In the hustle and bustle of daily life; with traffic and commutes, and the pressures of work, having a relaxing oasis to come home to can be the highlight of your day. But condo dwellers may not have the luxury of a big yard or a spa-like bathroom to unwind in. How do you make your small space feel like a vacation at home?


First, cut the clutter! Decluttering has been a very popular notion lately, thanks to japanese organization guru Marie Kondo and the Konmarie movement. But clearing out unnecessary items can truly bring you a sense of peace and calm. Constantly having to sort through various papers and junk, having to move items around to find the things you need, and the build up of dust and clutter can make you feel frustrated and annoyed. Create a filing system, get rid of unnecessary objects and sell or donate anything that doesn’t serve a purpose for you. Putting in some work will pay off in how amazing you will feel when it's complete!


Choose tranquil colors. Painting your space can give you a fresh, clean look that does wonders for your peace of mind! Choose a calm, neutral backdrop like white, cream or grey and then add accents of your favorite hue for a modern look! Blues can help you sleep, while citrusy yellow hues can add energy. The colors should draw you in and make you feel happy! Choose a palette that speaks to you.


How about adding some indoor plants for some greenery and freshness? But remember, less is more - having too many colors or too many accent decor pieces can be overwhelming for the eye and for the mind. Stick with a contemporary design style of a single larger focus piece (an interesting print or painting) with a few smaller items in a single color palette (maybe a group of cacti in coordinating pots). Try to avoid the look of too many patterns, textures and nicknacks- remember the feeling of your great aunt's house packed to the gills with printed wallpaper, embroidered cushions and statuettes?   


Serenity for your senses. Clean will always be the best smell. You always want to start with a clean home, then add your favorite scents. Trying to cover bad smells with air fresheners never really works. Get rid of the source of yucky smells! After that, you can create signature scents with essential oil burners, ultrasonic atomizers, or reed diffusers to match your personality and promote well-being. They also have many options that look beautiful and can be an attractive accent item as well.


In addition, some people love having a white noise machine or a soft “sound spa” such as waves or rain sounds that add an extra element of tranquility. It drowns out the noise of traffic or the drone of the fridge and furnace for an extra sensory experience.


Create coziness. Having your “spot” can be the best part of coming home. Pick your favorite chair or create a cushy pile of large pillows and soft throws. Have good lamp for reading and maybe a small table for a hot cup of tea- whatever makes you feel most at home and cozy.  This is your oasis! Give yourself room to stretch out or to meditate and maybe make your corner a ‘no-electronics zone’ for extra serenity.


We’ve been hearing a lot about “self care” lately and having a peaceful place to call your own is the ultimate form of wellness! Treat yourself with a refuge in your very own home.