How To Create a Calm Room

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How To Create a Calm Room

Creating a stress-free environment in your home, office or studio can seem like a daunting task, but you don't need to be a profession interior design or home decor artist to create soothing spaces in your home or office. 

In this post I will share some budget friendly, DIY tips and tricks from interior design and color psychology to help you transform your bedroom, home or office into a relaxing sanctuary. 

How to Create A Stress-Free Room

To design your own calm room, start by considering your background. Although we don't always notice them, the color and design of our walls have a genuine impact on the atmosphere and mood of a room and how we feel in them.

Creating a calm space in your home for relaxation and rejuvenation begins with painting a soothing backdrop. Below I will explain how you can create walls that invoke calm, without paying a fortune.

Not only will the finished room be a space of peace and relaxation, but the time you spend hand painting your own walls is relaxing itself. Here is our advice for choosing the right stencils and colors to create your own DIY home sanctuary.

Stress Free Walls:

Soothing walls start with a soothing stencil design. To pick the perfect calming stencil, look for a simple stencil design that has a fluid quality. Avoid designs that are boxy or complicated, and find one that will flow continuously, like a river, across you walls. Curvy, subtle designs are a good way to go.

Are stenciled walls more soothing than plain walls?

Yes, for two reasons.

First, plain walls can quickly become a monotonous, static backdrop in a room. Stencils provide subtle wall accents that create a gentle sense of movement and depth in the background of your space. This effect helps to generate the feeling of energy flowing and circulating throughout the room, which is key to relaxation. 

Second, stencil designs, as all art, have lines within their patterns that provide a sense of direction (and movement!) in a room. Different styles of lines (vertical, curved, etc.) subconsciously affect how our impression of different rooms and how we feel in them. Choosing a stencil pattern with calming lines is a great way to design a peaceful room.

Not all stencil designs are equally calming. Below I will describe the types of lines that are most relaxing and offer some soothing stencil ideas.

Step 1: Calm Lines

To create a calm atmosphere in your home, vertical lines, curved lines and irregular, flowing irregular lines are most likely to have a soothing effect. (Read more about Psychology of Lines and sight lines). 

Vertical Lines

Stripes Wall Stencil by Oak Lane Studio

Gingham Stripe Wall Stencil

Vertical lines are commonly used in interior design to create high and uplifting spaces. Subconsciously associated with stability and safety, vertical lines direct our eyes and minds upward and are thought to elevate the spirit. For this reason they are often found in cathedrals.

Stencil Ideas: Linen Stripes wall stencil

Linen Stripes Wall Stencil by Oak Lane Studio

Why this stencil?

The Linen Stripes wall stencil combines the uplifting stability of a vertical line with the freshness of a flowing line to create a very airy and open feel. The varying thicknesses and slight curves of the stencil’s stripes soften the stripe design so that your walls really do resemble light and airy summer linen, creating a very breathable room. This is also a good design for a room with a low ceiling as it will help make the space seem taller.

 Curved Lines

Curved or circular lines create comfort. According to RCWilley, they “provide relief, softness and balancein a room, and create the illusion of warmth. If you are looking to create a welcoming, comfortable and balancing space to find new energy, curved line stencils are an excellent choice. Not only do they generate a balancing and safe atmosphere, they lend a new energy to the space they are painted in and can be a great visual guide to find new energy throughout the day. 

Curved Stencils Ideas: Undulation Wall Stencil


Why this stencil?

The Undulation wall stencil's curving hourglass design is immediately calming. The gentle variation in the thickness of the stencil lines creates the illusion of steady movement, similar to a winding stream of water. (This stencil would also be a great choice to decorate a yoga studio).

Iron Lattice Wall Stencil

Why This Stencil: 

The Iron Lattice wall painting stencil is a sophisticated geometric design, with a curved center. Found in traditional Moroccan art, this stencil pattern is a subtle wall accent, that can create a reassuring and balancing atmosphere in your room. 

Flowing Lines

Flowing, irregular lines, such as spirals, scrolls and vines, have a soothing and rejuvenating effect. The unpredictability of an irregular line makes it appear endless, continuously flowing through your room. Because of their resemblance to flowing water, these lines have a very tranquil appearance.

