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Image / Living / Interiors

Simple ways to turn your home into a sanctuary

by Megan Burns
20th Aug 2020

Now that we’re all staying at home for the foreseeable, here are some ways to make your space feel a little more serene

Previously, when making decisions about your home, you probably didn’t consider that you could be spending weeks on end without really leaving it, save for an occasional trip to the supermarket. Now, faced with that reality, you might be wishing your space was a little more sanctuary-like.

While there’s no easy fix for creating a calming, welcoming space, there are plenty of small things you can do to add a little serenity into your home. A small balm for these anxious times, perhaps, but every little helps when it comes to a crisis.

ways to turn your home into a sanctuary
Ingredients LDN

Let in the light

If you’ve noticed your mood improving with the brighter days, then you’ll appreciate the power that light can have on us. Not everyone’s home is bright and airy, but you can maximise any light your rooms do receive in a few ways.

Make sure curtains and blinds and fully pulled up, or back, and are not blocking any light during the daytime. Pull them as soon as you get up to make you feel awake and energised. If you have heavy curtains, consider swapping them for lighter linen or cotton versions for the warmer months.

ways to turn your home into a sanctuary
The Citizenry

Think of texture

Touch is an incredibly important sense, and increasing the tactility of our homes engages us and makes us feel grounded in a very specific way. Whether it’s the contrast between a chunky blanket and a smooth, wooden surface, or your fingers tracing the ridges on a hand-thrown mug, noticing texture in your surroundings forces you to live in the present moment, which is helpful when we’re feeling anxious.

Serene scents

Smell is another thing that can greatly impact our mood, so why not pay more attention to it in our homes? There are so many ways to do this, such as keeping dried lavender in our bedroom to create a relaxing mood.

You could also try fresh flowers in your kitchen, or lighting scented candles or diffusing essential oils in your living space. You can vary them depending on how you want the room to feel, try The Nature of Things for a good selection, as well as information about each essential oil.

Cut the clutter

Science has proven time and again that our brains are stressed and distracted by clutter, so even if you love having lots of things around you, try and pare it back to what you truly can’t live without. Especially at this time when we’re spending so much time at home, rooms that you usually enjoy having lots of things in can start to feel like too much.

Bring nature in

Whether you prefer to fill your home with pot plants or forage for seasonal foliage, flowers and fruits, there’s nothing like greenery to relax you and make your home feel welcoming. This is another one with solid backing in science, as it’s been proven that looking at nature reduces anger, fear and stress as well as lowering blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension.

ways to turn your home into a sanctuary
Rowen & Wren

Light a candle

It doesn’t have to be an expensive scented one — even lighting a simple tealight can help us to feel more relaxed. Not only is watching the gentle flicker of candlelight surprisingly meditative, but as it gives off a soft, yellow light, it does not interrupt sleep in the same way that the blue light of our devices does as we draw towards bedtime. If you make it part of an evening ritual, lighting a candle can also signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down.

Prioritise comfort

If there’s one thing that becomes clear when you spend all day, every day in your home, it’s that it should be as comfortable and inviting as possible. No matter how many times you’ve seen a certain sofa on Instagram, unless it makes you want to snuggle into it at any given opportunity, it’s probably not the right sofa for you.

Featured image: Ingredients LDN

Read more: Cool prints from 5 Irish illustrators to brighten up your walls

Read more: 3 real Irish homes that prove dark walls work in small spaces

Read more: Blankets from Irish weavers to make working from home so much cosier

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