30 Ways To Turn Your Home Into A Calming Retreat

30 Ways To Turn Your Home Into A Calming Retreat

30 Ways To Turn Your Home Into A Calming Retreat
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In today’s high-speed, high-tech world, reducing stress and prioritizing mental health are more important than ever. While proper diet, exercise and a positive attitude are great ways to promote overall wellness, decorating our personal spaces with a soothing, tranquil feeling can also have a huge impact. Boost your own health and happiness this year by turning a room, nook or outdoor space into a true sanctuary — it’s easier than you think!
Decorate your sleep space with watery blues. This airy principal bedroom oasis has a tranquil, lakeside feeling. Tonal wallpaper adds interest but doesn’t overpower, while super-soft bedding promotes calmness and coziness.
Photographer: Janis Nicolay
Source: House & Home January 2019
Designer: Cathy Radcliffe and Teigan Jorgensen
Create openness and good traffic flow with curved furnishings. The living room is anchored by an undulating bleached-oak coffee table that’s easy to manoeuvre around. Luxe drapery lends a cocooning feeling and provides privacy.
Photographer: Janis Nicolay
Source: House & Home January 2019
Designer: Cathy Radcliffe and Teigan Jorgensen
Create a reading corner in your bedroom. This charming space in Connecticut boasts a pale color scheme inspired by sunsets and sandy beaches. The subtle hues paired with a plush armchair and plush pillow make time dedicated to self-care even more comfortable.
Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
Source: House & Home May 2019
Designer: Tommy Smythe and Lindsay Mens Craig, Sarah Richardson Design
Design your kitchen with plenty of storage. Get rid of things you don’t love or that remind you of a negative experience and, for the pieces you do cherish, tuck most of them away in closed storage. Clear the clutter, clear the mind.
Photographer: Janis Nicolay
Source: House & Home January 2019
Designer: Peter Wilds
Keep furnishings minimalist and portable. This reading area features a compact bench, potted plant and leggy armchair — all of which can be moved out of the way when self-care includes an at-home yoga or stretch session.
Photographer: Alex Lukey
Source: House & Home October 2019
Designer: Jackie Di Cara
Create a place to get away from it all. This lounge area within a principal bedroom offers a relaxed, private place to kick back with a book. Using quality materials and pieces — think wood panelling, cozy throws and plush chaises — deliver the ultimate in comfort. Time to recharge!
Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
Source: House & Home August 2019
Designer: Sloan Mauran
Showcase the view. This minty kitchen ’s floating breakfast bar, curvy counter stools and expansive window result in a sunny seating area with rejuvenating vistas of the woodsy outdoors.
Photographer: Janis Nicolay
Source: House & Home March 2019
Designer: Ami McKay, Pure Design Inc.
Design with flexibility in mind. This multipurpose laneway house is a stone’s throw from the main house, making it an ideal retreat. Featuring a wide-open studio space with easy-to-move furniture and a bed that can be folded away, this serene spot is often used for Feldenkrais sessions (a series of exercises designed to improve movement). Radiant heat keeps the concrete floors warm year-round.
Photographer: Janis Nicolay
Source: House & Home January 2020
Designer: Architecture by MA+HG Architects
Opt for an upholstered bench. After your movement session, keep the tranquil vibes going by heading to the cozy, built-in bench with a cup of tea and a book.
Photographer: Janis Nicolay
Source: House & Home January 2020
Designer: Architecture by MA+HG Architects
Boost happiness with a dose of nature in your front hall. Arranged in a marble vase, these berry-laden rose hip branches create a striking silhouette and deliver a moment of sculptural beauty.
Photographer: Angus Fergusson
Source: House & Home December 2017
Designer: Todd Caldwell, Emblem
Keep your home clutter-free and organized. In the kitchen, for example, neatly styled dishware on open shelves combined with a meaningful piece of art adds a personal touch and goes a long way toward better peace of mind.
Photographer: Robin Stubbert
Source: House & Home December 2019
Designer: Ines Mazzotta
Try floral- or greenery-inspired wallpaper on a feature wall. Feel like you’re sleeping under trees with a nature-inspired wallpaper. In this restful sleep sanctuary , the pretty wall covering, pale blue bed linens and a sweet vase of cream roses combine to create a tranquil vibe.
Photographer: Stacey Brandford
Source: House & Home April 2019
Designer: Sarah Richardson and Kate Stuart, Sarah Richardson Design
Choose pale hues and delicate fabrics. This minimal guest bedroom in Paris has barely-there pink walls and bed linens for the ultimate serene feeling. Gauzy drapery and a bouquet of dried flowers are elegant final touches for a quiet, peaceful retreat.
Photographer: Joann Pai
Source: House & Home September 2019
Designer: Jackie Kai Ellis
Amp up feelings of well-being with a citrus scent. Adding a bowl of clementines to a coffee table vignette brings a revitalizing, natural fragrance to rooms — or find your happy place using scented candles, incense, boughs of cedar or the aroma of freshly baked cookies.
Photographer: Alex Lukey
Source: House & Home April 2019
Designer: Erin Feasby and Cindy Bleeks, Feasby & Bleeks Design
