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Get Away Without Leaving Home: Create Tranquil Spaces

Written by Posted On Sunday, 10 July 2005 17:00

If you're home is always abuzz with activity and you can't seem to escape the fast pace, maybe it's time to create a tranquil space that promotes leisure and a little alone time.

"I think it's important to have one space that's dedicated to just comfort -- not having any reminders of bills or the places you have to be -- no calendars or that kind of thing," says designer Renee Stafford with Diva Interior Design in Santa Luz, Calif.

Too many of us simply use the old sofa and TV as an escape. But plopping down in front of the tube just allows plenty of useless images to infiltrate our minds. In fact, in a one-year period a child sees, on average, 20,000 commercials. So maybe a tranquil space that the whole family can spend some time in separately is what's needed.

Don't fret over the thought that you'll have to completely make over a room. All that's really essential is enough space to comfortably sit, think, daydream, create visions or even take a little snooze.

First decide where you feel most comfortable in your home. What area do you see yourself spending 15 minutes or so just relaxing in? Is it outside or inside? Is there a quiet corner or maybe an entire room, such as a music room or library room, but not an office?

Allocate a space away from the family room "whether it be in your own bedroom or, if you're lucky enough to have a bedroom suite, if there's a space within there that you could dedicate to stuff that's just personally yours," says Stafford.

Once you've decided on where, start a mini-transformation of the area by incorporating items that bring you peace.

"You have to really kind of step back and just think about what makes you comfortable, what doesn't give you stress, what makes you happy," says Stafford.

When Stafford helps a client with the process of creating a tranquil room, she starts by assessing the client's likes and dislikes and she considers all the senses. Comfort and relaxation are very personal.

"All the things that help you relax are textures, colors and sound … it's sort of all the elements," Stafford said. She also recommends incorporating potpourri or some kind of oil that you burn which could have a scent that you use only for your times of relaxation.

Another important aspect to consider is your focal point. "You could have some kind of focal point, be it a work of art or if you were lucky enough to have a view, something that you could focus on that gets you away, sort of transcends you from being at home and makes you feel like you are somewhere else," says Stafford.

Even if you live in tight quarters, there's still room to make a space just for you. A little creativity and a few items that promote a stress-free environment are all you need.

"If you have a very small place such as an apartment, if you could just get a comfortable outdoor chair for your balcony. Again, nice plants would be especially helpful in that area; if wind chimes bring you comfort you could put those there and a nice scented candle. You don't need a lot. Really finding relaxation comes from within, so one or two simple elements are really all you need," says Stafford.

Don't go out and spend a lot of money transforming a quiet, peaceful space; instead look within your home to find the hidden treasures that make you feel relaxed. All of us have them lying around. Here are few things you may want to include in your tranquil space:

  • Comfortable chair, cushion, pillows

  • Throw blanket

  • Wind chimes

  • Fresh air

  • Plants

  • Family photos

  • Special memorabilia

  • Journals

  • Music

  • Spiritual symbols

  • Water fountains
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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website:

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

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