine and keep Blue Monday at bay.
Try to incorporate your chair or sofa into your interior décor, either by using a more subtle colour to offset your boldly coloured walls or by choosing a maximalist fabric and making a statement with it.
There’s no need to go out and buy something new if you already have a comfy chair. Try changing the look of your existing seating with a cover, which could even be switched out throughout the year to match the changing seasons.
Lastly, finish it off with a suitable side table for your cup of tea, a lamp for the evening, and perhaps section it off from the rest of your home using a folding screen or bamboo screening to avoid distractions and unwanted intrusions.
9. Tidy away clutter
When designing a space where you can be happiest, make sure to include storage for any mess and objects you don’t want on display, after all, a clean space is a clean mind! Baskets can hold lots of things and if you use a seagrass or wicker basket, it will double up as décor and its natural look will add to the cosiness of your space.
10. Don't forget the garden
It's easy to spruce up your interior, look out your window and see a bland garden staring back at you. This year, you can beat Blue Monday by creating a beautiful outdoor space that you can admire from indoors.
There's no need to have a large grassy garden, even if it's just a small balcony or window ledge you can transform your outdoor space by using colourful blooms or flowering shrubs like winter honeysuckle, pansies, daphne or cyclamen. Either add them to a flower bed, install a window box or use a range of small potted plants dotted around to make your space a little happier.
As with your houseplants, you can make this step even easier for yourself by choosing faux flowers which will keep their colour all throughout the year and won't need any maintenance either. Try using a few of our flowering shrubs, a hanging basket or two, or perhaps even some green living wall and turn an old fence into a stylish botanical feature.
11. Seek advice
Our final tip is a little different from the rest. If you're finding it a particularly tough time of year, make sure not to bottle things up. Talk to friends, family or a professional if it's all feeling a bit too much this Blue Monday. 💙
Find more interior design tips, insider interviews and plant styling tips below or check out our inspiration section to see how others have styled their space.