Subscribe to our newsletter for studio updates and design inspiration.

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )

May 19, 2020

Relaxation Retreats: Creating Personal Spaces Within Your Home for Rest, Creativity, and Innovation

Beyond the obvious places for rest within the home (bedroom, spa-inspired bathroom, and living room), it is absolutely crucial to create separate personal spaces where you can foster activities and hobbies that bring you joy and, ultimately, rejuvenation. These areas are different for everyone – some may find a boost of creativity in an artist studio or writer’s room while others prefer a more social game or billiard room to recharge. Whichever you choose, be sure to prioritize it within your home. Especially during these uncertain times of self-isolation, having a retreat in which to reclaim innovation or even simply to have a change in scenery can make the days feel purposeful and filled with positivity. 

In today’s post, we’re outlining the elements of what makes a relaxation retreat successful, because no matter your style or hobby preference, several key design tenets remain essential across the board. With these steps in place, your escape awaits.

Tenet #1: Determine the Purpose of Your Space

What is it that you love to do? On particularly stressful days, how do you relax? Perhaps you dabble in watercolors or costume design. Maybe you love to read or fall into the world of writing, chipping away at your debut novel. Or, maybe you just love to relax in the sun and watch your personal garden flourish as the summer stretches on. Regardless of what is personally relaxing to you, the first step to creating a retreat is determining exactly what its purpose is.

If you rely on the view from your lakefront home to paint your sweeping landscape scenes, then a windowless corner in the basement is simply not going to work – you need a second level window, ideally with a balcony to paint from on warm, sun-soaked days. Likewise, if you need peace and quiet to write, but you’ve set up your “writer’s cottage” outside by the pool where the kids and their friends gather on long weekend days, chances are you won’t get much work done during that time. Your retreat’s location must be intentional – only then can you truly enjoy it.

Tenet #2: Choose a Color Palette that Brings You Joy

Since you’ll be spending hours on end in your new space, you need it to be anchored in a color palette that brings you joy and boosts your creativity. If bold colors make you feel alive and filled with ideas, then go the ultra-saturated route. However, if those same colors make you feel on edge or make your mind race, a calmer neutral palette may be a better fit. Determine which colors align with your work style and you’ll be well on your way to a space that feels just right.

Tenet #3: Solidify Your Aesthetic

Next up? Solidify your aesthetic. If your home is a contemporary haven, by all means, continue elements of that aesthetic within your personal retreat – it is, after all, an extension of the rest of your home. However, don’t feel too limited in your room’s potential. At its core, it should be a place that feels like you and a place that encourages innovation. So, if you need to go outside the bounds of the rest of your home’s aesthetic to strike the exact balance of rest and energy, do so. The key is to be certain on the look you want – then you can begin to align your decor accordingly to make your dream space a reality.

Tenet #4: Source Furniture that is Beautiful and Functional

When it comes to furniture and decor, anything goes – it is your space through and through. However, keep in mind that you want your furnishings to be both beautiful and functional. Don’t select only lounge furniture if you need a solid chess table for hours of logic and strategy – instead, make sure a table is at the center of your design. On the other hand, a single hard-backed chair in a personal library isn’t exactly the epitome of comfort for the avid reader; a soft and supportive armchair with an ottoman would be a much better choice. Beauty paired with function is a must.

As you continue to navigate the new normal of shelter-in-place, remember to create a space for yourself as a personal retreat. Though it isn’t an antidote for the uncertainty that lies before us, it absolutely can help with easing those daily anxieties, giving you a chance to recharge and face the next day, fresh and full of innovation.