Tag Archives: private spaces

Giving Your Home the Spa Treatment

Image via Contemplations of My Notions

No matter what your profession is, whether you work from home or in an office downtown, it is a challenge to keep the job away from your home life. Here are some touches you can easily add to your home that can create a spa-like atmosphere that is radically different from the daily drudgery, you can’t help but leave the work where it belongs, which is anywhere but home.


Nothing creates ambiance like sound. Do we not use music to set up the mood for a party, for a long drive, or for a romantic dinner? So for your relaxing little nook you can have a fountain that gurgles softly or little wind chime to tinkle gently (i think clay and bamboo chimes make the best sounds).

Dharma chime

Terracotta chimes via India Mike

Even if you are nowhere near the woods or the ocean, you still listen to nature’s soothing sounds — albeit on your music player! Note: Keep the volume low.


There’s something so quiet about diffused brightness of dawn and the soft dim twilight that conditions you for happy thoughts and an easy mood. You can achieve the same effect with muted lighting and candles.

Image from The Spa at Millbrook

Bamboo-inspired garden lights


Light up a stick of incense, or if that’s not your thing, you can use scented candles or aromatherapy pots. Lemongrass and eucalyptus are popular scents.

Image by Declan McCullagh Photography

Lounging furniture

Atmosphere is one thing, actual kicking back and lying down is another. I absolutely love Kenneth Cobonpue’s Mermaid Chair and its two ultra-relaxing configurations.

And I found these beautiful wooden bathtubs by Alegna over at Dornob. My jaw just dropped when I saw these!

Image via Dornob

Scrubs and Soaks

And how about actual spa treatments? Massages would be awesome! Call a masseuse or have your partner give you a backrub. You can also raid the kitchen for some pampering goodies feel really good, and may even make your skin look better.

Make a body scrub out of salt, sugar, and a little olive oil. Mix them in a jar and rub a handful into your skin after a shower. Or try this foot soak from Martha Stewart and give your tired achy feet a well-deserved break.

Image from Bubble Goddess

Unplug Your Psyche

All these are just external ways to help you relax and get your mind off work, but you have to do the mental unplug yourself. There was a great article on Apartment Therapy a couple of weeks ago that was just for this very thing.

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A Perfect Nook

Photograph by Douglas Friedman for House Beautiful via The Southern Eclectic

Many of us have areas in our home that we just don’t know what to do with. Maybe it’s a narrow alcove at the top of the stairs or an attic with an impractically low ceiling. With a little imagination these architectural oddities can be turned into the perfect cozy little nook. Here are a few ideas that might show you how to turn that awkward spot in your house into your new favourite place to enjoy a book or have your morning coffee.

The above window seat shows how built-ins can be used to create a charming conversation or bird watching nook. Using reclaimed wood to frame the space is a genius idea, it really defines the space.

Re-Nest via Ohdeedoh

What kid wouldn’t go absolutely crazy for a play kitchen like this? I think I want one for myself, only full-size. The molding and window box are adorable touches. The little girl who owns this should consider herself one lucky kid indeed.

Abode Love via Made by Girl

This lovely little office is in the home of the design savvy Laurel of Abode Love. If you haven’t been to her blog before it’s well worth checking out. The pictures of her home are stunning, but I was especially taken by the mini office she created. The broad striped walls draw your eye in, and the transparent chair, fabulous yellow curtains and personalized touches keep this office with a view feeling airy and cheerful.

via bookshelf porn

This has to be the perfect place to snuggle up with a book. I love how this little hideaway has its own bookshelf and light fixture. This would be a really sweet idea to integrate into a kid’s bedroom too.

via Lonny Magazine

This gorgeous custom banquette creates a stylish but relaxed dining area. I love how architectural this space looks and the exquisite symmetry of the light fixtures and styling.  What a wonderful place to enjoy breakfast and some family time.

via Design Sponge

A guest bedroom in the attic is by no means a new idea, but I really love what interior designer Jessica Helgerson has done with this attic. Simplicity and warmth fill this room and the white bedding paired with a shell chandelier give this bedroom the relaxed feeling of a retreat, which is just the atmosphere we’d all love to give our guests when they come to stay.

Carving Out Quiet Space in the Urban Jungle

Exotic space with floor pillows and rugs

Moroccan-inspired room. Image via Destination: Unknown.

It’s an urban jungle out there. Sometimes we need a little breathing room to ground ourselves; remind ourselves of the grander what’s what, what’s where and maybe a little check in with who we are. Or at least that’s what I need. Especially this time of year with the endless hustle and bustle.

Comfy seat, pillows, and a shaggy rug

A comfy space is really all you need. Image via Luur Design.

When a long bath won’t do or the escape to yoga class isn’t going to happen (maybe because it’s not your thing, gasp, or rather breathe…), consider making some meditative space in your home. We won’t all be designing the yoga or meditation sanctuary (though I’d love to!), but we can carve out quiet spaces for reflection, for prayer, to express gratitude, or set our day’s intentions. Whether this space is integrated permanently into your living environment or just some special items you call on to help set the mood as the need arises, finding mindful time within your home is important. Because where better to be relaxed and revitalized than at home?

New to quiet time or stuck on how to inspire the right vibe within the bigger picture of your home – here are a few ideas to help you create rejuvenating spaces:

Choose an area where you can feel relaxed.
I find rooms with doors work well, but that’s just me.

Historically the family hearth is where everyone gathered to unwind together. If you’re not the sort to sit lotus style on a pillow, just you and your mantra, don’t fret – it can be enough to set up your mantle with reminders of those things precious to you and just take in this view from your sofa.

Photos and ornaments on a mantel.

I love the way this person has incorporated pictures, ornamental pieces, nature and lighting. Image courtesy of Apartment Therapy

The bedroom makes perfect sense for some quiet time. You won’t regret carving out a few minutes of mindful time after you wake up or before you go to sleep (it just might help you start the day right or drift off peacefully).

Bright and airy room with minimal decor

The way the light streams into this room, the warm and quiet ambiance make it a perfect place for reverie. Image courtesy of Treehugger.

A Nook or empty corner of a room can serve the purpose beautifully:

Orange painted wall

This personal altar is a stunning place to pay homage.

The kitchen, for so many of us the heart of the home, is busy with the quotidian. While this might be exactly what you need escape from you can also reclaim the space. Move the multi-colour-coded calendar out, pepper the fridge with photos and art from your tiniest artists and brew some something warm to drink.

Retro radio and a cup of coffee

Image courtesy of Ultra Swank

Adding items that speak to you

Whatever space you’ve chosen, incorporating icons, art, or pieces from nature can help relax and inspire you. And so can the addition of some personal artifacts like photos and mementos that embody those top priorities in your life.

Don’t forget to set the ambient environment. Our homes are one of the only places we can exercise a modicum of control over what alerts our senses. So turn down lights or let the sun shine in; burn some incense; turn on or play some music. You and the world around you will all be better for it.

This is an amazing image! I’m relaxed and inspired already… Image by Indian Gypsy.