Designing places in the home for relaxing escapes

Have you ever found yourself lost in an activity or pastime for hours without keeping track of time? This is often called ‘flow’ or ‘in the zone’ and it usually means you are involved in something that is a passionate pursuit.

For me the joy of being enveloped in a novel for hours on end or listening to music that is performed with life altering enthusiasm can whisk me away for a time before I return to reality.

What is your flow? What takes you away and lifts you above the routine of life? Once you discover what this is, take time every week for a small indulgence of your passion and ensure that the design of your home allows for this journey.

My passion for reading is an easy one to design for; a comfortable place to sit and excellent lighting are all I require for my indulgent pastime. Journaling is another pursuit that I have set up for with the right tools, scents that appeal to me and a relaxed place to sit and write for an extended period of time. If you are trying to journal at the kitchen table with the kids demanding your time and attention, it is an activity that will soon be lost…even if you love it.

The wonderful thing is even though we are talking about designing a space, it is not a major renovation project! If you find that cooking is your zone you can kit out your kitchen in a blissful afternoon as you wander kitchen stores fulfilling your wish list.

Purchase beautiful oven mitts which match your cast iron pots and invest in gleaming cookie sheets to help you fill your afternoon with lovely confections. Your family will be more than willing to allow you to be in your zone for hours as they anticipate the delicious results.

Bathrooms may be the number one spot for us to relax and zone for awhile. You know the drill on this one; candles, a bathtub tray to prop up a book and a glass of wine, your favourite bubble bath and fluffy towels. Incorporate music; take your ipod into the tub so that you can’t be distracted by outside noises and lock the door! Make this your time and you will emerge refreshed and ready to cherish your family because you have first nurtured yourself. You are familiar with the in-flight safety message about putting on your own oxygen mask applies in all avenues of life.

Plan your retreat and design your space that allows you to recharge and rejuvenate, its okay to be a little bit indulgent in this and you will reap so many benefits.

Take time today to list the moments or activities where you felt perfectly in tune with yourself and the place where you are most comfortable and then make a list of wish items you want for that space. Now you are prepared to design your perfect little world, keep your favorite colours and scents in mind and use correct lighting in the area. Task lighting for baking, reading and journaling and soft lighting for relaxing, soaking or prayer and meditation.

Everyone can be an expert in their own design project, just follow your heart and your passion and you will see a wonderful place emerge.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at