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9 Design Ideas for Attaining a State of Calm

Calm describes a feeling, an ambiance and mood, a sense of freedom from distraction and strain. With a moment of calm there is a certain peace and simplicity, a quietude filled with serenity and stillness. Calmness is often disregarded, in life, in design. To attain a state of calm, there must necessarily be some sense of order and purpose.


Swedish brand Tingest has produced a range of handsome workout equipment, ideal for an aesthetic and calming home-based exercise session. The range includes smart marble dumbbells and cast iron kettlebells.

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‘Tyngdlyftaren’ marble dumbbell designed by Alexander Lervik. Photo courtesy of Tingest.
‘Kroppsbyggaren’ cast-iron kettlebell designed by Mattias Stenberg. Photo courtesy of Tingest.


Those interested in finding an aesthetic sense of calm through sport and play, might appreciate the ‘Basketball Court House’ in Japan by Koizumisekkei architecture studio.

Basketball Court House
Basketball Court House. Photo © Koizumisekkei Ltd.


A clean and tidy home will work wonders in restoring a feeling of calm.

Brushes by Swedish venture Iris Hantverk.

It is perhaps helpful to equate calmness with simplicity. Simplicity can be afforded through the application of well considered design. The need to curate our homes is ever more pressing in an age of urban noise, technological intrusion and rampant consumerism. At home, we should be much more deliberate in the choices we make, thinking about how they might affect the ways in which we live. Whatever our frame of mind, our home should be that one place where we can feel safe, calm and inspired. We might never achieve a true state in which simplicity is the norm, but with a certain amount of forethought we can decorate our homes in a manner that is appealing. In reality, everyday simple things can make a difference to our quality of life.


A humidifier can work to alleviate sinus problems, reduce snoring, protect wooden furniture and keep houseplants healthy. The ‘Bottle Humidifier’, designed by Korean design studio 11+, is powered via a USB port and its soft LED light indicates the operating status.

Bottle Humidifier by 11+. Image © Arro Co.
Bottle Humidifier by 11+. Image © Arro Co.


The Dimma stool, designed by Stockholm-based Alexander Lervik, was inspired by the typical bar stool found in many British pubs. Made from powder-coated steel, the Dimma stool’s minimal design is light and unambiguous.

Dimma stool. Image © Alexander Lervik.
Dimma stool. Image © Alexander Lervik.


Stockholm-based designer Kyuhyung Cho designed the simple and practical Corner Shelf for Danish brand Menu.

RELATED: 10 Innovative Industrial Design Objects by Japanese Studio Miyake Design

Corner Shelf. Image courtesy of Menu.

Emotion, experience and integrity will act as perfect guides when seeking to bring about an expression of calm. We find calm in that which is cosy and comfortable, secure and warm: in honest materials, playful details and aesthetic qualities. However we choose to define or express it, a moment of calm is is a wonderful pleasure.


The Rise & Shine wall mirror is an elegant and poetic design by London-based design studio Hunting & Narud. Its adjustable rope ensures the perfect height, and allows the user to play with a room’s light and space.

Rise & Shine in natural oak with a solid brass weight. Image courtesy of Hunting & Narud.
Rise & Shine in burnt oak with a steel weight. Image courtesy of Hunting & Narud.


English company Out of the Valley has designed a series of cabins that offer relief from the stresses and strains of modern-day living. Its Oak Cabin combines a satisfyingly Scandinavian aesthetic with punctilious craftsmanship and a modest interior.

Out of the Valley Oak Cabin exterior. Photo © Out of the Valley.
Out of the Valley Oak Cabin interior. Photo © Out of the Valley.


A feeling of calm should not negate pleasure or fun. Choose objects that make you smile, that you appreciate for their sense of place, craft and history. The Discus Bird was originally created in 1961 by the celebrated Danish architect and designer Hans Bølling. This colourful and winsome character is shaped like a discus and made with hand-painted pine. A quirky family of four, the Discus birds are manufactured by ARCHITECTMADE.

Discus birds by Hans Bølling. Image courtesy of ARCHITECTMADE.
Gerard McGuickin
Gerard is a writer, a thinker and a modern-day gentleman living in a modish neighbourhood in south Belfast. Walnut Grey Design is his popular manifesto of good design. From Gerard’s discerning perspective, design should be aesthetic, smart, honest and gratifying. Moreover, it must be for keeps. A self-confessed urbanite, Gerard is enthralled b[...]

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