Reward Yourself with a Personal Retreat Space

By definition, a retreat is a quiet or secluded place designated for rest and relaxation. Whether you have an actual getaway in the form of a second dwelling or you simply crave an escape inside your one and only home, it’s helpful to have a spot to chill out when seeking solitude.

If you ever entered a room and instantly feel a sense of relief, pay attention to the details that surround you. For starters, it could be the color palette; perhaps the color scheme consists of soothing neutral hues or cheerful and bright tones that transport you to a tropical destination.


Whether your goal is to design a whole house or a single space that’s dedicated to slowing down, like a meditation room, less is definitely more. Instead of filling your retreat with one too many trinkets, display a few meaningful mementoes instead. Surround yourself with photos of people, places and pets that make you happy. Add some family heirlooms or flea-market finds with (literal or figurative) patina that have stood the test of time; the imperfections will warm your surroundings while their history will lend interest.


Texture is a key component in any setting, especially when you want a place that’s easy on the eyes and soothing for the soul. Opt for soft materials, such as cotton and silk. Velvet pillows and faux fur throws are gentle on the skin and signal a cozy vibe, while a fluffy rug brings comfort underfoot.

Lighting has the ability to set the tone for the room. Invest in dimmer switches and accent lamps with multiple settings along with pink lightbulbs that emit a warm glow that lets you tweak the feel of your space for any occasion, from a romantic dinner to a quiet night at home.


More often than not, desired downtime means peace and quiet, especially when you’re seeking relief from a rather stressful day. Try to avoid technology and TV as much as possible or at least limit their usage while in your retreat. A space with a specific purpose like a music room or a library can provide a great escape as can a craft room or an area devoted to any other pastime that feeds your creative side.

It’s essential to simplify because life has a way of getting complicated in the blink of an eye. If you’re feeling bogged down with the pressure to keep up with the day-to-day, play hooky. Skip a day of cooking or whatever it is that overwhelms you. Treat yourself to takeout in your tranquil environment, creating potential leftovers and leaving less to clean up.

Finding and creating your personal space


Appeal to all the senses when planning a refuge and add your favorite scented candle. Sometimes all it takes is a pleasant aroma to make us feel a different way. The same goes for the sound of music or wind chimes or whatever else feels calming to you.

Incorporate natural elements, such as flowers and branches along with timeworn materials like reclaimed wood. You might even add an indoor fountain for that soothing sound of water in your retreat. Enhance these pieces with a “Do Not Disturb” sign that reminds you and everyone else in the household that you’re trying to take it easy.


Low-maintenance materials and multi-functional furniture mean less work for you and more time to kick back and relax, which is what a retreat is all about. Durable floors like ceramic tile can hold up in high-traffic areas as can slipcovers that make cleanup a breeze. Invest in flexible seating that lets you stretch out like a recliner or a daybed where you can read or take a nap.

In the end, it’s the little things in life that mean the most, like those quiet moments spent soaking in the tub with a cup of tea by your side. Turn off your phone and record your thoughts in a journal. You’d be surprised how many bright ideas fill your head when you don’t force them. You might even dream up some new design plans for your peaceful retreat. Written by Jeanine Matlow. Photography provided by ©

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