Vine Wall Stencil by Oak Lane Studio

Vine Scroll Wall Stencil

Flowing lines also help stimulate an atmosphere of curiosity, growth and creativity. Stencils with these lines are perfect for creating a room that feels fresh, peaceful and rejuvenating.

Flowing Line Stencil Ideas: Spiral Scroll Wall Stencil

Spiral Scroll Wall Stencil by Oak Lane Studio


Why This Stencil:

The Spiral Scroll wall stencil is a wispy, fresh swirl stencil design. It’s asymmetrical and whimsical lines are classic example of a flowing line combined with a warm curved line. The full effect is a comforting and intriguing wall stencil full of fresh energy.

Mixed Line Stencils

Many Stencils combine several types of lines for a more interesting accent stencil pattern. For a fully relaxing effect, you can select a stencil design that blends curved, vertical and irregular lines. 

 Mixed Line Stencil Ideas: 

Meandering Trellis Wall Stencil

Why this stencil?

The Meandering Trellis is another stencil design that weaves curved and irregular flowing lines into a wide lattice stencil pattern. The loosely braided, curving lines of this design gracefully connect and separate, generating a sense of slow, unhurried movement. The peaceful, vine like quality of this stencil design blends the endless flowing of a river with comfortable curves.

Floral & Nature Stencils

Floral or nature inspired wall stencils can also contribute to a peaceful atmosphere. When you accent your walls with nature inspired wall stencils you bring a little of the boundless peace in nature into your room. 

Nature Stencil Ideas: Bamboo Wall Stencil

Simple Stencil Designs

While flowing lines are among the most soothing of wall stencil designs,you can also use simple, soothing geometric wall stencils to create a calm atmosphere in your home. Delicate polka dot wall stencils, such as our Nolita Dots and Ostrich Print wall stencils create a soothing raindrop affect on walls and home decor projects. 


Ostrich Print Wall Painting Stencil

 No matter what stencil design you are drawn to, remember that simple, fluid designs are the most relaxing. Most important, of course, is your own personal taste. Wall Stencils are a great way of decorating your home with your own personal flair, no matter you artistic ability. 

Step 2: Calming Paint Colors

You will need two colors for stenciling, a color for the background and a color to paint the stencil. If you already have a wall color that you like, you only need to find a soothing accent color for the stencil. But this might also be the time to repaint your walls.

While that might seem like a daunting project, painting a room can be a relaxing and fun activity. Adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls can also really refresh a room’s personality and bring new spark to your home.

To choose a soothing background color, I recommend selecting a subtle shade of a cool toned color, such as blue or grey, or a refreshing white. Pale or dusty colors are more likely to create a calm atmosphere than bolder hues. (Calming paint ideas, and Stress Reducing Paint Colors).

Blue Walls

Blue is scientifically proven to be the most relaxing color, and its multitude of cool, watery shades are perfect for decorating a calm space in your home or office.

 Blue Wall Stencil Ideas

Blue can be used as a background or accent color, and can be paired with another cool toned blue, grey or a white or brown shade to maximize its soothing appearance. You can also experiment with subtle metallic colors, such as painting a stencil in a silky silver tone, to create a relaxing liquid effect.

White Walls

White walls are a great way to create a light and airy effect in any room. They are wonderful idea for smaller rooms or apartments because they can make a room feel more spacious. Accenting a white wall with a simple, subtle stencil design can enhance this airy effect.

There are many shades of white, with warmer or cooler undertones. For the tranquil room, I would recommend a crisp white without an undertone or white wall with a cool undertone. For the stencil, choose an accent from another cool toned color, such as a blue, green or grey.


A warmer paint color for calm home decorating is beige, or any soft shade of light brown. Brown is generally associated with trustworthiness, honesty and stability. An unassuming, subtle shade of reassuring brown is great for a minimalist, or earthy home decor style. 

Brown is also a good color to pair with blue, white or green, and can be used as a stencil accent color or a gentle backdrop. 

A muted rosy pink with brown undertones is another way to create warm and calming home decor. 

You can browse through lots of stress-reducing paint color ideas online, or in your local paint store. It is best to always try a paint swatch on your walls at home first to test the color in your room. 

What are your favorite calming colors and paint?