10 Steps to Make Your Home Your Retreat

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How do you feel when you walk through your front door after a long day at work, or after sitting in traffic for hours? Is there a much needed sense of calm as you glance around at your surroundings? Are you able to throw off the cares of the day and relax into your personal sanctuary?

Ideally, our home should be our haven, our place of escape from the rhythms of the outside world. If you feel your retreat could use a little help, read on. Here are ten thoughtfully compiled steps to help you turn your home into your own comfortable and very personal space.

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1. Bye bye clutter

Clutter of any kind is not conducive to relaxation. Try placing some of the unnecessary “stuff” in drawers or just out of sight and notice how your mind is immediately more at rest. Get into the practice of editing your home in the same way you edit your clothes.

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2. Organize

Put your belongings where they belong. Know where everything is. The peace of mind that comes from not having to conduct a frantic search for whatever item you need at the moment goes a long way toward feeling more in control and comfortable in your own home. This is well worth the extra effort.

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3. Keep it clean (as much as possible)

I’m not talking about a major spring cleaning. You need only take a few minutes each day to do a bit of dusting or a quick vacuum. Work on incorporating some kind of  housekeeping routine into your daily activities. A clean house is not only more comfortable, it is a sign of respect for your surroundings and for your life.

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4. Comfortable seating

Your sofas and chairs should be comfortabke and inviting. And whatever seating you have should be arranged for the way you live.Whether for easy conversation, reading or simply relaxing in front of the fireplace on a cold evening. Make it work for you and your personal style.

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5. Throws and decorative pillows

Perfect for adding personality and texture to your existing seating. Use both liberally and don’t feel limited to the bedroom or living room. A plush pillow at both end chairs of your dining room table looks not only comfortable but highly individual. Add more to your other chairs if you like. Mix and match the throws and put them everywhere. Nothing says home like wrapping yourself in a warm, soft throw after a long and busy day.

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6. Good lighting

This is essential for a home not only for comfort but for functionality. Make sure all your seating areas have at least one good table lamp or floor lamp. You can buy energy efficient bulbs and put them on a dimmer which will give you  just the right amount of light you need for any occasion.  You can’t cozy up with the newspapers or a good book if you can’t read what’s on the pages.

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7.  Books

This one is my favorites. I’ve always felt that books will make a house a home. Books add personality, texture and interest to any room. You’re not limited to placing them in a bookcase or on a shelf. Pile them up next to the fireplace, on a chair next to the  bed, on a sofa or in the kitchen (away from the sink). The books we love are intimately intertwined with our lives. It’s comforting to have them nearby and they’re good conversation starters as well.

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8. Candles

Candlelight creates a lovely  feeling of intimacy in your home. Try taking a break form traditional lighting and spend a evening basking in candlelight. Or make lighting two or three candles a part of your evening ritual .  Candlelight is calming to the nerves and has the added benefit of  being very flattering to the appearance.

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9. Fresh flowers

Fresh flowers bring life and color into your home. What is your favorite flower? If possible, try to buy a bunch every week. Your local supermarket will usually have good selection and price points for every budget. Buy a dozen roses and break them up into twos and threes to place in various vases. Put the vases in different rooms in your home. Or go to your florist and buy one dramatic bloom to show with pride in a vase you love. Flowers are life, and home, enhancing. Try to live with them as often as you can.

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10. Music

Silence can be golden but having your favorite composer or singer softly playing in the background as you go about your life at home can be a renewing experience. Like books, our favorite music is deeply personal and responsive. Whether it be Chopin, Latin jazz or Puccini the music you play in your home will have a profound effect on your outlook and on your mood. Music is all about feelings and those feelings will be reflected back into our home and how we view it. Love the music you play. Love your home. Love yourself.

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The more your home becomes  reflection of your tastes, interests and individual style the happier you’ll feel when you’re there. Try just a few of these suggestions and I promise your home will feel more like the personal retreat you so deserve. Turn the old saying from, “There’s no place like home” into “There’s no place like MY home.”

All images via Pinterest.