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Everyone needs a happy place—somewhere to relax, unwind, and let the worries of everyday life melt away. Some dream of white-sand beaches, while others prefer cozy mountain cabins. Regardless, research supports our need for a break. Making time to relax is not only important for personal well-being but also benefits employers and the broader economy.
But what about when you can’t get away? Few of us can afford to take a spur-of-the-moment trip after a long work week. Fortunately, there’s another option: making your home your happy place. In this article, we’ll walk you through four simple ways to turn your home into a sanctuary.
The first step in creating an at-home sanctuary is making your home cozier. Invest in comfortable, high-quality furniture that makes your space feel warm and inviting. Then, accessorize your living spaces with cushy throw pillows, cozy blankets, soft rugs, and luxury towels.
As you shop, remember that you don’t need to overhaul your entire home immediately. Focus on the rooms where you spend the most time or the spaces you use to relax. For instance, you could start with one of the following projects:
- Convert your den into a state-of-the-art home theater.
- Fill your living room with plush furniture and accents.
- Remodel your basement to create a cozy retreat.
- Transform your backyard into an outdoor paradise.
- Turn your bedroom into a comfort zone.
- Upgrade your en-suite bathroom for a spa-like feel.
Choose Natural and Warm Lighting
Once you’ve outfitted your space with comfortable furniture and accessories, turn your attention to the lighting in your home. Avoid harsh overhead bulbs and fluorescent lighting. Instead, opt for warm hues and soft lighting. Below are a few options to consider:
- Dimmable lighting
- Fairy lights
- Fixtures that provide indirect lighting
- Floor and table lamps
- Recessed lighting
In addition to warm-hued LED lighting, incorporate as much natural light as possible. It may even be worthwhile to install new windows in a few key rooms. Consult with a contractor or interior designer about window type and placement. The top window companies offer a wide range of options, from picture windows and sliding glass doors to skylights and corner windows.
Declutter, Organize, and Clean Up
The third step is decluttering and organizing your home. Whether you take a minimalist approach or happily embrace the maximalist lifestyle, tidy spaces are more relaxing. Set aside time to deep-clean your home using safe, natural, and nice-smelling products. Then, sort through one room at a time and look for items you can rehome. Donate anything you no longer want or need to a reputable nonprofit, or sell gently used items online.
If you struggle to let go of things or stay on top of your cleaning routine, there are plenty of books, podcasts, blogs, and more offering detailed advice on how to declutter and clean. Alternatively, you can hire a professional organizer or cleaning service for help. Either way, it’s important to establish systems and routines to maintain your freshly tidied home.
Consider investing in stylish organizational bins and clever storage solutions to ensure everything has a place. Then, set up a daily or weekly cleaning schedule. Even devoting 15 minutes each day to tidying your home can make a huge difference.
Add Special Touches
Finish each newly redesigned space with thoughtful touches that reflect the room’s purpose and your unique personality. You can use this step to quickly refresh your entire home—even rooms that received little or no attention during the other steps. Start with a fresh coat of paint, keeping color psychology in mind. If you aren’t sure which colors to choose, here are a few ideas:
- Calming greens to help relieve stress
- Dark purple for an air of sophistication or light purple for relaxation
- Energetic orange or passionate red to stimulate activity
- Soothing blues to promote relaxation
- Sunny yellow or pink to brighten your mood or boost creativity
- Warm brown or gray to keep any room timeless and neutral
Next, decorate with items that will help set the mood. Hang artwork that evokes whatever feeling you want to achieve. Incorporate items that spark joy or celebrate your interests. Include a few houseplants, if possible. Researchers have identified several benefits to keeping plants, including improved air quality and lower stress levels.
With a few upgrades and the right finishing touches, your home can be the perfect place to pause and reset. Go through your home room by room and make thoughtful updates to the furniture, lighting, organization, and decor. Splurge on the elements that matter most to you. You might invest in design elements that promote a more peaceful environment, such as adding a skylight in the kitchen or a fireplace insert in the living room.
Most of us spend the vast majority of our time at home. Whether you decide on a full bathroom remodel or simply treat yourself to new towels, creating a home sanctuary is well worth the investment. The project can be as big or small as you want and still pay dividends for years to come.