I’m happy to have DeAnna Radaj, as my guest today. She’s an “Eco-Shui” designer, writer, consultant who helps those who are looking to lead a more healthy, balanced & proactive lifestyle and author of the books Designing the Life of Your Dreams From the Outside In and Feng Shui for Teens. Today she shares how to create your own person sanctuary to relax in. Her tips are general and while she give different ones for men and women, it’s fine to choose what’s right for you. Here’s what she has to say:
Creating a Personal Sanctuary
By DeAnna Radaj
We’ve all heard the term “MAN“ or “MOM“ caves, right? But what do these terms REALLY mean? What feelings or experiences are they trying to invoke? .Personal Sanctuary is the generic description of both of these “special“ spaces, and is a space that is a highly personalized, comfortable room (or corner, garden, bath or garage…) in which the occupant can relax and/or indulge in their favorite activities…a place where the proverbial “Calgon take me away” moment in time can occur. A personal sanctuary is a space where you can just be.
When I’ve been asked to design these spaces for my clients (typically a home office that also serves as THEIR space), one of the most important things is designing a room that is peaceful, rejuvenating and a sanctuary. Now, while “peaceful & sanctuary” vary by person, general themes that have appeared are:
· Soft, pastel colors in warm tones (think pinks, creams, soft yellows & greens)
· Lots of candles & other things that smell good (potpourri, pillow sachets)
· A comfy chair for reading or for chatting on the phone with friends
· Thick pile rug (either carpeting or area rug)
· Table for “stuff” (i.e. for crafts, wrapping gifts)
· A door that can be shut
· A color scheme that matches their favorite sports team
· Space to display any trophies, sporting memorabilia or collections
· Over-stuffed furniture
· As big a TV as can fit with a lot of electrical outlets to plug in all the electronics
· A door that can be shut
I’d like to take this a couple of steps further. When creating a personal sanctuary, it is imperative that you truly make it your own. This is YOUR space after all. If having a bookcase to hold your romance novel collection or scrapbooks is one thing that is a necessity, then by all means do so. If you are an avid hunter, THIS is the space to display all of your hunting trophies.
A great display tip I incorporate in my designs is installing shelving at “just below” plate rail height (typically 9-12“on the wall below the ceiling line). This will act as storage space and also as a form of “artwork” as the books/trophies become part of the design scheme. This shelving can also be used to display pictures, a doll (or any other) collection, sports memorabilia or whatever else you’d like to display.
If you love Donny Osmond (!), here is where you can display all your albums (remember those?) as artwork on the walls. Have a cat collection? Display all the figurines, stuffed animals or whatever…here. This is your space to be surrounded by things you love. If you love the color turquoise as it‘s part of your favorite sports team, but it doesn’t really fit with the main color scheme in the rest of the home, you can use it in here! Think pillows, throws, area rugs or desk accessories, or even striping on the wall! This is the place to make your unique style known.
Now, for those in smaller spaces, you may have to share a room…that’s OK. Whether you have to split the room down the middle (remember the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy put tape down the center of the bedroom?), or the room simply has to be used by 2 people, then there does need to be some compromise as to color on the walls/floor & furniture in the room. Here are some tips:
· Remember the 60-30-10 rule for choosing a color scheme. 60% is your primary color (wall/floor), 30% is your secondary color (furniture, trim, cabinetry) and 10% is accent color (pillows, throws, desk accessories, frames, flowers). Agree on the 60 & the 30, and then divide the 10 to help differentiate whose space is whose (think desk accessories, pillows on individual chairs, flowers on desk or side table).
· Each gets a shelf or bookcase to display their stuff-with no comment from the other! (I do have a friend whose husband lives in harmony with her Donny Osmond photo screen, while she lives with his hunting trophies).
· Create a schedule so that when one is using the “sanctuary” they can truly relax & enjoy the benefits of having a sanctuary.
OK, DeAnna, you say, but I don’t HAVE any extra rooms to create a sanctuary. Fair enough. How about creating an OUTDOOR sanctuary? Think a garden, a hammock in a corner of your yard or even a garage space can work. (Garage should be insulated & finished w/good ventilation). Other rooms you can personalize would be a laundry room, if big enough. A chair and shelving can all be placed in here…AND you’re guaranteed not to be bothered in there for fear of getting coerced into helping fold! Be creative.
If you truly have no other space, then you must create a “virtual” sanctuary…think the bathroom for an hour bath (glass of wine, favorite music in the iPod & lit candles) or your bedroom. It is vital here that you have a scheduled time, closed door & that everyone knows that you aren’t to be disturbed. You may even have to have a box that you keep a “traveling” personal sanctuary (pictures, candles, books, eye mask…), but so be it.
And finally, a “do not disturb” sign (think like at a hotel) to place on the door when you are in your sanctuary, whether you share a space or not. It is vital that everyone (men and women) have at least 15 minutes every day to decompress & re-energize, having a designated space & time helps do this.
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