Let’s face it - privacy was at a premium during lockdown with the whole family squeezed into one space together.

But constantly being ‘on’ can be incredibly hard and, well...exhausting! We all need (and deserve) that time to be still and do the things that make us happy and feel ourselves again. 

In this guide we wanted to give you some tips to help you carve out a bit of space in your home to help you to disconnect, recharge and just breeeeeathe. 

Carve out some space

reading nook

Image credit: Joanna Thornhill

First things first - hunt down the ideal space for your little sanctuary. 

Consider what you plan to do in the space to relax. Are you looking for some floor space for yoga? If so then the nook under the stairs won’t be conducive for a tall, strong mountain pose but would be perfect for an armchair and a reading nook. 

Or perhaps it's painting or crafting that takes you to your happy place? Then you’ll need to find somewhere with plenty of natural light. 

It might be that you’re lucky enough to have a spare bedroom, or perhaps an old shed crying out for a she shed/man cave makeover. These are ideal spots for you to commandeer for your private retreat.

If not, then don’t fret! Trust me, when you start to think outside the box you could be surprised at the amount of  spaces in your home that can be transformed into a mini private retreat.

Here we've gathered plenty of inspiration for creative ways to clear out some space. But if you want to skip straight to tips on styling your space, click here.


Hang a curtain

reading nook with curtain

Image credit: AM Reading

A cheap but effective way to bring privacy to any corner or nook in your home. 


...Or blinds

reading nook blinds

Image credit: Anne Mattei

Vertical slat blinds could also work as a cheap and quick way to partition off a space. 


Bookcase room divider

bookcase room divider

Image credit: Remodelista

Another option that can be installed in a day! The other great thing about this is that you can create as much or as little privacy as you need, depending on what you display on the shelves.


Use a decorative room divider 

room divider

Image credit: Jonathan Hokklo

A beautiful design feature and a great way to section off an unused corner of a room.


Set up camp in an alcove

reading nook alcoveImage credit: Eric Piasecki

Make use of the quirky and seemingly awkward nooks in your home by transforming them into a comfy reading nook. 


Use a window ledge

window seatImage credit: My Bespoke Room

Deeply recessed windows are an ideal spot to use for a reading or meditation nook. You can even hang curtains above the frame so that it’s just you and the view when they’re drawn. 


Borrow space from your landing

reading nook in hallwayImage credit: Paul Raeside

Often an unused space but can be perfect for a little reading nook. A decorative room divider would work wonders here for a bit more privacy when needed. 


...Or under the stairs

under stairs seatingImage credit: JMA Interiors

The space under the stairs is prime real estate that’s not to be wasted! Yes you could use it for storage, but why not add in built in seating instead which can transform a hallway into another usable space.


Dual purpose storage

hallway room divider

Image credit: DIY Mummy

A room divider and extra storage. It’s a win-win! In this example you can see there’s plenty of space behind for a potential mini home yoga studio. 


Clear out a cupboard

reading nook

Image credit: House to Decor

You might find that by channelling your inner Marie Kondo you can clear out a whole built in. 


Partition on wheels

reading nook curtains

Image credit: Remodelista

A great option if you’re in a rental and want to avoid damaging walls or ceilings.


How to turn your space into a calming private retreat

balcony reading nookImage credit: Shelterness

So you have your room or clearly defined nook - the fun can begin! Here are our top tips on how to create your very own private retreat within your home.


Clear the decks

home yoga spotImage credit: Gaia Design

You need room to breathe - the last thing you want when you’re trying to relax to be surrounded in clutter. Nobody should be reminded of any unfinished housework!

Make sure your new retreat is fitted with storage solutions to make it quick and easy to gather everything up  and hide.

Rattan storage boxes are great for quickly tidying away bits and bobs and can also add natural texture to the space. 

For more storage tips check out our dedication post here


Choose calming colours

calming colours for your homeImage credit: House Beautiful

Keep in mind when decorating your home retreat that certain colours conjure different emotions.

Surround yourself in colours that bring you joy but make sure you pick a soft tone to soothe rather than energise you. For example, did you know that depending on the hue you choose, yellow can be either bright and uplifting or conversely the colour of frustration and anxiety? 

Blue is often associated with feelings of tranquillity and green is a wonderful choice as it can stimulate feelings of growth and rebalance. 

When in doubt choose warm neutrals like beige or white walls and add textures for warmth.


Choose furniture that hugs you

soft furnitureImage credit: Jonathan Hokklo

Who says it can’t be stylish and comfortable? We’re loving the trend towards rounded soft furniture that envelops and hugs you! There are some great affordable options out there to, perfect for a little home retreat. 


Cater for all the senses

home scentsImage credit: housely.com

It’s important to think about how you want to feel in the space and what mood you want to be in. Plonking a cushion on the floor unfortunately won’t quite cut it! 

To fully relax and switch off you need to consider all the senses. Think flickering candles for ambiance and the scent of fresh flowers. Particular scents can instantly calm us notably lavender, chamomile or jasmine. 


Introduce plenty of texture

textured reading nookImage Credit: decoist

Speaking of the senses - this one deserved it's own section! Touch is crucial to creating a space that you gravitate towards. 

When choosing soft furnishings, pick deeply tactile materials like a faux fur blanket alongside a soft velvet cushion.


Surround yourself in nature

nature in reading nookImage Credit: hiltoncarter

Indoor plants are not just a design trend. They do so much more than just finish off a space.

Plants can truly improve our well being by detoxifying and cleansing the air we breathe.  

The link to nature and the outdoors also has wonderful soothing effects. 


Keep it fun and personal!

DIY gin barImage credit: We Are Focist

Remember to keep it fun and unique to you. In our latest house tour, Jess from the My Bespoke Room family showed us round her stunning home and didn’t leave out her latest project - the home office/gin bar! 


We hope that this guide has inspired you to carve out a bit of space, however small, that’s just for you. Because we all know - there are times when alone is the best place to be.

If you'd like to hear more about how interior design could work for your home - book a free no-obligation call to find out more:




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