8 Ways To Make Your Home Feel Like A Sanctuary: Tips From An Interior Designer

As you move from city to city or even country to country for love, work, or to follow your soul’s mission, it can be tricky to create a personalized home you feel great in.

As an intuitive, holistic interior stylist, it’s my job to take a space, its location, and its inhabitants and their needs into consideration on all my design projects. Instead of using a specific trend or rule book, I let my gut feelings (and inherent Libra desire for harmony) shape the results.

Here are some of my favorite interior design tips that are easy to follow and don’t require much of a budget. May they help you create the relaxing, soothing living space you desire, wherever you may be in the world

Photo: Instagram / @linaemeli

1. Create still-life groupings.

Cluster your favorite objects into small groups and place them where you can enjoy them the most — on a sideboard, windowsill, or bedside table, for example. Your display can feature anything from jewelry to a vase or glass bottle with a single flower to a stack of beautiful boxes topped with a smooth stone. Don’t be afraid to mix and match here!

2. Use soft light sources.

Avoid cold light as it is less relaxing and can remind you of the light in a hospital, lab, or work environment. String lights and candles are both great options, and small glass bottles and jars with the labels removed make perfect candle holders.

3. Prioritize comfort.

Invest in a soft, warming blanket in your favorite color scheme and take it with you whenever you move into a new space. This always helps me feel at home.

4. Fill your home with either soothing or uplifting scents.

You can use incense, scented candles (of a good, soy-based quality with natural ingredients), essential oils, or flowers such as freesia, hyacinth, mimosa, lily, and tuberose, depending on the season. I prefer using soothing scents in my living room and bedroom and more uplifting ones in my bathroom. When you need a fresh start, try burning palo santo. Every once in a while, take a break from home scents to avoid sensory overload.

5. Bring the outdoors in.

Whenever I move to a new place, I go for a walk around the neighborhood and search for rosehips, an old, moss-covered branch, or some smooth stones to add to my space to help me feel connected to my new surroundings.

6. Group colors.

For a more harmonious feeling in a small space, group your colors strategically. For example, place warm colors on the sofa cushions and surrounding objects, and cooler colors in the bathroom.

7. Display your fashions.

Hang your most beautiful dress or kimono on a wall in the bedroom, hallway, or living room area to add texture, color, and style. Textiles also work as sound absorbents. Let your prettiest slippers or heels become interior objects when you do not use them, and put your favorite bags on display too. This gives character to your home and is a personal way of showing your guests who you are or who you dream of becoming.

8. Get crafty with picture collages.

For an artistic yet harmonious look, I select a wall or two where I create a larger collage or vision board. Don’t be afraid to mix family photos, postcards, beautiful museum cards, and fliers. For a more stylish look, limit it to only a few colors — maybe black and white over your desk and nude and green tones by the bedside.

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