It is almost the end of the year, and as we approach 2019 its time to focus on the things that will make your year the best it can be! While on the hunt for a new house, I often have clients tell me that they need their home to be a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of every day life, and I couldn’t agree more. Your home should be the place you go to rest and recharge.

Start by thinking of all the time you spend in your home, and more specifically, the rooms that you occupy most often. Most of us spend a large amount of our time in our kitchens, bedrooms, living areas, and bathrooms. Because these are high traffic areas, they can also be areas where stress can breed. Here are some practical tips and steps to make them a place to rest and restore instead!

For a more relaxing Kitchen

At a first glance, some may think the kitchen is the last place to find peace. However, think about the number of hours spent in this room per week. You may find that you often that go to the kitchen to cook (some of us can cook and bake the day away), serve your family, host friends and parties, etc. In my experience, the kitchen is almost always the center of the home whether you like to use it that way or not! So, make it a place you want to hang out. You can accomplish this with a few organizing tricks:

  • Keep things in categories - baking items, spices, oils, pantry items, etc.

  • Organize and clean out your cabinets with the seasons, perhaps even store seasonal items in the basement when not in use to prevent an overflow situation in the kitchen

  • Drink Coffee? Create a coffee bar with all the fixings! Maybe even add an island or bar cart if you have room!

  • Kid stuff - keep kid snacks handy and in-reach in both the fridge and the pantry so they can help themselves when they need to.

  • Does your table also double as your desk? Keep your work space separate and out of the kitchen. This includes that pile of mail, get a nice basket or wall organizer to keep it off of your table or counter.

For a more relaxing Bedroom

Everyone needs to sleep and studies have proven that to obtain good sleep, one needs to be in a quiet, dark room free from clutter! Give your bedroom a makeover to give it that relaxing feel.

  • Clear the clutter

  • Choose a calming wall color

  • Open the shades to let the light in

  • Make your bed. This is a small task but a great way to start your day. And at the end of the day you walk into a mostly tidy room instead of a pile of sheets and blankets from last night.

  • How old is your mattress? Be honest. If it’s more than 5 years old it could be time for a new one! Remember we spend the majority of our time in our bedrooms asleep, you want to make sure it’s giving you the rest you deserve.

  • Choose lighting that allows you to relax. Try something with a dimmer, add some candles for scent and ambiance.

For a more relaxing Living Area

Living areas are the obvious places to consider when making one’s home relaxing for everyone. These are the places in which we intend to spend the most amount of time together, and there are several easy ways to make that goal more enticing:

  • Make it comfortable - have plenty of pillows and blankets to snuggle up with.

  • Well lit - make it easy to sit and read, watch tv, or enjoy a cup of coffee with easy-to-reach lighting!

  • Add flowers - fresh flowers always give a space a sense of life. Either bring a vase of fresh cut flowers or work on a green thumb and nurture some plants year round!

  • Open the windows - whether its the shades, curtains or the actual window. Let the light and fresh air in when you can!

  • Keep bookshelves organized and decorative. We can’t all have Joanna Gaines’ style on our shelves, but we sure can try to keep them organized and clutter free.

For a more relaxing Bathroom

This room may not be one that comes to mind when you consider making your home more relaxing…it’s probably even further down on the list than the kitchen! We don’t often think about this room as a place to “rest,” especially since the all-tile trend is here to stay, and decor needs for a bathroom have a few less categories than other rooms in the house. But again, tally up the amount of hours you and your family spend in your bathrooms and you may find that there’s some need to make the space more relaxing and restful.

  • I know I am repeating myself, but let the light in! Natural light warms up a space and is good for the soul. Don’t shut it out (unless your neighbors can see you)

  • Make it spa like - enjoy candles or oils to put you at ease, take a long soak in the tub or enjoy a hot steam shower

  • Add a heated floor, it will make you smile every morning

  • Consider a small decorative rug for the area in front of the sink with colors that promote rest and serenity.

Our living spaces can do so much for our health and spirit if we invest some thought and time into building them into a place of rest. As the new year approaches, I encourage you to resolve to make your home a relaxing place. Find restoration at home so you can go out and live your life!