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Creating a personal haven in your home

Kelli Uhrich is a busy writer and active career woman from Phoenix, Arizona. When she's not writing, she enjoys diving into hands-on projects, reading, blogging, and hanging out with her two lazy greyhounds.

Time to retreat

In today's hectic world, everyone needs a place where they can go to relax and unwind. Fortunately, you don't have to join a posh spa to enjoy a soothing atmosphere. Instead, create a personal sanctuary in the comfort of your own home.
Time to retreat
Time to retreat

Accessories that soothe

Most people find that keeping things simple is the best approach when accessorizing a personal sanctuary space. Avoid visual distractions, which can detract from the relaxing atmosphere you're trying to create.

Time to retreat

Instead, add only the essentials that enhance your relaxation and enjoyment:



A cozy blanket, like the D-Constructed throw from CB2 (, $129)



A cushioned chaise lounge, like the Ainsley chaise from World Market (World Market, $400)



A soft pillow, like the scalloped, felt pillow cover from West Elm (West Elm, $34)

Think only in terms of your overall comfort, and what would bring you the most pleasure and relaxation. Most times, you'll find that small or simple things are what you'll enjoy the most. Remember: this space is all about focusing on yourself so that you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the world for a little while. A few little added touches to personalize your sanctuary space will go a long way toward letting you enjoy it even more.

Advice from the pros

Home decor blogs can be a great source of inspiration when creating your personal getaway. When asked about her own personal retreat, blogger Jules Kendall of Pancakes and French Fries, said, “My retreat is the family room, which acts also as a home library. The space has evolved over time as our family has changed.”

Time to retreat

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She goes on to explain, “What was once a den turned into a play room and then back to a den. Now it's a true family room, a place where each of us is represented.”

When asked about the personalized touches she included in the space, Kendall responded, “My love of books is no secret. I needed a place to store them, so we created a wall of books with simple Billy bookcases from IKEA.”

Time to retreat

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She continues, “I'm slowly building a wall of family pictures too. I like to think the gallery wall and the room both reflect who we are. The pictures are candid, not posed. What I love most about this room, and what makes it so refreshing to me, is that it's ‘us,’ not what some magazine or decorator or trend is telling us to be. Honesty is refreshing.”

More than just "R and R"

Kelli Uhrich, of A Happy Place Called Home, explains that your personal haven can be more than just a place to relax. She describes, “A personal retreat can also be the place in your home where you do the things you love. Recently, I transformed an extra bedroom in my parents' house into a sewing room and office for my mother. My mom is a quilter, so when she wants to get away from it all, chances are you’ll find her sewing.”

Time to retreat

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When asked about the personal touches that went into the space, Uhrich explained, “I took the idea of quilting, and I just ran with it. There are two pieces of artwork in the space that were inspired by quilt blocks I found online, and I even framed a print of the different stitch settings on a sewing machine. Also, the fact that the room’s decor is various shades of turquoise is no accident. It’s my mom’s favorite color.”

Time to retreat

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When creating your own personal haven, Uhrich recommends, “Find an equilibrium between form and function. You don’t want a space that is too pretty to actually live in, but you also don’t want to skip out on the things that make life beautiful. If you surround yourself with the things you love, then there’s no better getaway than that!”

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