How to make your house a Sanctuary
When you think of a sanctuary, a spa weekend may come to mind-relaxing in a sauna or sipping margaritas on a far-away beach. What you may not immediately envision, is your own home. But why not? They are, for most of us, the place we spend the most time, the place we return to after a hard day at work to finally unwind. Let’s make them a place which relaxes us the moment we walk through the door. A sanctuary, if you will. I’m as bad as any of us for putting off interiors tasks because they seem too big, too time consuming, too expensive. So, I’ve put together a list, from no budget to splashing the cash, of interior hacks to encourage you all to do this with me. Let’s love our homes again.
Create a relaxation zone that isn’t your sofa.
It’s important to wind down and relax after your day, and settling in to watch a documentary on your sofa can be fun. But doing this day in, day out can become monotonous and doesn’t allow you to properly switch off from the world. Create an area just for you, maybe add some cushions, a lamp, a yoga mat if you have one. Keep this area just for relaxation, so that you associate it with feeling calm the moment you enter it.
Now you can take the time to discover the most mindful way for you to relax. Maybe its meditation? It can be hard to get into at first- our minds are so active that slowing them down can feel even more stressful when we begin. But persevere; try an app, or a mantra, and just allow yourself this time.
I personally love to do yoga. I never thought it was for me; my first experience in a crowded room, unable to contort my body into any of the poses put me off for years. But taking it slowly, in my own space, and letting my body stretch and recover, is now my favourite part of the day. Try “Yoga With Adriene” on YouTube. With hundreds of routines, for all levels, she may become your new favourite person. For that “at home spa” experience, light a scented candle before you begin.
Bring nature inside.
I love a house plant (or five). There’s something so fresh about a room with pops of bright green and hanging leaves interwoven with mirrors, lamps or blinds. Even the smallest room can feel bigger when a plant is hung near the window, bringing the outdoors to you. Top tip: go for leafy plants rather than flowers which can wither and look unloved, and don’t skimp on the plant pot. Macramé hanging baskets can add a rustic and calming feel to a room, and can be neutral or add a statement with a bold colour.
If, like me, you can’t normally keep a plant alive for longer than a week (two days, if we’re being honest), then look for low maintenance varieties. Aloe, mother in law’s tongue and heart leaf philodendron all look beautiful but require relatively little upkeep.
Make a statement with coloured walls.
There is a certain appeal to keeping the walls of your house neutral-less commitment to a colour scheme, easy to match furniture items to, etc. But, unless you truly love a neutral house vibe (which some people do, and pull off beautifully), completely white or cream walls can make a room feel like it lacks your own personal touch. Painting a wall or four doesn’t have to be scary; we’re not suggesting you go for the brightest shade in the range. But perhaps take a look on Pinterest and discover what colours you love in a home. Make a mood board or two, then grab a few buckets of paint, invite some friends round to help and make a weekend of it! I personally love terracotta on walls right now. It brightens up a room without feeling too much and goes beautifully with a surprising number of colours. It looks gorgeous next to some house plants too!