today’s post is all about one of my other favorite things (besides travel and photography and spirituality!)… nesting. and what i mean by that is creating a home that is warm, inviting, friendly, comfortable, and cozy.
the dalai lama says this about homes:
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
it’s true, i believe, that one of the most important and intimate things that we can do is to offer hospitality to others. for lina and me, what that means is that our home is a place that, when people come to visit – for an hour or for a week – they feel relaxed, at home, and loved. having a home that provides an atmosphere of peace and calm is what we strive for most, i believe. and it’s something we actually talk about.
my love and i really do sit down and discuss what we can do to make our little corner of the world a sanctuary for visitors and for ourselves. we talk about future placement, knick knacks, decorations, art, flowers… just about everything. and we change how things look every so often, just because. how our home feels is very important. we want it to be a place of positive vibes. yes, a home should truly be a sanctuary. a safe place to nest and to feel free to be exactly who you are.
in addition to having a spot to return to every day that makes you feel relaxed and at peace, we want our home to be that place where everyone finds a place of retreat from the craziness of the world. there is so much stress. so much pain. so much confusion and craziness in our every day lives. so, i think that our homes are the places we can return to find safety and security. having a home that is a sanctuary provides us with a place to recharge. it truly can be the place that is the foundation of our lives – and i’m not only talking about the material things that surround us at home – but the people at home, the feeling that you get when you walk in your home.
with that said, i thought i’d share with y’all our secrets to creating our sanctuary at home – remember, this is what makes our home a place of retreat. it’s what makes us feel cozy and home-y and relaxed. it looks different to each one of us, but perhaps we can glean a little inspiration from each other.
we try to keep some fresh flowers on our island (and some candy in a bowl!). they are one of the first things you see when you enter… creating a welcoming, friendly, organic atmosphere.
we think that having a spot to sit in a corner is super cozy. a great place to read or snuggle up. i totally love mixing the brown leather and the metal lamp with a soft blanket. cozy, huh?
it’s always so great to have something green. a bit of a reminder of life and our connection to each other & the world.
oh, and yes. a couple of big, fluffy, huge blankets to wrap up in and have a movie or netflix marathon. the perfect way to spend a rainy day – or any day, actually.
we think it is very, very important to have music in our house – from the record player or our iphones, it doesn’t really matter. but, music sets the tone. and we have tons of playlists with tons of all kinds of music for every kind of situation and mood. and some musical art is an extra bonus. hehe,
a place to sit and share a meal together is a definite necessity. of course, in our opinion candles on the table are also a must. well, actually, candles all over our home are a must.
photos of some of our favorite places, people, and moments hung on the walls are some of our favorite things at home. it reminds us who we are and where we belong.
we’ve also designated places in our home that are meant to draw our creativity and dreams out. when i sit here, i am surrounded by things that remind me of what i want out of life, where i’ve come from, and where i hope to go. having a space like this designates a special area of focus – something that lina and i both need, as a student and a blogger/writer.
books. books. books. one day i want a whole room of books – i want a library. but, for now, i have books that i have read that inspired and challenged and changed me on display. any visitor is welcome to grab one and read. but, for me, these books represent a lot of who i am and what matters to me.
lina and i changed our bedroom around a few months ago – we decided to move our bed under the windows. why? because windows mean a lot to us. they are our connection with the outside world, with nature. i can lie in bed at night, look up, and see stars. and there is something about that is magical for me. so, whether it is a bed or a chair or a window seat, having a place to rest by the window does a lot for the soul.
lights. lina and i have lights hanging everywhere. over the bed. on top of our kitchen cabinets. around our balcony doors – inside. on our balcony – outside. there is nothing quite like the glow of lights hanging in a room. talk about magical and cozy and warm. – one other thing worth mentioning, we both have very important momentos beside our side of the bed. i have a little blue bird that came from my mom and my grandma; and also some origami prints from two very special friends who mailed me these photos. they just make me feel all cozy and loved.
lina and i love travel. like obsessively love it. so, it is completely necessary to have a map in our home. this one is on the wall beside my bed. i see it every morning – first thing, and every night – last thing. every time i look at it, i smile. and i’m inspired. i dream and wish. and i remember how big and beautiful this world is – and how much i want to see every little part of it. hanging things on your walls that inspire you and remind you who you are is a great way to make your home a place where you know you belong, i believe. and my map helps me remember that i belong everywhere.
one thing we did when we moved our bed was to put it directly on the floor. we wanted simplicity, coziness, and a minimalistic feeling. being right on the floor makes everything feel much more simple. and the covers we have, we made sure they were bigger than you would usually have so we could create a fluffy, cozy, squishy spot. don’t you just wanna hang out there all day?
create a space that is your own. lina and i each have a space that is the core of who we are. lina’s space is in our studio – at her desk and on the floor. you can find her there every single day. creating, drawing, being inspired, learning, and designing.
as for me, this is my special space – my personal little altar space. i have the most influential books i have read (minus to kill a mockingbird), my japa mala beads i hold during meditation and wear every day, elephants – because they are amazing & holy, and candles. i sit in front of this space at some point during every day, on my pillow on the floor, in order to meditate. i light candles, breathe, and write in my journal. it is my very special place – where i listen to my soul.
Nesting. Yes. I love to nest. It’s what I miss most of being temporarily without a house. Living in my mom’s condo while our belongings reside in storage has given me a lot of time (one-and-a-half months) to reflect on what “home” means. A safe haven. A sanctuary. A place of peace, love, and comfort. In my previous home, we had painted all the walls various shades so they blended together and yet defined each space. There were yellows, greens, golds, reds, and browns. Now I am surrounded by white and dream of the day we have a new space we can create into a home.
It’s been said “home is where the heart is”, but we are physical beings and as a physical being I have found the love of a physical space I can nurture and call home.
Thanks for the inspiration Liz. Our first home was small and cozy and it felt so comfortable. Our friends were so comfy there that they often fell asleep on our sofa!! Our new home is really big and I am finding it a challenge to create our sanctuary. I have decided I need to work on it space by space, room by room and I hope to achieve a homely, comfy, relaxing retreat for our family. 🙂 xx
Space by space sounds like the perfect way to approach your new home. I am certain that you will recreate that sanctuary all over again. xx
I stumbled onto your story/blog and I am inspired in the most humble way. Not sure if that makes sense. There’s a quality to your writing and your story that makes me really think about life and reach for things yet appreciate what is already here. Thank you for sharing your journey!
Thank you, Jo, for sharing your comment. Your words are so kind and have touched my heart. I am so humbled that you have found my blog inspiring. Wow! 🙂