Tuesday, June 4, 2013

creating an "oasis space" in your home

This is our retreat, our oasis. When everything in the house is insane and crazy, this is where we go to escape it. 

How do we keep it that way? Lots of hard work and determination, that's how! 

Seriously, though, five simple rules have helped us keep our space the way we want it. Keep in mind, everyone's different; these were just the rules that worked for us! 

1) Last person out of it has to make the bed. Throw pillows are not an option, but a requirement.

Turns out, my mom was right about this all along. It sounds silly, but this little habit has really changed the feel of the room. An unmade bed just looks messy and unkempt; not exactly the most relaxing thing. We want fresh! clean! The simple task of pulling the covers up and tossing the pillows back onto place makes the centerpiece of the room look well cared-for, and therefore relaxing. Works for us, anyway. It's like a hotel room: You think less of the place if your bed hasn't been made. And the pillow thing comes from hotel rooms, too; you'd never catch a nice hotel room without at least a sham pillow. Step it up; make it look nice.

Headboard and duvet cover were both early diys on the blog
2) Bedrooms are project-free zones.

Projects were the biggest cause for clutter in our room, and clutter isn't a good addition to a sanctuary! So, we kicked projects out for good. Here's the kicker, though: "project-free" includes no folding laundry {GASP!}.

I'm going full-disclosure on this one. In the past, we've been really bad about laundry. We'd only do a load about every other week, and since we were doing such GIGANTIC loads we just would run out of steam halfway through the folding process and it would all just end up in a pile. This "clean clothes pile" would collect in the corners of our room, and since the laundry bins themselves were stuffed full of dirty clothes, they'd eventually get mixed up and we'd be washing over and over and over........ Ugh.

The {boring as heck} solution that works for us: Suck it up and do a load every day {or every other day if we don't go through clothes quickly}. We have two 16-gallon Sortera recycling bins that we use as laundry bins, and they're out in plain sight in our room. We tried hiding them in the closet, but for us it seems to be out of sight, out of mind! So far, these unsightly things have been the only way we've been able to control our laundry situation. Tim brings one down and starts a load of laundry before he goes to work, I switch it to the dryer when I leave an hour later, we both fold it when we get home. BUT! The folding occurs either in the laundry room or the living room. It's never allowed in the bedroom unless it's being put immediately away. We've been doing this for about three months and it's kept our room laundry pile-free.

3) No TVs allowed.

If I watch TV in bed, I can't go to sleep in it. Plus, TVs in the bedroom are a distraction from more important things. Enough said.

4) Be intentional about the decor in the space. Make it personal and uniquely YOU. If you're short on space, make it functional, too.

For us, the best way to cut clutter was to "style" the surfaces of the room {that's really just a fancy bloggy word for decorate}. If a space or surface looks just so, I'm a lot less likely to leave my stuff there, where it doesn't belong. One or two things out of place sticks out like a sore thumb; lots of things out of place {or no "place" at all} and we just don't notice it anymore. So do it! Plus, it makes for something pretty to wake up to!

I picked colors that were inherently relaxing to Tim and I, and chose items for our dresser top that were both aesthetically pleasing as well as sentimental.  Shop both your home and the internet for inspiration. This step is important to make sure that the things you want to use will actually look good together! I created a "mood board" to make sure that it was all coherent. Pinterest is good for that, although I still am pretty partial to saving images in a file on my computer.

{1}  {2}  {3}  {4}  {5} {6} {7} {8} {9}

Pretty, right? Armed with that inspiration, I shopped my house first for items that would work, and then purchased a few things to tie it all together.

I'll revisit this mini gallery wall later this week, but here's one word that sums it up pretty wekk: FREE. The little silver tray holding the candles was a gift from a client back in our catering days {swanky, right?}, and clustered pillar candles coupled with our glitter monogram remind me of the ones we used at our wedding. Personal items.

Also in the room, we have a giant PremiƤr canvas from Ikea {from Tim's college days}, and this cute little nightstand {from my college days}. Both of these things remind us of time shared at our respective apartments and brings together our past and present. 

I swapped out the wooden pulls on the dresser for these fun bubble glass handles from World Market {in-store only}, which tie in the color of the duvet as well as the other blues from all around the room to make everything feel more coherent. You'll also notice that the lamp in our room is different than the lamp in my inspiration photos--more about that beauty tomorrow.

5) Last but not least: In order to feel different, your room needs to smell different. 

The last way we created our sanctuary was through scent. Scent is so strongly tied to mood and memory, so our bedroom has a deliberately chosen scent that's in direct contrast with the rest of the house, so that it feels like you're leaving one world to enter another. The rest of our house smells like whatever candle we happen to be perpetually burning, but we tend to lean towards the more"relaxing" scents in our room {bergamot, sage, patchouli, sandalwood, ylang ylang, random florals. Lavender is supposed to be relaxing too, but I can't STAND it}. 

The current one we're loving right now is Bamboo by Nest. We're not normally prone to impulse-buys, but we couldn't resist it after walking into a furniture store and being enchanted by the store's "signature scent". It smelled SO good that we bought the "culprit" right on the spot, despite its $38 price tag. You guys, it was Worth. Every. Penny. It has been three months since we purchased it and it's still going strong. It's lasted way longer than a candle would, at the rate we burn candles. And isn't the diffuser pretty?

Having a signature scent for our room makes it feel extra luxurious, too, which is an added bonus! 

What about you? What "rules" do you live by in order to keep your space a sanctuary?


  1. Great rules. We've just started making the bed in the last few weeks since I got some new sheets, but it really does make the room feel less messy. But I'll admit our room isn't really a sanctuary. We always have piles of stuff around that don't really have a better place to go, and laundry baskets out in the open, and that bugs me.

  2. HEY I LIKE THAT RED GLASS HEART !! <3 Sorry for shouting, but I'm stoked. When you started talking about full disclosure, I thought you were going where I've been many times ... sleeping in the bed UNDER the pile of laundry. Clean? Dirty? Who can remember??

    1. haha I certainly can relate to THAT! Had to kick that habit to the curb when I married Tim; I'd just shove the pile off the edge of the bed until it created a mountain... ouch!
      And OF COURSE we display that heart proudly; I used to have both of ours out but it wouldn't fit very well and I was afraid I'd set the string on fire!

  3. I wish we could get the TV out!


Thanks for your lovely comments!
Anonymous comments will be automatically rejected, so please use the name/URL option if you don't have a blog.

If you do have a blog, please check to make sure your email is linked to your profile so I can respond to your comments! Follow this simple tutorial to make sure!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...