Oases of peace: 10 ideas for creating a stress-free island in your home

Ulrich Safferling

Do you need a break from everyday life, but have no time for a vacation right now? Then create a place at home where you can relax and unwind from time to time. An oasis of peace to recharge your batteries. Here are ten ideas for creating stress-free islands to retreat to at home.

A woman sits in front of her wood-burning stove and pets her dog.
© Getty Images

In this article

1. A kitchen bar – beyond cooking

A kitchen is of course mainly used for cooking. But why are kitchens such incredibly popular meeting places at every house party? They look after body and soul at the same time, so why not turn yours into an oasis? Replace your traditional dining area with stools and a bar table and enjoy the feeling of being in a beach bar. Perfect for a small aperitif, the raised sitting position also offers a completely different view through the window. Tip: if the kitchen is furnished in a modern white style, a wooden table and chairs in a vintage look will create an interesting visual.

2. A studio in the heavens – freedom under the roof

Is the attic just a messy storage room? What a shame! With a little effort you can transform it into a wonderful place of retreat. An attic is already quite separate from the rest of the house – and all its noise and stress. Make the empty roof area into a studio full of light thanks to skylights or a roof garden. With light colors you can turn a gloomy loft into a small (or maybe even a large) oasis under the roof. Here you can pursue your forgotten hobby – or make room to discover a new one. And don’t forget that the extension will also increase the value of the property.

View into a brightly designed room with a sloping roof. A gray sofa can be seen in the center of the picture.

It would be a shame to use it merely as a storeroom: an attic can be a wonderful place of retreat.

3. A place of retreat – just switch off every now and again

Even without a library, a sitting or reading corner is the perfect place to switch off. All you need is a stylish wing chair, preferably with a footstool, or a trendy floor cushion. It’s up to you whether to install the seating area in front of the bookshelf or simply in a corner of the living room. A carpet in a contrasting color under the armchair to mark off the area will help set the scene: this is where my relaxation area begins.

4. A castle in the air – swinging in the wind

Attach a hanging chair or hammock to hooks – and you’ve made your own castle in the air. Preferably on the balcony looking towards the sky. Lying in a hammock in the fresh air is an incredibly relaxing way to take a break. The hammock can be put up and taken down as desired and doesn’t use up any space on the balcony. Tip: fabric hammocks envelop the body more comfortably than those made from woven bands.

A couple lies in a hammock together.

Whether for one or for two: a hammock on the balcony is the perfect castle in the air.

5. A little bit of sea – the pleasure of water

The whirlpool is the luxury alternative to the bathtub. The ideal time to install one is when planning a new building or conversion. A whirlpool turns the bathroom into a wellness oasis where your body can recharge its batteries and your mind can really switch off. Bubbles and water jets create a feel-good atmosphere just like in upscale hotels. You should choose discreet lighting or candlelight and furnishings that provide maximum comfort.

6. A window seat – let there be light

In the Middle Ages, window sills were not window sills at all, but seating niches positioned directly by the window, because that’s where there was the most light. If two seats were opposite each other, it was also possible for people to talk to each other in private. This still works in modern houses, especially those with large panoramic windows. With normal windows, you can create an artificial niche with shelves to the left and right, and install a sofa, beanbags or a window seat. Voilà, an oasis for one or two people.

A man is reading and eating in a seating/reclining area in front of a large window.

Follow the light: seats directly by the window are ideal for reading, relaxing – and occasionally eating.

7. A yoga meadow – the yoga studio for your home

Many people appreciate yoga as a relaxing exercise. If you can’t spare a whole room for it, simply set up a yoga oasis in the bedroom. This is the room that is most appropriate for meditative exercises because of its function and calm choice of colors. You need about one meter of space around the yoga mat. You should be able to look towards the window or a plain wall. If there is enough space, separate the yoga area with a curtain or screen. Then simply add an indirect source of warm light, a table for accessories, and some green plants to ensure a higher oxygen level.

8. A fireplace – cozy warmth

A real chimney or tiled fireplace is difficult to install, but a typical Swedish chimney or wood-burning stove can usually be set up very easily in a corner of the living room. Logs on the wall complete the natural, homely atmosphere. Put your feet up and watch the flames, comfortably installed in deep armchairs or beanbags grouped around the crackling island of warmth. As metal stoves always look a little technical, classic Swedish colors such as blue and yellow represent attractive contrasting tones for accessories such as cushions and tableware.

In front of a fireplace there is an armchair with a sheepskin rug and a stool with two cups on it.

Look into the flames for hours and relax: a fireplace is often not as complicated to set up as it may seem.

9. A winter garden – a view over the greenery

A winter garden forms an exclusive oasis that will help you to forget about the darkest season of the year. Whether you have it built specially or add glazing to an existing terrace or balcony, this place of relaxation with a particularly good climate will represent a haven of peace and harmony looking out over the greenery outside. You can use clever solutions for ventilation, lighting and temperature regulation via smart app to create a unique feel-good space, just like in a greenhouse, where all your senses will be at rest. The floor doesn’t have to be laid with plain white ceramic tiles as was customary in the past – oiled wooden elements on the ground are perfect for this plant world.

10. An infrared sauna – a sauna without steam

Ever heard of infrared cabins? The energy-saving alternative to the sauna that takes up a lot less space. Infrared heat has been known for a long time to be a healing heat source for tension, colds or back pain. You can sit or lie down in compact cabins with red spotlights. They can fit even in the smallest corner, preferably in the bathroom. Their pleasant deep warmth will help you relax and recuperate, just like in a classic Finnish sauna. Some infrared cabins are also equipped with colored light, which has an additional therapeutic effect on the skin.

Conclusion: create your own oasis of calm.

There are so many possibilities for creating small oases of peace in your house or apartment. Some require a little more effort; others, like a relaxation corner or yoga meadow, are relatively easy to set up. Have fun – and relax.

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