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|A little breathing room is a beautiful thing. Our design experts share their ideas about making space for relaxation at home.
Are you looking for fresh ideas for living with art or creative design solutions for your home? Each month at "Trade Secrets," we select one of your questions and reach out to dozens of art and design professionals for the answers.
"I have a small area in my home that I want to turn into a personal sanctuary where I can read, think, and relax. Could you share some ideas for making this space comfortable and beautiful--and distinct from the rest of my home?"
Create a restful atmosphere with lighting and furnishings
"The way you light this space is important, as it will aid the function and also help define the area. Avoid overhead lighting and focus on task and accent lamps. If the area has a window, place the sitting area near it to capitalize on natural light during the day.
"Invest in a comfortable chair for this space, oversize if the room permits. The goal will be to make an inviting place where you will love to spend time. Think about soft fabrics and cushiony surfaces for this spot.
If your sanctuary is adjacent to, and not closed off from the rest of the house, use paint on the wall to define the space. A small area rug on the floor also achieves this definition and adds texture and warmth."
Boulder Arts & Crafts, Boulder, CO
Use a screen to shape a sanctuary anywhere
"Define your space with a portable screen, painted in colors that inspire you. In addition to privacy, a screen provides a space to hang something artful to admire such as a beautiful quilt with great color and texture, a decorative mirror for reflection, or a favorite print."
Lisa Goodman Design, Sharon, MA
Gather design ideas from the natural world "I like to use plants to create an indoor garden. Even a small grouping of a few plants in a sunny corner conjures up a feeling of nature. A small fountain will both calm and delight. This is also a wonderful place for furniture that evokes the natural world: twig pieces, a table made from a tree trunk, a table with an organic form. Coordination with the rest of the rooms is less important--this is not a space for compromise."
The Inside Story, West Hartford, CT
Delight the senses with comforting accessories "For cozy moments, add pillows and a nice throw. To give the room an extra-relaxed feeling, add lighted candles. This is your space--fill it with things that are comforting, relaxing, inspiring, and beautiful to you."
Elegant Raggz Interior Design, Duncanville, TX