A Place For Rest
During my travels these past two weeks I’ve fallen behind on sleep and moments of quiet and stillness, which leaves me dreaming of coziness and comfort. Creating a restful environment is the lynchpin of relaxation in your home, whether for sleep or down time with friends. To the left is my fluffy white bed with the book I’m currently reading and my idea journal. It makes me want to curl up and take a nap. Here are a few suggestions for creating a cozy space in your home, generally setting the stage for a good night’s rest, and some quick tips for traveling in comfort.
When traveling, there are a few compact items that pack easily and make my nights more restful. The following are permanent staples in my travel bag:
1. An Eye Mask to block any unwanted light.
2. Ear Plugs for all that unwanted noise, especially in hotels.
3. Lightweight cotton pajamas. Bedding often tends to be too heavy in hotels and you can easily adjust the temperature if needed.
4. Lavender Face Spray to refresh and relax (which can double as a linen spray for pillows).
5. Origins’ Peace of Mind On the Spot Relief Sensory Therapy -a little neck massage and temple rub with this before bed does wonders.
6. Emergen-C Vitamin Drink to add to your water for breakfast in the mornings to get you going and keep up immunity during traveling.
At home, there are a few simple things you can do to create comfort in your space. Remember that every comforting spot begins with a clean, fresh space so remove clutter, make your bed, and fluff those pillows…
1. Use casual, cozy furniture with plenty of soft pillows and easily accessible throws. When I have friends over to watch movies or for conversation with a glass of wine, I want them to feel comfortable. I try to keep the type of atmosphere in my living spaces that encourages people to kick off their shoes and curl up for a little comfort and chat. The image to the right is from Pottery Barn, and is the perfect example of how to set the scene for a comforting environment. I purchased the cable knit throw in the picture for a friend of mine and it is wonderful, like wrapping up in your favorite sweater. Pottery Barn is a favorite of mine for pillows and throws, and they do a great job of creating comforting options out of soft, supple fabrics.
2. Use Warm and Neutral colors and soft fabrics to create an inviting atmosphere, particularly with bed linens. I’ve talked about use and effect of color previously. Neutral and warm tones in the bedroom can be particularly soothing and inviting, though light shades of blue and purple can be calming, too. Start with a neutral palate and build with soft colors. Lighter colored bedding creates the look of fluffy clouds – a dreamy place to sleep. Look for sheets with a high thread count (ideally, 400 or higher, though 300 and higher works well) in Egyptian Cotton with Sateen stitch.
3. Relish in the joy of Lavender Sleep Elements. A good night’s sleep for me is helped along with some Lavender linen spray and a warmed Lavender Buckwheat neck pillow. I don’t use them every night, but on nights when I am most sore and tired and having trouble sleeping, they get some good use. You can easily make a homemade Lavender linen spray: mix 1 1/2 Cups Spring water, 4 Tbsp Rubbing Alcohol (or unflavored vodka) and 40 drops of your Lavender essential oil scent in a spray bottle, shake thoroughly. The smell is so relaxing and cozy my mind instantly shifts into a more zen state when I smell it. I keep a Lavender face spray in my purse to help me stay refreshed during the day, keep my skin hydrated, and to calm my skin and mind while traveling. I am also a big fan of Lavender scented lotions, in particular Farmaesthetics’ Nourishing Lavender Milk.
4. When possible, use ambient light sources. Direct, overhead, glaring lights can greatly disrupt a space. Aim for fixtures that reflect light off light colored ceilings or lamps for lighting in lower spaces. Fluorescent lighting is the worst, but environmentally friendly compact fluorescents are finally being offered in numerous varieties that are less harsh and more appealing to the eyes. Look for golden frosted tones and low wattages that mimic daylight. Candles are always a wonderful light source, too, when you want to set a mood for dinner or a relaxing evening. Soy based candles are generally the most clean burning and the best to use in your home.
5. Surround yourself with the items that most bring comfort to you, and they will likely comfort others, too. Books, journals, stones, photos, beautiful objects, artwork – whatever opens your soul and brings you peace. If it comforts you, add it to quiet, homey spaces. Fresh flowers and house plants, in particular, bring instantaneous renewal and life into your space.
Walk around your home and look for places to transform into cozy, comforting nooks and environs. Maybe you need a reading nook, a nap spot, a more welcoming bedroom, a circular discussion area for small talk and cocktails with friends, or a movie room with ample seating. Create a space that reflects your needs in a home, and reflects the joys of your life.