5 non-fiction podcast miniseries to get stuck into (that aren’t news or true crime)

Lauren Heskin

Sunday baking: Pecan cinnamon rolls

Meg Walker

Sofia Vergara finally wins battle with ex over embryos

Jennifer McShane

4 comfy yet chic outfit ideas to get you ready for a post-lockdown world

Edaein OConnell

8 predictions for the 2021 Best Picture Oscar nominations

Jennifer McShane

This terraced home in Donnybrook is on the market for €1.45 million

Megan Burns

Alice Ward on her Irish surf film featuring the female surfers who call our wild...

Lauren Heskin

‘They won’t stop until she miscarries’: Chrissy Teigen is right to defend Meghan Markle

Jennifer McShane

5 ingenious small space design ideas inspired by real homes

Lauren Heskin

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

Also Read

AGENDA, LIVING
What do you know about Armie Hammer’s darkly bizarre social media scandal?

By Jennifer McShane

FOOD & DRINK
What to eat tonight: Traditional chickpea falafel pockets

By Meg Walker

INTERIORS
Scullion Architects’ unique approach to a Portobello Victorian villa

Scullion Architects reconfiguration and extension of this Portobello home created both extra space, and a real sense of drama.

By Megan Burns

INTERIORS
The H&M Home Spring 2021 collection is the breath of fresh air we all need right now

Get a peek at the H&M Home Spring 2021 collection and our favourite picks from it.

By Lauren Heskin

what's on tonight
CULTURE
A beauty seminar, a debut novel and a classic coming-of-age comedy: What’s on tonight, Thursday January 21

Wondering what to do with yourself? A buzzed-about debut novel,...

By Lauren Heskin

CULTURE
6 of the biggest royal scandals skipped in The Crown season 4

Season 4 of The Crown covered a lot of ground...

By Jennifer McShane

house for sale Rathmines
PROPERTY
This charming terraced house in Rathmines is for sale for €1.25 million

Built in distinctive Dolphin's Barn yellow brick, this house for sale in Rathmines has been under the same ownership for almost 45 years and it has been lovingly maintained.

By Lauren Heskin

CULTURE
Tiger King season 2 is coming – and Carole Baskin has some thoughts

By Jennifer McShane