Everyone needs a break now and then. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to set a time each day for a relaxing break in which you read, meditate, or do something else that’s calming. However, you need a comfortable, quiet space for this, one that makes you feel sheltered without feeling like you’re hiding.
Leaving Things Open
However you arrange the quiet space, give it an open feeling. If you have a corner of a room, don’t shove a chair in front of a shelf unit so that you can’t reach anything on the shelves. Give yourself leg room when you sit in the chair, rather than placing a side table as close as possible in front of the chair. If you’re working with a small, crowded room, to begin with, it may seem tough to get that open feeling. But just remember the basics — don’t block anything, and don’t restrict your movements.
Comfortable, But Not Too Comfortable
Any furniture you put in the space should be comfortable, the kind that makes you sigh with relief when you sit down. But beware making it too comfortable because then you’d just fall asleep, which can lead to disorientation and feeling kind of icky when you wake up, far from your bed and outside your normal awake time. A nice padded, upright (not reclining) armchair, a padded footstool, and a blanket are perfect.
Natural And Full-Spectrum Light
Try your best to place the space by a window. Natural light can make you feel more relaxed, though you have to be careful about temperatures. If you live in an area with hot summers, try to sit by an east-facing window so that you get cooler direct light in the morning and indirect light in the afternoon.
If natural light isn’t possible — maybe the corner you have isn’t near a window — get lamps with full-spectrum bulbs. These mimic natural light, providing a clear but cozy glow.
Soft Materials, Softer Sounds
Your relaxing nook should be quiet, too. If you have a lot of hard surfaces, sound waves will bounce around and bug you. Softer items muffle those waves. Go for soft furnishings, blankets, pillows, and plants. If the floor is not carpeted, add a rug.
Sometimes placing a tapestry over a section of the wall can help as well. If you’re near a window, place blackout curtains on the window. These not only block out unwanted light, but they also add a measure of sound insulation. Even if the curtains are open, the material is still there along the sides of the window, helping to muffle more sounds in the room.
Just You And Only You
Give yourself some privacy in the space. If you’re near a window that faces the front yard, or one that faces a window on a neighboring house, place opaque window film on the windows so no one can look in. Alternately, add a sheer layer of curtains to the window (so you’d have your regular curtains, and then between those and the glass, a layer of gauzy or lacy curtains). Those inner curtains will let in light and block views in when you close them, letting you customize when people can see in.
Also, try adding a room divider screen to shield your corner from the rest of the room.
Having a retreat-like space in your home makes it a lot easier to relax. Take your time and create a space that you’ll look forward to being in.