Some people relax by running on a treadmill, others like to zone-out on the couch wearing sweatpants. And some just need a big glass of wine. We’re all a little different when it comes to relaxing at home, but we all need an actual place to do our relaxing. So why not make your spot a little more awesome?
Here’s how to improve your home sanctuary, no matter how you use it:
1. Rearrange Your Chairs
One big comfy couch is awesome, until you’re trying to host a happy hour. Then it’s just awkward. Instead, opt for chairs and arrange them in a semicircle, primed for conversation. If you have a large window or fireplace, arrange the seating area around the focal spot to take advantage of the natural light, views or fire.
2. Personalize the Room with Art
Even social people run out of conversation from time to time. Fix this issue by filling your living room with conversation pieces. That way, if conversation runs dry, you’ll always have a back up to light the fire again. Tip: If art seems out of budget, check out Art Finder. The site sells unknown artists’ work that will impress your guests and go easy on your budget.
3. Get a Better Table
Whether you’re hosting movie night, wine night or girl’s night, you’re going to be serving refreshments. And where there are refreshments, there’s a need for a table. You’d be surprised how much better that experience will be if you have a table that’s a perfect size for your space, and gives off a unique vibe. If you’re settling for “good enough” when it comes to your table, stop! Shoot for the moon.
1. Decorate with Places You’ve Been
Fact: Postcards from Japan are more interesting on your wall than if you just keep them stowed away in a drawer. You know what else? Postcards are really inexpensive. Everywhere you go, pick up something small to add it to your home decor. Not only will you have conversation starters, you’ll be reminded of your adventures constantly. A few ideas? Photos, postcards, books, tickets, matchbooks, signs and fabrics.
2. Start a Collection
Every city you visit, choose something to collect and stick with it. Over time, you’ll have a great collection of memories and special mementos. One idea? Buy a clock or timepiece in all of your favorite cities and create a clock wall. Or, if you celebrate Christmas, buy an inexpensive ornament in every city you visit. Every holiday season, you’ll have the most unique tree on the block.
1. Keep Your Books Close By
Oh hey, bookworm. If you’re attached to your books, keep ‘em close. You want your books to be easily accessible, so invest in tall bookshelves and create a reading paradise where you can escape from reality (for at least a few minutes).
2. Two Words: Comfy Chairs
A reading nook isn’t complete with a plush chair to sink back into while reading. The best part? Reading is a solitary sport, so you really only need one.
3. Bright Lights, Big Books
If you read deep into the night, you’re going to need some bright lights. You don’t want to squint the night away. We recommend floor lamps like this stylish version from IKEA so you don’t have to clutter up your space with unnecessary tables. It’s just you, a lamp, your books and a comfy chair. Paradise.
1. Add Some Fluff
You're a creature of comfort, because we know it’s nap time when you’re in your special spot. Instead of forking over cash for an expensive new couch, add pillows, blankets and other soft things to your existing spot. When it comes to throw pillows, bigger really is better here. The goal is to literally sink into a comfortable cloud of softness and chill-out.
2. Play Music
When you’re relaxing, you shouldn’t focus all on the sense of touch. Give sound some love, too, by playing a music station designed to relax your mind and help you chill. Researchers at Stanford University have said that "listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication." Spotify has some great curated playlists, so hook up a Bluetooth speaker or iPod in your personal nook and enjoy the relaxing benefits of music.
3. Hang Curtains
Remember that sunlight The Social Butterfly was trying to be near? Yeah, let’s block it out with stylish curtains. Nothing ruins a cat nap faster than sunlight in the eye, so make sure your curtains are thick enough to block sun when you need darkness the most.
1. Hang Your TV
If you basically live for the Oscars and recite movie lines in your sleep, then your relaxation zone is in front of your home theater. Take your viewing pleasure up a notch by hanging your television on the wall with a hanging kit. If you haven’t taken the flat screen plunge yet, do some research. Flat screen TVs are pretty affordable and really make a big difference when it comes to quality.
1. Establish a Sense of Privacy
Is it possible to separate your happy place from the rest of your house? Even if you’re just able to carve out a corner in the living room or kitchen, placing stylish barriers will give the area a sense of separation. To carve out your hangout area from the rest of your home, try glass dividers, hanging fabric or a divider screen.
2. Keep Clutter Out
If you spend a lot of time in your personal spot, clutter is inevitable. Be mindful of clutter in your area and stop the build-up of stuff before it starts. If you already have a clutter problem, follow these steps to eliminate it now before it gets worse.