Sanctuary Spaces


Tired, stressed, cold, sad—do you experience any of these feelings during the holiday season? While it's known as the jolliest time of the year, the holidays can actually increase stress and anxiety levels. Overbearing in-laws, that never-ending gift list, and even your office holiday party can seem like a burden. And while so many de-stressing solutions exist, we find the most Zen tranquility while relaxing in our sanctuary space. What's that, you ask? It's an environment created by you, for you—filled with your favorite stress soothers, scents, and sounds. Usually it exists in the bathroom, but your bedroom, kitchen, or garden can transform into the perfect territory for reflection and meditation. Everyone has his or her own ideal setting, so get inspired by these well-designed examples and cultivate your own inner holiday retreat.

Bring the Outdoors In

We're not asking you to haul your bathtub outside, but how about a little love for Mother earth? Thick, unfinished wood and bricks pair well with simple leafy plants and instantly give your space the tranquil touch it needs. Plus, the greenery creates fresher, healthier air to breathe! Add a few candles and you've built yourself a rustic refuge.

left: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Add a Charming Touch

We love to surround ourselves with beauty, so strategically adorn your environment with your favorite things. Fresh flowers, beloved photos, inspired art, and vintage ephemera all add a distinctive and meaningful touch to your relaxation space, but let your own individual taste dictate the aesthetic of your room.

left: right: Debi Treloar/Romantic Style

Let There Be Light

Prolonged and unprotected UV exposure is a major beauty (and health!) no-no, but we need at least 20 minutes of sunshine in the winter to boost our mood and vitamin D levels. Find a space with a large source of natural light, such as a big window or skylight, then stretch out and relax as you soak up some winter rays.

left: Rocco Bosman/photo: Elsa Young