Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Watch The Design Tourist Airing on

How to Create a Relaxing Home Retreat

Trendy home interior

This is a contributed post

New places, people, and food, there’s so much to absorb and enjoy while you’re on the road. Then again, there’s no place like home. After wandering through colorful marketplaces and trekking over mountains, you need somewhere to unwind, relax, and center yourself. What better place than a home retreat? Your bedroom, as your most private space, perfectly fits the bill.

Color for Calm

The psychological power of color can’t be ignored. The color palette in your bedroom and any enjoining bathroom or outdoor space should speak to you. Cool hues of gray and beige are typically used in the bedroom because they don’t overstimulate the eyes or brain. Pastels in blue and green are also favorites for their quiet link to nature. After you’ve created a base palette, add a few deep, rich or bright accent splashes to give it life. 

While neutrals are traditional, that doesn’t mean your space has to be boring. A patterned lampshade, accent pillows, curtains, or a rug are the perfect place for brighter, joyful colors yet they’re in small doses so you maintain the calm aesthetic. Cultural, ethnic, and even personal experiences can influence how you feel about a certain color. If neutrals feel institutional to you, pick a palette that makes you want to sit down and stay awhile. No matter what that color is, it’s probably the right choice for you. 

Appeal to All the Senses

Bunches of lavender on a market stall in Provence, France

Sight isn’t the only sense you want to engage. Scents have a powerful influence over mind and body too. Lavender, for example, has a relaxing quality that’s been shown to enhance the ability to fall asleep. A 2010 study found that Jasmine can be as effective as valium when used as a sleep and mood enhancer.

Today, there are so many options to bring these scents into your space. Lotions, sprays, and diffusers but there are also shampoos, bath salts, and other bath products if you’re partial to a spa-like retreat.   

Make It Unbelievably Comfortable

Elegant master bedroom with blue bedroom
Elegant master bedroom with blue bedroom and wooden boiserie – 3d rendering

A home retreat cannot include a beat-up, overused mattress. Your mattress is one purchase with which you should treat yourself. It will stay with you for at least seven to eight years so take the time to try a few out at the store. Look for one that complements your sleep style—side, stomach, or back.

Bedding matters too. Natural, organic fabrics that get softer with use can make your bed hard to resist. That’s exactly what you want the minute you walk through the door. Everything about the bed should say, “Come stay awhile.” 

Take a Hint from Nature

Home office with plants
Grey chair at desk against white wall with poster in home office with plants on wooden shelves

Nature has some seriously relaxing benefits. It can calm symptoms of depression, enhance concentration, and help you unwind after a stressful day. Bring nature indoors and you get the same benefits in the comfort of your own home. Houseplants are one of the simplest ways to make your indoor space feel more natural. A plant in the bathroom, on the window seal, or on the nightstand can be a welcoming friend after a long day. 

Nature-themed and inspired elements are another way to blend the in and out of doors. Photos, paintings, lamp bases, and even blankets with floral patterns can be enough to calm yourself with nature. 


Your retreat may need a soaker tub with plenty of bath salts while someone else may need an incredible sound system and a cozy reading corner. Your retreat should speak to your needs and likes. Setting the stage for relaxation and filling it with pieces that calm you will make coming home worth it every time.  


Picture of Contributor Post

Contributor Post

Share the post on social media


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up for the latest travel news and insider tips

Latest blog posts

Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

NATJA Gold Award

NATJA Bronze Award