This week I’m taking going on a rest and restore retreat in the Yarra Valley in Victoria. A couple of days of forest bathing, yoga, massage, reading, reflecting and possibly goal setting. So it got me thinking about how to create an idyllic retreat in your own home.
What does retreat mean to you?
One of the projects I worked on last year the client was specific in their request that they wanted a retreat or an oasis. I spent some time figuring out what that means to them. Colour and light were what helped create an idyllic retreat for this client.
They wanted lush blues and deep greens. Colours of nature such as the sea, sky and plants. The light had to be low and moody. They also liked pattern and felt pattern was part of their perfect retreat space.
You can see this project here but for me a retreat space is quiet, casual, scented lavender candle and full of natural light.
Everyone’s retreat is different, you might need music and texture and hate scented candles. You might need art or inspirational quotes, while others might like the calmness of an all-white space. So understanding what retreat means to you is the first step to creating an idyllic retreat in your own home.
The use of colour in a home retreat
Considering the interior design elements (link) and from my own experience as a Melbourne based interior designer, I think colour and light are two of the key factors to get right in your retreat.
We know the power of colour from a psychological perspective. While there are general rules about the impact of colour everyone is different. For example, I find the balance of monochrome spaces to be calming.
Use the colour you like rather than a colour which is suggested to have calming benefits. The best thing about creating an idyllic retreat in your own home, just like your own home office is that you can create a space that makes you feel good.
The use of light in a home retreat
I’m not a big fan of artificial light. Even when I’m working in the kitchen, I resist the bright light of the pendants over the counter. Instead, I use the light in the rangehood and adjacent dining zone down lights on a dimmer. So my idyllic retreat at home has natural light.
As mentioned above all my clients are different. Some light moody dark light, either created by colour or light fittings. But the light in your home retreat is dependent on the function. Or the activity you undertake in your retreat.
This space that you take some time for yourself, what are you doing in it? Are you reading, listening to music, napping, yoga, or a craft. Whatever the retreat activity is, the light needs to support it.
My retreat activities at home are yoga, reading, listening to jazz, so natural day light suffices for me.
Fundamentally I think the key thing to creating an idyllic home retreat is to simply have a space that you can close the door and fill with all the things you love and make you happy.