Creating a Haven

Finding Serenity through Design

Article by Julie Bonner

Photography by Peighton Russell + Provided

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

Trying to find a little peace has become quite the challenge in today's modern world. Our day-to-day lives can be exhausting with our busy schedules. You find yourself in a whirlwind of perpetual chaos with nowhere to land. What is the answer? Well, my answer is creating a place you can always retreat to: your safe haven, your place of rest and security. What do I call this place? Simply, I call it "Home". 

Home is a very personal environment and yet it’s also an outward expression of who you are. Working with design clients for well over 20 years has really taught me that Home is not just pieces of furniture and four walls but more about the people who live there. Life makes a home and good interior design can help mold the life you want to live. 

My ultimate joy is creating a relationship with a client to really help them create an environment they love to come home to. A place that brings a smile to their face when they walk in the door. A place they can't help but invite their friends over to share. 

Here are some current trends that I think might help you in creating your own serene Haven. The first thing we need to cover is color. Color plays such a role in mood manipulation. Our minds and body can have very strong reactions to some colors right away while some reactions you might not even notice until you really think about it. Our subconscious is always working. Taking these things into consideration is a big step in creating a restful environment. 

Current interior design trends have really taken cues from what people are experiencing during these unprecedented times. As much time as we are spending at home, combined with our busy family lives, we are craving simplicity and comfort.  Your Home is your Haven.  Make it a reflection of what you want for your life.

Editors Note: Julie Bonner has worked as an independent designer and for the past 15 years with Ethan Allen Home Interiors. Watch for her on where she will feature more design tips on her Ambassador Page.

LIGHTNESS - Create a calming effect in your home by keeping things simple. Use warm yet light colors to brighten your space but give it a serene feel. By using warmer wood tones, earthy greens and browns, it will give you a very grounded feeling. Do not forget the power of nature. Bringing in potted green plants will give you a sense of life and movement and will also clean the air you breathe. Another great complementary look is natural textures, like woven grasses or natural silks and wool. 

BLUE - Blue is another wonderful calming color. We see trends moving away from the bold, cobalt blues to softer, mineral blues that are soothing and invoke rest. Mix these lighter toned blues with warm browns to balance out the coolness. 

PASTELS - Pastels are making a huge comeback due to their soft and easy-on-the-eye feel. Again, the warmer tones create that safe haven you are craving. I find grounding these colors with a little black can keep them out of the "kid zone" and more on the sophisticated side. 

DE-CLUTTER - De-cluttering is always key in creating a restful space. Your mind cannot help but get overwhelmed when it is constantly looking for a place to rest. 

WORKSPACE - Designate a work space. With all of us working from home more these days, it is very important to create an organized area to keep your thoughts in order not to mention all the paperwork. Making our lives easier and organized has become a big priority. 

BEDDING - Restful sleep is key. I am sure you have heard how important it is to get a good nights rest…well, it’s true. Your body needs to recharge. Treat yourself to fresh linens, a good mattress, and task lighting for reading. Make your bed a place you want to crawl into. Pro tip: No technology before bed including TV. Let your mind start the sleep process an hour before bed and you will be amazed how much better you will feel when you wake up, refreshed to take on a new day.

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