Image: Ashley Capp | Story: A Cozy and Gorgeous Basement Becomes the Hub in a Family Home
A checklist for transforming chaos into an in-home oasis.
In a perfect world, we would all have a door in our homes that, when required, opens up into whatever our personal happy place looks like—a Parisian escape, a mountain trail, or the masseuse’s table at a swish spa. But since this is real life, we’ve put together a little toolkit of essential items to quiet the mind, rejuvenate the soul and transform your home into a zen space rivalling any mystical sanctuary — no magical portal required.
1. Create an altar.
Amethyst Crystal Lamp, $104, urbanoutfitters.com
Specifically: A crystal altar. Now, this is one that will require a step of faith in the healing power of these hunks of rock, but for the true believer, crystals are thought to be powerful partners in the pursuit of zen. (Worst case scenario: You end up with a display of visually pleasing, and therefore relaxing, decorative rocks!) Looking for some suggestions? In her forthcoming book, The Crystal Code, guru Tamara Driessen recommends amethyst for calm, blue lace agate for soothing, and of course, rose quartz for support and surrender. “Rose quartz is like a huge hug,” she writes. “It’ll ground you and slow everything down, helping you to mellow out”.
2. Add a little aromatherapy.
Lavender soy candle, $34, etsy.ca.
Never underestimate the subtle power of scent to transform your mood. Lavender is especially efficacious when it comes to calming and soothing, and research suggests that it can be helpful for those dealing with anxiety, stress and insomnia. We love burning a lavender scented candle like the one from Canadian-made Sunday Flowers, hand poured in Kingston, Ontario and created using distilled organic essential oils. Have a sweet tooth? We like to think our lemon-glazed lavender shortbread cookies can offer the same calming benefits.
3. Go green.
Bonsai tree watercolour print, $30.17, etsy.ca.
While many might find the idea of tending a plant soothing, there are those amongst us who well, find it stressful keeping anything alive. We love this restful print from a Canadian artist because it combines the ancient meditative practice of tending to a bonsai plant with us actually having to, like, take care of a real tree.
Remember how you used to zone out in math class, lost to the world in your doodling? Well, this is a book that facilitates that flow state again as a grown up. Filled with prompts to spark your creativity and quotes to calm your mind, Doodle Zen promises to be an addictive way to meditate without even really knowing you’re doing it. Ideal for the fidgeter amongst us!
5. Invest in a luxurious throw.
Knit throw, $650, Intothebedroom.com.
There are no scientific properties to this recommendation other than a baby soft alpaca blanket is our idea of bliss. Hand knit from Peruvian wool, this is the kind of wonder throw that would reduce your blood pressure by ten points just by you running your hand along it. Imagine the good it would do for you, curled up on the couch with a cup of London fog tea and that lavender candle burning away…