Category: Light

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!

5 Expert tips for Designing Small Spaces

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Ready for some great news? Buying furniture and designing your small spaces is now easier than ever! More and more people are embracing apartment living. The home decor industry has answered our cries with so many great ideas to help you with designing small spaces.

Here are our 5 expert tips for designing small spaces in your home:

Tip #1: Extendable Dining Tables

 

Formal dining rooms are not as popular anymore, especially in smaller homes. But it’s also hard to host a larger dinner party in an apartment around a 4 person table. This is why we recommend extendable dining tables so you can keep it small for everyday use, and extend it for the company.

Ok, so this isn’t exactly a new concept. It’s been around for ages, but it’s still worth mentioning because they’ve made some significant design upgrades to make them much more convenient and functional. 

You may have remembered digging around in closets and under the bed for those heavy wood “leafs” to extend your dining room table. Somehow we always left it to the last minute (or was that just us)? Today, dining tables come with convenient leaf storage under the table. Now you always know, assuming you put it away properly, where that leaf is. 

Tip #2: Versatile Chairs

When designing small spaces, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck. This is why we recommend choosing chairs that can be used at the dining table, your desk, and even as extra seating in the living room. This way you can easily move your chairs around where you need them. 

We also recommend when choosing chairs for smaller spaces, to choose ones with lower backs. This will keep them from taking up too much visual space in your room.

The style and design of the chair are also important when you plan to repurpose your chairs around your home. Choose a more natural design so it fits easily with any room decor. Also, if you plan to move them frequently, avoid ones that are too bulky or heavy as they’ll be a pain in your back, literally, to move around. Keep in mind that even if a chair looks trendy in the showroom or in the magazine, it doesn’t mean it’s a great option for your home. 

Remember, chairs don’t have to be huge to be comfortable.

Tip #3: Side Tables

Even in small spaces you’re gonna want somewhere to put your drink down or place a snack bowl or a good book (if you can put a good book down). When designing small spaces, consider where people would put their drink down when they sit and make sure there is a suitable side table for each seat. 

A small coffee table in the middle of a family room can provide a good spot for beverages, but also consider adding smaller narrow side tables next to chairs where it isn’t as easy to put a drink down. If you are tight on space, consider nesting side tables so you can store them when you don’t have extra company over.

Tip #4: Let in the Light!

 

You can easily and inexpensively make your small rooms look much bigger with a few lighting tricks. 

  • Open the blinds: Brighter spaces help make a room feel so much bigger and come with so many added health benefits. Natural light is known to increase endorphins and serotonin and help to balance your hormones. When you get enough natural light during the day you are more likely to sleep better at night. We also know that the sun boosts your energy too so open those curtains and let in the light!
  • Paint it light: When painting your small spaces, consider using lighter paint colours. Dark colours will make a room appear smaller. If you are compelled to paint a darker more bold colour, consider doing it as an accent wall instead. 
  • Add functional lighting: Consider how you will be using each area of the room. If it’s an area you will be working at a computer or reading a book, consider a smaller reading lamp on the table or attached to the wall. If it’s an area you simply pass through (like a hallway or foyer) look for more general lighting options like pot lights and lamps to light the space. In the bathrooms, you’ll want lighting directed over the sink and counter area most. 

Hang a mirror: A large mirror in the room bounces the light around better, making your space appear larger. Also, the right mirror can make the room look 2x as big as you see a “second” room in the reflection. 

Tip #5: Sneaky Storage

Storage is often one of the biggest struggles our clients in smaller homes and apartments have. To avoid cluttered rooms, we need storage options. But when your room is small, we can’t always put in big bulky storage cabinets (they become an eyesore).Instead, we suggest looking for sneaky ways to store your stuff out of sight. For example, some furniture comes with hidden storage. It’s common to find beds and sofas with large storage spaces underneath. Also, look for storage that can be hung on a wall or behind a door. Over-the-door hangers are great for shoes and closet items. Floating side tables affixed to the walls (ie without feet touching the ground) also help make the room feel less cluttered while still providing a functional space to store belongings.

What if your space already has great storage closets? You can maximize these spaces by investing in a closet storage system or clear bins that can be stacked to maximize your space and control clutter and mess.

What’s next for your home?

Source: Good Space Plans Online Seymour Street

There are so many products and design secrets you can use to make any small space more functional and feel larger. Above all the tips, it’s important to practice mindfulness about what you are bringing into your home. We know how exciting it can be to walk through a furniture store or flip through the latest seasonal catalogue. You may feel compelled to buy up the whole store, without thinking of how it will actually work or be used in your home.

Before you buy a piece of furniture:

  • Make sure it’s something that will physically fit in your home (measure and measure again to be sure)
  • Consider its style with the rest of the theme in your home (you probably don’t want your home to look like a mismatched thrift store)
  • Is it something that will be used often, and if not, can it be folded away or stored easily (think the dining tables and nesting side tables), and 
  • Is it something that’s comfortable to use. If it’s not comfortable to sit on or use as intended it will end up going unused and wasting precious space.

Of course, having a professional interior designer help you with this is the best idea! An interior designer will work with you, taking your ideas and making them real by creating a plan for you. 

If you want to start designing your plan right now, check out the custom designing small space packages we have for you.

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.

Favourite Functional Bedroom Things

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We compiled a little list of our favourite functional bedroom things. Take a look. We think you might agree…

1. An Alarm Clock that Screams Style

When it comes to style nothing beats the elegant retro simplicity of Tivoli’s Model Three AM/FM Clock Radio with Blue Tooth. This sleek little number is the perfect blend of wake-up with design. Known for it’s room filling sound, Tivoli has created this design masterpiece that they haven’t changed the look of for nine years. The most recent change? They added blue tooth so now when your not listening to your favourite AM DJ, you can stream your own tunes through this eye pleasing sound box. We like this because the price (at $450 CAD) is a little steep for just a clock-radio.

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The Classic Tivoli Three Clock Radio with Blue Tooth. Shown here in our favourite Walnut/Beige.

2. The Perfect Lamps

Don’t be left in the dark. The Holtkötter wall or table lamps make great bedside lamps. Their perfection is in their features – their reach, adjustability and they are dimmable. They come in wall or table top placement and are really handsome too.

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Bedside Lamp #8170 from Holtkötter.

Holtkötter Lamp #6469. Perfect for bedside.

Holtkötter Lamp #6469. Perfect for bedside.

3. Hide Those Unsightly Cords

The genius Docking Drawer enables you to charge your gadgets in your nightstand while keeping messy cords and clutter off of exposed surfaces for a clean environment. Also perfect for entry halls and kitchens.

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