How to Turn Your Home Into a Sanctuary
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3 Steps to turning your house into your personalized home sanctuary for you and your family.
The saying goes that there’s no place like home. Many of us long to pull into that familiar driveway and put the key in the door at the end of a long day, but for some of us, home is just a pile of bricks and mortar. If you’ve recently moved, you’ve never really got round to putting your stamp on a house after relocating, or your house doesn’t quite feel like your home sanctuary, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve bought a house or you’re never quite settled, here are some tips to help you turn your house into your happy place.
Making your home work for everyone
It doesn’t matter whether you live with your partner or a close friend, you have children, or you’ve recently welcomed your parents to the fold, your home has to work for everyone. It’s no use having a beautiful home if it doesn’t suit your lifestyle and make every person feel content and comfortable. Think about the layout, the decor, and how you use each room.
If you have a family, there’s nothing better than spending time together, but there may also be times when you need a break, and you want to indulge your interests or just unwind in peace. If you have children, it’s hugely beneficial to gear your home towards family time by creating spaces where you can hang out together.
You don’t have to have a huge house to make it work. Consider an open-plan kitchen-diner, for example. If you’ve currently got a room that is used for cooking and eating, you could do so much more with the space, especially if you don’t have a series of reception rooms or a separate playroom. Using pieces of furniture and distinctive colors and patterns, you can create different areas that can be used for a host of activities.
If you’ve got a dining area, you can also use this for homework, playing games and arts and crafts. You could also use a table to work or to entertain friends and family. In a different part of the room, you could set up an area to chill out, catch up and relax together. Lay out some floor cushions next to a sofa or an armchair, add a couple of side tables, lamps and a rug, and you’re good to go. Creating versatile spaces enables you to enjoy time alone and time together as a family.
It’s wonderful to spend time with the family, but most of us also appreciate some ‘me time’ now and again. If you’ve been at work all day or you’ve been running around after the kids or doing errands for aging relatives, your home should provide the serenity you need to kick back and relax.
Use the space you have available to create a sanctuary. This could be a room where you can just sit back and listen to music, it may be space you use to be creative, or you might even want to get your yoga mat or weights out and do a workout. Whatever you like to do to relax and clear your mind, make sure your home gives you the space to do this.
If you don’t have a host of spare rooms to choose from, there are ways of creating multi-use rooms. Take a guest room, for example. If you have a daybed, you can add a desk or an easel to enable you to indulge your hobbies without sacrificing space for visitors who want to stay over.
Alternatively, you could use part of the garage as a gym or loft space as a studio. If you haven’t got any room inside the house, but you have a large garden, you could look into the possibility of extending or adding a garden room. These projects may not come cheap, but they will almost certainly add value to your home, so they may be worth considering if you’re keen to make money or you plan to stay in the same property for years to come.
Creating relaxing, stress-free environments
Stress is one of the most common health problems in modern society. If you’re prone to stress, you have a stressful job, or you devote most of your time to caring for others, it’s so important that your home provides respite. It’s particularly beneficial to ensure that your bedrooms are tranquil spaces, as stress can increase the risk of sleep problems, and a lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.
Many of us climb into bed feeling tired and exhausted, only to find that an hour later, our minds are still active. If you’re familiar with this scenario, it’s hugely beneficial to get into the habit of taking time to wind down before you head up to bed. If you’re getting into bed having just cleaned the whole house, tackled a mountain of laundry, or checked your work emails, you’re going to find it difficult to switch off.
Take an hour or so to do something you enjoy and lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Create a snug you can retreat to and read a book, put a soothing playlist on or draw or write, or chill out in the living room with a movie. Get cozy with blankets and throws and make sure you choose furniture that delivers on both style and comfort.
If you’re prone to back pain, don’t choose a sofa based on looks alone. Opt for a couch with a high back and plenty of give, or shop ComfySacks.com and take a look at bean bag loungers. These are much softer than couch cushions, and they mold to your body to support your spine and ease pain in the joints. It’s also a good idea to invest in cushions and throws so that you can get cozy and prepare your body for a restful night.
If you’ve got spaces that are designed for rest and relaxation, you should find it easier to induce a state of calm, and hopefully, this will help you sleep.
When you get into bed, you want to drift off quickly, rather than lying awake or tossing and turning. If you’re feeling relaxed, the last thing you want is an old mattress, external noise or bright light flooding through the window to keep you awake. It’s crucial to get your sleeping environment just right.
Block out light with blackout blinds or heavy curtains, leave phones and tablets downstairs, and use soft lighting to create ambiance.
If you find it difficult to get comfortable, or you regularly wake with aches and pains, it may be worth looking into buying a new mattress. If you are on the lookout, check out this useful guide to help you narrow down your options https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/how-to-buy-a-new-mattress-what-to-know_us_57311129e4b016f37896ca07.
Once you’ve got your bed sorted, add cushions and throws to make the room cozier, and opt for subtle colors. Avoid bright shades and clashing prints and patterns, and add candles and house plants that are proven to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Lavender is a good example.
You could have the most stunning home in the world, but if it’s full of clutter, you may still find that you can never really relax. Clutter is a source of stress, and it can also have a really negative impact on the esthetic of your house. If you’ve got stuff everywhere, and it’s stressing you out, now is the time to embark upon a decluttering mission.
You may be dreading getting into the loft or tackling the garage, but think about how much better you will feel, and how fabulous your home will look once your mission is complete.
You don’t want to turn the key in the door after a hard day to be confronted with piles of boxes or a hallway full of books, clothes, and old CDs. Set aside a few hours, and work your way through each room. Create a series of piles of stuff you want to keep and items you could sell or donate, and throw everything else away. Once you know what you’ve got left, you can think about storage.
Use wall-mounted shelves, racks, and rails to organize your closet, put up shelves and hooks in your garage to keep tools and outdoor clothing in order, and label boxes you put up in the loft or down in the basement. If you don’t have the luxury of attic or cellar space, and you’ve got stuff you don’t want to get rid of, it may be worth looking at renting a storage unit.
If your house isn’t a place where you feel at home at the moment, don’t worry. It can take time to settle in and really put your stamp on a new house. Sometimes, you need to make changes to ensure that your home caters for your lifestyle and your individual and collective preferences and needs. Hopefully, this guide will help you turn a house into a home, and ensure you have somewhere to retreat to and seek respite at the end of a hectic day.
What things do you do to make your own personalized home sanctuary? Let me know in the comments below!
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