Category: Function

How to Create a Sacred Home Space

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Angus – Traditional Living Room, Vancouver

How to Create a Sacred Home Space

Everyone should have a small space at home to be their sacred space. A place to help you decompress from a long day of activity and to aid in your rejuvenation towards the next day. Whether it is for reflection, meditation, prayer, or rest and stretching, a sacred space is a place to be kind to yourself and practise self-love. 

At Good Space, we compiled the most important elements in creating a safe space at home. 

Space to Breathe

Sacred-Space-Office

Nicola Street project – quiet space

Choose a space that is at least large enough to place a yoga mat in, 68 inches long and 24inches wide. While your studio apartment may be tight on space, you can get creative by using a hallway or space next to your bed.

Space for Peace

When you choose your space, take into consideration the level of noise around it and nearby. Is there a lot of foot traffic and are you nearby populated areas, such as the kitchen or front door. Whether this can be modified or not, consider how you can make your space more peaceful, whether choosing a quiet corner in a room or wearing noise-cancelling headphones or playing ambient music to create peace. 

Declutter Your Space

Source: Sarah Brown on Unsplash

Is your space filled with knick-knacks? Minimize the number of things in your space to help you focus on yourself and less of the outside world. Clean up and clear out papers, objects, clothes and media, and begin focusing on what sacred spaces mean to you. 

Add Meaningful Items

Once you have cleaned your space, begin decorating it with what’s most meaningful to you. That may be candles, photos of loved ones, a few plants or a beautiful painting. Add pillows to create comfort and blankets for warmth. An indoor flowering plant such as an orchid, lavender or rosemary not only is visually appealing but they emit scents that can refresh and uplift you.

Dim the Lights 

Living-Room-Sacred-Space

Dundas Street Contemporary Living Room, Vancouver

The right lighting can create a relaxing atmosphere, so turn the lights down low and bring in lamps or candles that are calming for you. If your space has a window, you can let in the natural light during the day to energize your morning or cover up them up with heavy drapes to darken the space and reduce the amount of noise outside.

 

Turn on Your Favourite Music 

Choose a playlist that allows you to chill and close your eyes. Whether it’s classical, jazz o, choose songs that focus on instrumental to let your mind concentrate on yourself and less of the outside world. 

 

Soothing Scents

Vancouver-Candle-Company-Good-Space-Plans

Source: Vancouver Candle Company

If you enjoy adding scents to your sacred space, consider essential oils that calm your senses and induce meditation. You can use a diffuser or add a few drops of oil to lotion, then dab it on your wrists and breathe in the scent. Some of the best oils to create a soothing space are: 

  • Frankincense essential oil for brain stimulation, 
  • Rose oil for building confidence, 
  • Lavender oil for relaxation, 
  • Ylang ylang for reducing tension, 
  • Sandalwood to reduce tension, 
  • Peppermint oil to reduce inflammation and muscle recovery,
  • Orange essential oil for energy,
  • Cedarwood oil for grounding.

Meditate

Once you have created a sacred space, you will have the opportunity to use it for meditation and reflection. Overall, meditation is about connecting your mind with your body. Begin with the basics: 

  • Sit in a comfortable posture, whether cross-legged or on your calves. For extra comfort, place bolster, foam block or folded towel underneath you.
  • Use an object to focus on. You can place a crystal or rock in front of you or light a candle. 
  • Pay attention to your posture. Lift your spine up and roll your shoulders back, lift your chin slightly and place your palms facing down on your knees for grounding, or facing up for the energy of the room. Let your eyes close partially and soften your gaze. 
  • Pay attention to your breath. Let yourself inhale deeply for five counts, hold for two before breathing out for 6. Carry on with this sequence to let thoughts go.

Meditation does not need to take long for your body to begin feeling the positive effects of slowing down. Your tension, stress, anxiety will decrease over time the longer you practice. Start with 10 minutes either early morning or before bed. Eventually, you may enjoy meditating for longer. 

Soak

Source: Vancouver Candle Co

If you lack the room for a sacred space but do have a bathtub, why not make your toilette your retreat room?  One of the first documented medicinal uses of a bath was when Hippocrates talked to other healers encouraging them to get their patients to soak in seawater to relieve their symptoms. Not only will a good soak do wonders for your skin but adding Epsom salts will also help reduce muscle pain and promote sleep and stress reduction. 

Epsom salt formulations are similar to natural hot springs or mineral waters evoking the same healing properties. Add your favourite natural oil to the salts like lavender or citrus and you can help elevate your mood or alleviate stress. Close the shower curtain or the bathroom door to take advantage of the steam and try to stay in for longer than 10 minutes.