Fill your abode with houseplants. These easy-care plants look striking in a vignette, and devoting time to gardening — even indoors — can lift your spirits. When your plants grow and thrive, it’s so satisfying!
Photographer: Alex Lukey
Source: House & Home October 2019
Designer: Jackie Di Cara
Add a reading nook to kids’ bedrooms. Having quiet time with little ones is easy when there’s a plush upholstered chaise to cuddle on. A cozy Moroccan rug and antique armoire add even more warmth to this space.
Photographer: Stacey Brandford
Source: House & Home February 2019
Designer: Ali Yaphe, Matthew Kosoy and Mazen El-Abdallah
Make your bed relaxed and comfortable. In the bedroom of a Vancouver heritage building , pleasantly rumpled bed linens have a tranquil, get-under-the-covers effect. Shades of pink and lavender add warmth.
Photographer: Heather Ross
Source: House & Home November 2018
Boost serenity with abundant sunlight, natural textures and greenery. The windows of this airy dining room were left uncovered to flood the room with light and highlight the view of the wooded property. Textural accents such as a woven pendant and tray bring warmth to the peaceful gathering space.
Photographer: Angus Fergusson
Source: House & Home October 2019
Designer: Barb Purdy
Amp up farmhouse style. Mjölk store owners John Baker and Juli Daoust-Baker embraced stone walls, rustic timbers, greenery and grass art in their Georgian-style farmhouse to conjure a dreamy, tranquil living space.
Photographer: Alex Lukey
Source: House & Home October 2019
Designer: John Baker and Juli Daoust-Baker with Christine Ho Ping Kong and Peter Tan of Studio Junction
Introduce calming fragrances. A bouquet of dried lavender beside the tub is a soothing scent in John and Juli’s beautiful bathroom. Favorite fragrances make a hot bath even more relaxing. Light candles to create moody ambience.
Photographer: Alex Lukey
Source: House & Home October 2019
Designer: John Baker and Juli Daoust-Baker with Christine Ho Ping Kong and Peter Tan of Studio Junction
Decorate with personal mementos. In the parlour, a coffee table vignette includes an antique Japanese lion dog incense burner and feather duster, and a mini jute runner. Displaying other meaningful items such as photos, shells, driftwood, art or even wind chimes can kickstart your imagination or bring back good memories.
Photographer: Alex Lukey
Source: House & Home October 2019
Designer: John Baker and Juli Daoust-Baker with Christine Ho Ping Kong and Peter Tan of Studio Junction
Bring life to rooms with fresh flowers. An oversized vase filled with blooms in the kitchen adds a sweet fragrance and a moment of beauty in a hardworking space.
Photographer: Alex Lukey
Source: House & Home October 2019
Designer: John Baker and Juli Daoust-Baker with Christine Ho Ping Kong and Peter Tan of Studio Junction
Create spaces that are both functional and beautiful. Yes, even laundry rooms can be sanctuaries! This spare, calm space boasts pale walls and cabinets, and plenty of storage to keep clutter at bay. Retreating here for some meditative folding has never sounded better.
Photographer: Tracey Ayton
Source: House & Home March 2019
Designer: Karla Amadatsu
Dedicate a quiet place to work and reflect. This sitting room’s simple, still-life quality has a tranquil vibe, making it easy to put your mind to thinking, making or writing. Start a new knitting or woodworking project, or develop a new recipe — creating of any kind can lift you up and increase life satisfaction.
Photographer: André Rider
Source: House & Home December 2019
Designer: Richard Ouellette and Maxime Vandal, Les Ensembliers
Go monochromatic and minimize stressors. This bedroom is a study in comfortable minimalism in shades of white and pale grey. Saying no to TV screens, phones and exercise equipment also promotes serenity in your sleep sanctuary.
Photographer: Maxime Desbiens
Source: House & Home July 2018
Design a spa-like retreat. This bathroom has it all: a showpiece tub, pale walls, lush textures, woven accents and, of course, a vibrant view. Who wouldn’t want to press pause and take a long soak in this beautiful room?
Photographer: Angus Fergusson
Source: House & Home March 2019
Designer: Montana Burnett
Bring the outdoors in. In this country bedroom , wood timbers are balanced with nature-inspired green linens and blinds to create a rustic yet refined sleep sanctuary. A panoramic photo of the property above the bed and vase of flowers on the nightstand add a touch of nature. The overall effect is hushed and restful.
Photographer: Angus Fergusson
Source: House & Home June 2019
Designer: Melody Duron
Design a cozy nook for your backyard. A simple fire bowl surrounded by four Muskoka chairs creates a mini nature-inspired getaway that’s perfect for an evening of quiet reflection while gazing into the flames.
Photographer: Tracey Ayton
Source: House & Home May 2019
Designer: Architecture by Jennifer Heath
Surround yourself with greenery and catch some sun. Trees, potted plants and overflowing garden beds bring a verdant French vibe to this Toronto courtyard . Enjoying fresh air and plant life outdoors makes us feel good and can reduce day-to-day anxieties.
Photographer: Virginia Macdonald
Source: House & Home May 2019
Designer: Michael Renaud and Martin Ciccone
Add a water feature. The gurgle of a fountain — indoors or out — is soothing and will help dampen the bustling sounds of the city.
Photographer: Virginia Macdonald

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