5 Room Requirements That Restore Sanity

No house, however well designed, will protect you from the sounds of toddler meltdowns, the teenage “I hate you’s” or general marital squabbling. Sometimes, though, a well designed room can help restore your sanity. After a day riding the emotional highs and lows, I crave spaces and people that ground me and give me a renewed sense of calm. Cranking a soulful song in the car can do that. A phone call to my sisters does that. Retreating to my bedroom does that. Locking the door behind me definitely does that. I designed my bedroom with “retreat” in mind. I knew it was the only space I could enforce an ‘off-limits” rule. I actually measured the inside of a storage bench to see if I could use it as a hiding place from my kids. It almost works. The lid doesn’t fully close and they find me before I can get under the bed.

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Here’s what I look for from a space that calms:

1

Nature

Nature reminds me there’s a world outside my head and I should access it as much as possible. No one should stay inside their head for too long.

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2

Natural Light

Maybe this one goes without saying, but I think the benefits go well beyond the obvious. Light-filled spaces make us feel …well, light-filled.

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3

Organization

A cluttered space can make for a cluttered brain. It does for me. And while I cannot control the clutter that comes with four kids, a husband and a dog, all I need is one space that is orderly and clutter free.

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4

Inspiration

You know that “found” object or art piece that you had to have on your recent trip? Mine is a small jade horse I keep by my bed and rub for luck (he’s just a little worn in:)) Maybe yours is an heirloom antique trey from Grandma or a well-loved copy of Winnie the Pooh. Inspiration, to me, is anything you love that reminds you of what matters. It should have a place of prominence.

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5

Comfort

I don’t have the disciplined back or booty of a benedictine monk. I want a bed and sofa I can curl up in…and when I feel like re-engaging with the world and my family, I want both places to be big enough to share.

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What space do you crave when you need a break? Maybe it’s a bathroom. Oooh, with a big soaking tub! Maybe it’s your car with the doors locked. No judgement here. Some of best thinking has been done parked in my driveway before the kids know I’m home. Please share. I’d love to know where you go to restore sanity and breathe through the overwhelm.