Feel Inspired 

Visit our Pinterest Board on Sacred Spaces to view photos of some of our favourite sacred spaces to begin creating your own!

Flowers – Why they are so much more than just a pretty thing?!

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Flowers, – why are they so much more than just a pretty thing?

This time of year is always a little confusing to me, my mind and my body. My self-care practice needs to be at 100% or else I start going a little crazy. Kinda like a bear who is just starting to wake up after hibernation, or a deer learning to walk for the first time. But this state is also my favourite. As we transition into a new season we get to embrace a new life, warmer weather, maybe even a rebirth, if you may.

As our moods begin to shift from an introverted winter to a more energetic and outgoing spring, it is important to shift our homes and office spaces as well. One of the easiest ways to do this is by bringing in new life! Yes, I am giving you permission to buy all of the plants and flowers!

Why should you buy fresh flowers?

1. They freshen the air! Sure they make the room smell delicious, but they also filter the air! Some remove toxins and can even improve your sleep because they give off extra O2.

2. Brighten your space! Maybe you own your home, or maybe you are renting a space where what you are allowed to do to it is quite limited. Flowers are the easiest way to add a splash of colour without the commitment factor of painting the walls!

3. Self Care! There are so many studies on the benefits of fresh flowers, with benefits that include:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced feelings of anxiety
  • Help with fatigue – Hello O2
  • Improved cognitive function
  • My top 3 low maintenance plants for air purification:

1.Devil’s Ivy or pothos (Epipremnum aureum)

This is my absolute favourite plant! They are harder to kill than they are to keep alive! It stays green even when left in the dark. I love this climbing beauty. 
  • Water every 7-10 days, allow the soil to dry out before watering
  • They love sunlight, but only indirectly!
  • Propagate when ready!

 

 

2. Spider Plants

These are my favourite plants for the bedroom because they filter out carbon monoxide from the air and they are very low maintenance. Plus, when the plant matures they produce “pups” which you can plant and make more plants!
  • These do really well in a hanging pot
  • They like indirect sunlight
  • They like dry soil and to be in a cooler room

 

3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Need I say more. These beautiful plants are great for low light spaces and, if your pot allows, this will grow extremely large. they produce beautiful white flowers!
  • To be watered weekly
  • No Direct Sunlight
  • Commit to a pot size – Whatever size you plant your Peace Lily in, –  it will grow!

The bottom line for all Plants & Flowers in your space… give them love and they will do the same.

Let’s Honour Our Home & Work Spaces

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Let’s Honour our Home & Work Space 

Have you watched the Netflix series Tidy?

I did, in one sitting with a big bowl of popcorn and all the candy I got for Christmas…apparently, I am not alone. Millions have watched it. The drop-off centres are being flooded by stuff that people were inspired to get rid of after watching the series. Like most people, I love a before and after – a makeover montage is absolute bliss for me second only to dance montages. 

I became a fan of Marie Kondo years ago, when I read her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It made me so happy! I was ecstatic to find a new way to fold my socks and shirts and create
order in my drawers and closets. I believe I am pretty good at organi
zing and sorting stuff and competent at creating order. Like Marie Kondo, containment is my mantra. When I organize stuff and I can usually let things go after some personal torment and indecisiveness. But Marie is next level good at it. What makes her next level good at it is that she makes the connection to the “spirit” of things and how we connect to that. What sparks joy? Or what moves you – how does it speak to you?
 
As an interior designer I enjoyed watching her interact with clientsI felt Marie Kondo’s frustration (although she is so lovely you could hardly tell she was firmly saying NO) with the client who wanted Marie to make all the clutter disappear but didn’t actually want to get rid of anything. I have had that client and I have been that client. I have compassion for how hard it is to let go of things! She takes people through the letting it go journey with notable compassion and I love that!
 
But, the thing that Marie Kondo does that moved me to tears in almost every episode, was how she stops and connects to the home. She sits and gives it her full attention – she listens to it. She humbly sits and asks for permission to be there and work on the space. In my opinion, this is how it should be done. Let’s honour our spaces, they give us shelter and bear witness to our lives. To give gratitude to that place that holds our memories and all our stuff! Thanking all the things that have served us as we pass them along to their next home. This is truly how we should be in our homes and how we should interact with our things. 
 

I believe our live and work spaces have their own spirits. I believe that we feel much more at home when we keep that in our consciousness. Remember and acknowledge that this place – no matter what bugs you about it, is sheltering and caring for you. That is truly worth of your notice and appreciation. A recent Design Sponge blog by Grace Bonney put it perfectly when she said, “love your home for exactly what it is right now.” Take a moment from time to time and feel that – say hello home when you walk in the door. Look at something you love in your home and thank it. Spark joy! How can that be anything but good?

