Creating a sanctuary

I have long understood the importance of home being a haven at the end of the day. A welcoming retreat from the outside world. A place where you are surrounded by those you love and who love you the most. Somewhere you feel safe to be yourself; to let you hair down (figuratively) or to throw it up in a (literal) mum bun and rock your daggiest Tee. For me, home has always been my favourite place to be and my favourite place to come back to.

And my favourite room is my bedroom.

Which is why I have chosen to start with this room first, as I go room to room, creating a home that is more of a sanctuary than just a house.

Beginning with the bedroom means that at the end of each day, even if the rest of the house is in disarray, I have a tranquil space to retreat to and unwind in. Somewhere I can forget about the mess and the stress of the day; read a good book, meditate, maybe enjoy a cup of tea and then settle in for what I hope will be a restorative sleep.

I have begun to create a calming space that speaks to me (and doesn’t alienate my husband); starting with a decent declutter.

Although I am a seasoned declutterer; and have always been a bit of a minimalist even before it was the popular thing to be; I was still surprised by how much I was holding onto that I no longer needed – shoes I can’t walk in; way too many bulky jackets and so many scarves for someone who doesn’t wear scarves. It took 3 rounds of decluttering to reach a place where I truly loved everything in my wardrobe and felt comfortable with what I had chosen to keep. I’m not going to say that everything I kept ‘sparked joy’ but I knew what I had, why I had it and felt satisfied with the outcome. Getting rid of all the excess stuff and donating it to charity felt somehow freeing.

This new found freedom led me to the next step. I thoroughly cleared and cleaned all of the surfaces; the inside and outside of drawers; got rid of all the ‘dust bunnies’ lurking under furniture then re-positioned the furniture to take advantage of the breeze and natural light.

I splurged a little and bought new linen; choosing a soft neutral colour. Then I set about redecorating; bringing into the room the bare minimum of what I need to create a sanctuary:

  • A framed copy of our vows and my favourite wedding photo
  • The perfume I wore to the wedding and still wear everyday
  • An essential oil diffuser – I like to diffuse Lavender, Cedarwood and Vetiver to induce sleep
  • A Himalayan salt lamp – not only for the attributed health benefits but for the soft, relaxing glow
  • A good book (or two) on each bedside table (mine and his – although the reading matter differs greatly, we both love to read in bed at the end of the day)
  • A notebook and pen for note taking and middle of the night inspiration
  • A floor pillow for early morning yoga and meditation
  • and some potted plants for improved air quality, better sleep and simply because they look amazing

Now with just the bare necessities in place, the bedroom feels serene. There’s an air of calm that lends itself to greater relaxation, deeper meditation, increased inspiration and improved sleep. I wake up most mornings refreshed and ready for the day and I look forward to returning each evening, knowing that this sanctuary I have created is waiting for me.