5 Steps to Make Your Home a Relaxing Retreat

Go home to your very own piece of paradise. By Shai Lagarde

Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

After a long day at work, wouldn’t it be nice to come home to a cozy space away from the noise and stress of the outside world? Use these interior design hacks to make it happen.

1. Cut out the clutter.

Papers (receipts, bills, reading material) and items you use every day (keys, accessories, gadget cables, etc.) all tend to pile up. Make sure you have designated catch-alls, corners, or organizers for these items. When you know where things are, you spare yourself wasted time and stress looking for items you urgently need.

You can also follow Marie Kondo’s advice to beat clutter. If something isn’t used often or fails to bring you joy, they can be sold, donated, or brought to a recycling center.

Clutter might also manifest in your decor. Resort to simplicity: if your books come in varying sizes and colors, you could cover each one in the same wrapper for a more unified look on your shelves. Instead of a dozen framed photos on display, choose just a couple.

2. Make your house a clean, well-lighted place.

A relaxing home is “maaliwalas” and naturally bright to perk you up in the morning – and cozy and warm to wind you down at night. Natural light has been shown in studies to improve sleep patterns, productivity, and overall mood while reducing stress levels, anxiety and eye strain from gadgets.

Remove all obstructions from your windows and doorways. Position furniture and mirrors around sources of natural light, especially if you have a great view outside your window.

If you want to relax when you go home at night, consider task lighting. Look at how hotel rooms do it: instead of a harsh overhead bulb illuminating the entire room, you have a work desk lamp, diffused lights over the dining table, and dim lighting for the bedside.

One of the best things about living in a house is that you naturally have wider, more open spaces. You can maximize this benefit by rearranging your furniture or using cool multipurpose items –a bookshelf that serves as your bed’s headboard, a desk that can be folded out into a dining table, or a sofa-bed with hidden storage. This system allows you to declutter efficiently and gives your home even more room for breathing.

3. Draw inspiration from nature.

When life overwhelms you, where do you dream of going? Maybe the beach, to enjoy the ocean breeze and feel the sand in your toes. Or the mountains, where the air is crisp and smells of trees. Or an eco-park where you can bathe in the waterfalls.

Well, there’s no reason you can’t be one with nature in your own house. A color palette of beige, calming blues and coral mixed with seashells and light wood furniture can instantly transport you to the beach. Forest greens, stone greys, and earth browns mixed with bamboo decor can evoke memories of your favorite mountain resort.

Photo by Krisztina Papp on Unsplash

Decorating on a budget? Give your plain walls and furniture a nature-inspired makeover with the right accessories, such as leaf-print throw pillows, a calendar of birds or flowers, or a mini zen garden.

4. Have a self-care corner.

What do spas, prayer rooms, and yoga studios have in common? There’s usually calming music and a scent diffuser or candles. Floor mats, rugs, pillows, or other soft textures are provided for comfort. All these signal a kind of space whereyou can enjoy some “me” time.

You can bring that whole experience home. All you’ll need are a place to sit, some cushions, comfortable lighting, relaxing music, and your essential oil of choice. You can add items to make it feel more like your nook: a small fountain, your beloved books, a journal and art supplies.

This space should have a no-electronics rule, to encourage reflection and mindfulness. If you have to use your phone to play music, connect it to a wireless Bluetooth speaker (preferably one that blends with your decor). TV and the Internet are distractions that will totally defeat the purpose.

5. Grow greenery.

Nothing says nature-inspired better than actual nature. Beyond decor, houseplants help purify the indoor air, keep temperatures cooler, and reduce stress levels. You can keep plants that don’t need much sunlight and water, like succulents.

Photo by Giulia Bertelli on Unsplash

You can also fill your house with flowers to brighten the day. Have vases ready in certain parts of the house, then every weekend when you buy groceries, get a bouquet of assorted flowers that you can then place in your vases. This can be part of your reset ritual, signaling the start of a new week.

If you have a house and lot, you can also try to grow vegetables, fruits, and flowers in your yard. Choose plants that thrive in the local climate and survive with minimal care. Water them sustainably by using collected rainwater. A half-hour of gardening a day is a good way to de-stress and exercise — with the promise of enjoying the fruits of your labor later on!

Are you excited to try out these tips? If you’re trying to escape a pressure-cooker city life, you’ll want to get out of Manila and move somewhere adjacent instead, with fresher air, wide-open spaces, and access to the same amenities. You’re better off investing in an actual house and lot in Pampanga, a space you can make your own.

Avida Northdale Settings

Located in Alviera, Porac, Avida Northdale Settings is a refreshing community of contemporary homes along with its own central and pocket parks within. Once Northdale is completed in 2022, you can enjoy plenty of open space, hiking trails and more, while maintaining easy access to Metro Manila through the NLEX and SCTEX, and being minutes away from Clark, Angeles City, and Subic.

Alviera itself is a mixed-use, master-planned estate envisioned to promote living in harmony with nature while still being near places of work, commercial centers, schools, and other lifestyle essentials.

A two-story house and lot in Pampanga is ideal for starter families: cozy and homey, but with enough space to unwind and relax. For instance, the Macy house model in Avida Northdale has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a spacious garden area.

Imagine how great it would be to be able to apply these tips for making your house and lot a relaxing retreat. You can actually design your space, choose the color palette and furniture, and build a self-care corner that’s so you. Best of all, you can enjoy the great outdoors without having to leave your home. You may not even want to!