How Home Makes My Heart Feel

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How Home Makes My Heart Feel

Homeward Bound.

Home for me has always been my safest place in the world. It was in the Fraser Valley- Maple Ridge, BC – on a beautiful piece of acreage. It was spacious, functional and fun. It was something I was unbelievably proud of; always full of food, family and friends. It was my place in the world to feel safe, no matter what. When I came back home from university in Nova Scotia, home was always there waitingfor me. I knew how blessed I was to have this anchor of home. It was a physical place to me as well as a feeling in my heart. At the time, I didn’t distinguish the difference, they were synonymous.

Lost. 

It was in 2012 we lost my father to suicide. The loss was and still is unfathomable. It threw our entire family & community in the deep end of mental health awareness. It left a gaping hole in everyone that knew him. I was left… shattered. I needed to go home, but it didn’t feel the same anymore. The safe feeling in my heart was gone. Shortly after, we sold the family home & property along with a lot of our family possessions. My physical anchor and safe place in the world was gone. At the time it felt like that experience might last forever. After the sale, I ended up renting an semi- furnished apartment off a family friend in Vancouver. It was a space that never felt like mine – I wasn’t sure how it felt, but I know how it didn’t feel, like home. 

Found. 

The next year or so was a blur of trying to make sense of what was now my new normal. It was in late 2013 I moved out of that semi-furnished apartment in Vancouver and into a basement suite in Burnaby with my new partner. I was working for my mom’s interior design firm, Good Space, answering phones at the time. The interior designers at the studio offered to help mock up some space plans for me of my new basement suite with the few furniture pieces I had accumulated. 

They showed me the best flow for the open space feeling of my basement suite and also helped me make a shopping list of things to get for the space in the future. The day my partner and I moved in, we followed our floor plans and began to set up our new space. I filled the shelves with my things, I set up the lamps I had, side tables and some of the personal possession I had at my family home. I felt better about my new space but it wasn’t home, it wasn’t the safety and security I once knew. I didn’t know how to shift this, I felt very stuck.

Home is Created. 

Let’s jump forward to 2019. I still live in Burnaby, still live in a basement suite, and still living with my partner. If you were to ask me today where my safest place in the world is, I would have to say the home my partner and I created in Burnaby. I reflected on how I got here from where I was before and it was a combination of things:

  • Addressing function first in the space I am living, working and playing. It was really thinking about how I use the spaces in my home and honouring their purpose. 
  • Putting aside the desire to have my home look a certain way and understand its about how I want to feel about the space.
  • Making goals and lists for things to get in the future to always be improving the space and function around me. 
  • Most importantly, giving my home the attention it was asking for. 

I honoured that it wasn’t something that was just going to happen, or somewhere that I could just show up at, expecting something from. It is an experience that I am capable of creating in any place I live. It needed nurturing, creating, love and energy.

I learned that home is something I can create anywhere I want to. It’s a combination of energy, function, purpose, my possessions and their meaning to me. It’s a place and feeling that I have learned is both tangible and yet intangible.

Interior Design for Small Spaces – A Good Space Plans Online Four Part Series – Part 4

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Lighting Design for Your Small Space

The final of a four part Good Space Plan Online series.

Lighting, we can’t say enough about it!

Good Space Design Group - Marinaside Crescent Project

We believe well considered lighting is essential for your comfort. This is particularly important in small spaces where one room has an influence on the next. The reason being they share the lighting.  Firstly, we put dimmers on all the switched fixtures and then we drill down on the details.

If there is a dining area fixture…

Good Space Project - Osler Street

We like to play with scale and select a maximum sized dining fixture that is fabulous to look at and delightful to experience. A big “ta-da” with lots of light and interest. It is the star of the show. Once this is in place all the other lights can quietly do their job. These fixtures work by supporting the space, providing general lighting and task lighting as required.

The supporting cast of light fixtures…

Good Space Design Group - Gray Avenue Project

Good Space’s most favourite kind of small space lamp, wall mounted lamps!

 

Because we have minimised table tops in living areas and the bedroom, table lamps are often not possible. At Good Space we use floor lamps and our most favourite kind of small space lamp, wall mounted lamps! These are fantastic and offer super functional light without taking up precious table top or floor space. Some of these fixtures have two lamps in one – which are great as bedside lights. We search out fixtures that are dimmable.

The price of real estate aside….

Living in smaller spaces puts us in closer proximity to our work places, our activities and interests. Small spaces  can simplify our lives and minimize the stress and expense of maintenance. A well designed space of any size supports you by freeing up precious time and resources to enjoy your life.

At Good Space Plans Online we work with you through a highly engaging online interior design experience that gives you peace of mind, certainty and an achievable design plan for your home.