Food is a basic necessity, but fulfilling that need can be a very creative, satisfying and indulgent pursuit. One of my favorite things to do before making my weekly shopping list is to page through cookbooks and choose one or two new recipes to try. I also spend a lot of time poring over cookbooks before entertaining. A soft place to sit while thinking over delicious things to eat seems like a good ordering of priorities. Even if you don't have a conveniently located window seat, take the time to sit down with your cookbooks if you love to cook.
Again, not every home has a window seat, and if yours doesn't, just make sure you have a place where you love to stretch out — or curl up — and read. Lots of soft pillows, good light, and warmth are the basic requirements.
I like the idea of something right next to your bed that has a few encouraging, inspiring, or just plain cheerful words. If not that, then a photo of someone or someplace that brings you a lot of happiness. After all, it's the last and the first thing you'll see each day.
Make the most of your windows and views. I don't know what else is going on in this room, but I like what I can see here. Two comfy lounge chairs are situated so that the main thing their occupants will be looking at is a beautiful view. It looks like there would be little to do here besides enjoy pleasant conversation or a magazine.
No, it is probably not practical to make a habit of leaving tea service sitting on the corner of your bed. But serve yourself (and maybe your significant other) tea once in a while. Don't just microwave cups of water and scoop sugar out of the canister. Take the time to brew a pot, and use the creamer and sugar bowl that are neglected in your cupboard.
Go all out on your bed. This one feels very royal because of its intense colors and metallics. But you can make your bed feel indulgent in any color or design scheme, by dressing it up with lots of pomp and fluff: decorative pillows, a puffy duvet, a thick pillow-top mattress pad.
Sometimes less is more. The way this minimal desk space is tucked in makes it feel like a place where you could be alone with your journal, work on a chapter of that novel you're writing, or take the time to compose flowery thank-you notes.
Even a small bathroom can take a little inspiration from high-end spas. Living plants in the bath instantly bring a sensation of freshness, plus cool, organic color.
These apothecary jars have a similarly spa feel. Cotton balls and swabs suddenly become an invitation to primp and preen when presented as enticingly as candy.
I wanted to find an image that showed someone making the most of an outdoor space, and I loved this one. This home does not have a sprawling yard and garden; it has a modestly sized deck in an intensely urban area. But some plush seating, potted plants and elegant flooring make it a place that's made for a warm morning with a cup of coffee and the paper.
Spend time on the entryway to your home, so that every time you're using it you feel excited and relaxed to be home. It doesn't have to be a grand archway or a new front door; a few healthy potted plants can do the trick.
If you have a potting shed or a little art studio, use it. So many of those spaces fill us with excitement when we're moving into a home, then sit unused as we get caught up in our daily hustle. If you don't have one already, consider erecting one, if you have the space. And then make it a priority to use it.
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself, and sometimes going outside or to the gym to work out is a welcome escape. Other times, it's cold out or you just really would like to work out in a T-shirt full of holes in front of your favorite dumb TV show with the volume cranked up as loud as you want. A piece of workout equipment in your home is there for you in exactly those moments.
Where in your home do you go to unwind?
Where in your home do you go to unwind?