Creating your peaceful space – How to create a sanctuary at home

If there is one thing we all desire it’s a space where we can relax and feel at peace.

Nature’s basic instinct from rabbits in their burrows to birds in their nests, is to create a soft and welcoming home. Now more than ever before when we are surrounded by daily interruptions in our lives, and with more of us sharing homes with others, it’s vital to recognise the need to create our own space and to give each other permission to withdraw to that space when we need time to recharge and reenergise.

It doesn’t have to be a large space, it can simply be a corner in a room where we surround ourselves with things that make us feel comforted.
Whatever space you have available you can make that space your own by how you style it. Very few people start with a blank canvas, but it is possible to strip back accumulated clutter to reveal what is important to you.

With an emphasis on sustainability it is really important to think carefully before you invest in anything. There is so much beautiful furniture languishing in corners of auction houses, charity shops, or even in our parents, or grandparents homes, just waiting for someone to find it and give it the love to breathe new life into it. Equally there are artisans creating beautiful new pieces which will stand the test of time.

Choosing a calming colour for the walls, selecting the right textures for soft furnishings, finding the perfect chair with the best lighting, from natural to ambient and introducing plants can make such a difference to our personal space.

Importantly our relaxing space should be separate from our home working space, and keeping our home office space tidy and cleared away, is another way of helping us switch off from work commitments,

Here are two books full of wonderfully inspiring ideas about how to create the sanctuary that we all desire.

Calm - Sally DenningCalm – Sally Denning

Interiors to nurture, relax and restore

In recent times, many of us have spent more time at home than ever before. Creating a home that instils a sense of calm will cocoon and protect us from the outside world, create a sense of wellbeing and make us feel truly nurtured.

Calm will help you create a restful, restorative interior that draws you in and makes your shoulders drop the moment you walk through the door. Sally Denning first explores the essential foundations of a tranquil, comforting home: calming and harmonious colours, textiles, pattern, lighting and decorative elements. She goes on to explore a mix of accessible real-life homes, ranging from city homes to country houses, new builds, flats/apartments, beach houses and more. The spaces may be different, but they all share one thing: a timeless, soothing and restful atmosphere that is a pleasure to come home to.


We absolutely loved Relaxed Coastal Style, a previous book by Sally Denning and in Calm, she has created another beautiful book which really lives up to its title. There are so many beautiful examples of ways in which we can bring tranquility into our lives, by making subtle changes to our surroundings.

Her sublime approach to interior design is encapsulated through the following content, first, she describes the essential foundations of a comforting environment, calming and harmonious colour, lots of appealing textures, an abundance of textiles, quiet pattern and calming decorative details such as plants, flowers and other natural elements. She then examines 12 different homes that all have one thing in common, a timeless, tranquil atmosphere that is a pleasure to come home to.

An absolutely beautiful book, with the most gorgeous and uplifting photography. Every page delivers a calming approach designed to create a sense of peace and encouraging the reader to pause, take a breath and consider how to bring peace and calm to their own environment.

A wonderful invitation to create calmness in your home. Highly Recommended!

Happy Starts At Home - Rebecca WestHappy Starts At Home – Rebecca West

Change your space, transform your life


Use your home as a tool to make better changes happen in your life. Through aligning your heart, home, and health, experience first-hand how small changes make a big difference.

What does it take to be happy at home? It’s not about buying, or not buying a new sofa. It’s about whether your home is working for you in the best way. Your home can directly improve your well-being and contentment with better health, sleep, and relationships, and ultimately decrease your stress levels to increase your all-round happiness. Design expert Rebecca West helps you to learn how to achieve a geographical cure without actually relocating and how to redecorate so you can feel best in your space.

Along with beautiful photographs, there are a variety of self-assessment activities to connect your financial, emotional and physical health to your space to ensure it nurtures your vision – and while doing so, investing your time and money more effectively too. With the valuable advice in Happy Starts at Home, you can commit to a philosophy of buying fewer things and doing more to discover what’s holding you back, in order to find joy and create a home that makes you smile.

This is a different approach to creating a home that works for you. In Happy Starts At Home Rebecca West explains that in her view it is about using your home to make change happen in your life.

She explains that when we know how we want to use a space and how it should make us feel, we can make informed and intentional decisions about how to meet those goals.

Throughout the book there are a series of activities based on questions designed to help you evaluate your unique situation and discover what you need from your home and be able to see it with new, more objective eyes.

It’s designed to be interactive, Rebecca suggests using the book as a workbook, using a questioning approach, you work to align your heart, your home and your health.

As you complete an exercise there will be actions that you can take immediately, while other responses will help more with bigger changes, or long term plans.

A thoughtful approach to creating a home that will nurture and support the life you deserve to live. Highly Recommended!

Calm by Sally Denning and Happy Starts At Home by Rebecca West are both published by Ryland Peters & Small