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Peaceful Havens for the Entire Family

A guide to creating personal sanctuaries at home with the help of LJ Interiors

In 1982 (ah, the 80s), Peter Cetera preached, “Everybody needs a little time away… from each other,” and like all the other genius ideas that were born from the 80s (the Walkman, Cabbage Patch Kids, legwarmers, shall we go on?) he was onto something. Extrovert, introvert, or somewhere in between, taking a break from those we love for a little refreshing cup-filling session, even if right in our own home, never hurt anyone. Leah Jones, the talent behind LJ Interiors, a design and home staging company in Chaska, agrees. “I believe that it’s important to have a space of your own so you can spend time doing things that you enjoy and to recharge your batteries.”

Since most adults can’t seem to pay for a quiet moment to read or catch up on new episodes of True Detective, we’ll start there. While some may not peg the bathroom as a place to take the deepest of deep breaths, are you even a mom if you haven’t locked yourself in yours to finish a text or pluck your eyebrows in peace? Leah suggests putting together a basket of pampering items dedicated to relaxation to have at the ready when the noise level rises and order in the house falls. Think aromatic bath salts, a favorite book, headphones, a bath pillow, and dark chocolate. Or if you do your best de-stressing while staying busy, how about setting up a craft corner in the basement, a creative hub for journaling, or a wellness room complete with a treadmill and every streaming service known to man?

If you can clear out a little space in your heated garage, it’s just the place for a man cave. Add a weightlifting bench, comfy IKEA furniture, and, of course, a TV and mini fridge for game days with friends. For the littles, Leah says a home base for toys so that things stay as organized and Zen as possible, with a play area complete with soft music and art supplies, is a no-brainer. For the older kids, she suggests having a dedicated space for books and games and maybe even a game table or reading nook that can define the space and make it more inviting. And we can’t forget our pawed pals! They’re a huge part of our family, too, so they also deserve to have their own hairy haven. Include a soft, cozy bed to retire to after a morning of squirrel chasing, and don’t skimp on that basket of toys. A common thread, Leah emphasizes, for all peaceful retreats is to ensure the space celebrates the unwinder, four-legged or not, their interests and who they are.

No matter if you’re looking to find quiet quarters for your new middle schooler who has a heavier homework load or dad wants a serene space to stretch his woodworking skills, Leah has some fun and impactful tips for decorating. “Plants can act as an air purifier, therefore having a calming effect and improving a person’s overall stress and anxiety. Incorporating soft lighting or twinkle lights can have a big influence on the ambiance and, therefore, the serenity seeker as well.” She also shares that adding pillows and blankets will bring instant warmth to a room, and using candles or diffusers can create an environment conducive to productivity and relaxation. Hmmm…a cozy blanket strewn atop an 80s-inspired bean bag chair seated beside a mesmerizing, retro lava lamp…another genius (and tranquil) idea. I think even Peter Cetera would approve.

I believe that it’s important to have a space of your own so you can spend time doing things that you enjoy and to recharge your batteries.

Plants can act as an air purifier, having a calming effect and improving one's overall stress and anxiety. Soft lighting or twinkle lights can greatly influence the ambiance and, therefore, the serenity seeker.