March of 2020 hit and bam - all of a sudden everyone was spending more time at home. Not to mention, probably more time than they ever wanted to. Within days, people across the country were working from home, kids were doing virtual schooling and babies/toddlers that would otherwise be at daycare were instead at home with their parents as their caretakers. Raise your hand if you were impacted by these sudden life changes! Everyone reading this should be raising their hands, us included.
In spending practically 24 hours per day at home, did you start re-thinking the purpose of your home, the efficiency of it, and how it functions overall? Did you start to notice how your home made you and your family feel and the emotions it would evoke? It’s a “yes” to all the above from us!
Not even a week into stay-at-home orders, we started to look at our homes differently. In a way, we started to pick them apart and really dissect everything - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Part of this was because we had time (we literally had nowhere else to be) and another part of this was because we started to realize that our homes were no longer just a place to lay our heads at night. Although homes have always served a greater purpose than that, this past year they’ve had to be and act as almost everything - office, school, play space, place of privacy, place of worship, place of bonding… the list goes on.
It’s no surprise that with this new demand on homes, homeowners started to seek a better balance within their own. Let’s just say, Home Depot did not suffer over the last year. Rather, they did fairly well as people, us along with them, took their extra time to update their home and strike that better flow and functionality. One buzzword we often heard people wanting to achieve was a “sanctuary” - a home that instills a sense of calm and peace amidst the chaos. It suddenly became apparent to almost everyone that when the world is in shambles, your home is one of the things you can control. You have the ability to set the tone, set the functionality and set the feeling. So, amidst a year of unexpected twists and turns, people sought out a sanctuary in their own space - a way to escape everything else that was going on. Here’s some examples of how many across the globe thought “okay, this is my home, but let’s make it a sanctuary” and how you can too:
After drawing a clear picture of your ideal home in your head or on paper (or on Pinterest, our personal favorite), you’ll want to clear the space you’re working on as completely as you can. This will give you a blank slate to work from as you start to piece things together again. When everything is cleared out you’ll also be able to more easily decide what to throw out and what to keep. Please, please, please, we’re literally begging you - use this time to declutter. Yes, “sanctuary” may mean something different to everyone, but one thing it isn’t for sure is clutter!
The next step to a space of zen, and probably one of the most important, is to decide your color palette. When you’re doing this, you’ll want to take into account how the colors make you feel. If you look at the color red and feel the opposite of peace, calm and tranquility, then that’s a red flag to not use that color in the space. Typically, neutral and natural colors do the trick for a peaceful room, but again, this is your version of “sanctuary”, whatever that may be.
When you’re re-doing a space into a place of zen, the last thing you want to do is pack it full of unnecessary items or furniture. Talk about the opposite effect of zen! Instead, be intentional with your furniture choices. Revert back to how you’d like to feel in the space. If comfy and cozy is part of your sanctuary vibe, then get a couch or bed that’s the comfiest and coziest. If you imagine the peace and calm coming into play with lots of bonding time with your family, then a sectional may be the best bet for you. Just make sure to be intentional with the furniture you choose and make sure it serves the purpose you want it to serve - this happens to be why you’re renovating or re-designing in the first place!
Nothing brings us more peace and calm than delicious smelling candles and natural decor accents. Anyone else with us on this one? Many people claim that after a rough day, lighting their favorite scent and snuggling up to their favorite tv show or book is all they need to turn the day around. We resonate with this 100%. You’ll also notice that along with candles, natural decor can play a part in this too. Whether through the placing of house plants throughout the space or the use of wood as the main material, both are natural and both naturally bring a sense of peace.
The last step of course is to bring it all together. That ideal home you defined before? Now it’s time to take all the steps above and create it. When doing this, it’s important to remember to lead with feeling. If you place a piece of furniture or decor into the space and it automatically feels too large or doesn’t flow with the zen, get rid of it. Having a home that is your sanctuary is all about how you feel when you’re in it. If you and your family can enjoy all the things a home now acts as in 2021 and also feel a sense of calm while in the space, then you’ve done what you set out to do. There is nothing better than escaping a crazy world to a place of peace and quiet that is our own.
Remember a year ago when we were all freaking out about having to stay home all day every day? If this time has taught us anything, it’s that home truly is where the heart is and your home deserves your attention. It deserves to make you and your family feel good - here’s to embracing these at-home moments a lot more moving forward.