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This is not a “shelter for her” or a “man cave”. More of a “me space”.

Maybe it’s a little nook next to a staircase. Or along a wall with a beautiful window. A closed balcony. An alcove in the basement. Even at the bottom of a spacious closet.

In a house full of roommates or family members, there are times when we want to be alone. A good walk is restorative, but if the weather is bad or you don’t want to wear shoes, it’s good to have a little corner of your home that you can call your own.

After the rise of working from home and remote learning, interior design experts are seeing a shift: while homeowners still love open plan living spaces for certain parts of the home, they are also asking for private spaces and a way to compartmentalize their personal lives. lives, away from their professional lives.

Parents, caregivers and busy careerists want a stress-relieving place at home — a “shelter,” no matter how small, where they can relax and recharge, according to the 2022 Trends Report. American Society of Interior Designers.

So how do you create this little lair of intimacy? First, think about what you want to do there, says Monique Valeris, editor at Good Housekeeping.

“Perhaps you would like a meditation room set up with a large floor pillow or a hanging chair,” she says. “A quiet reading nook in a hallway, with a storage bench. Or a space designed around one of your hobbies. Think about your lifestyle and the activities that bring you joy and calm in your home.

During a conversation with a client who is a professional writer, Los Angeles designer Anne Sage says she asked what the woman’s dream home office looked like.

“She told me that she would like the opportunity to get away from her desk and read, to recharge, to take a nap, to let the ideas seep in.”

Sage created a space filled with bookshelves and wrapped the walls and sofa in textured striped upholstery.

“The whole room feels like a very chic and comfortable hug, a hug where my client can be productive and creative at her own pace,” she says.

For a cat-loving client, designer Anna Popov in Redmond, Washington, created a “me and pets” space. A spare bedroom became a reading room for humans, and Popov installed climbing shelves and several lockers for the felines. She says the space is now called the “everyone wants to be a cat” room.

Amy Azzarito, author of “Elements of a Home: Curious Histories Behind Everyday Household Objects” (Chronicle Books, March 2020), bought a home in Marin County, California in 2018 that had a generous bedroom and a small closet – “more of a step-in than a walk-in.

She didn’t want to do any renovations, so instead she worked with designers from California Closets to decorate and build a small glass walkway to the closet. They created a built-in chest of drawers and a wardrobe, then enveloping seats with spacious drawers. With a calm palette of blush-toned neutrals, it also has a pendant made of wooden beads and a framed piece of art that says “AH.”

Another option: Create a glazed space. Sliding doors installed in a room can cut off part of it. Or, to delineate a personal space more simply and inexpensively, consider creating a feature wall with wallpaper or murals, or paint in a different color.

Find your comfiest pillow and softest throw, and add warm ambient lighting and maybe a little aromatherapy with a diffuser or scented candle.

If nature is your de-stressor, add collected rocks, shells, or greenery.

Some people prefer silence, but if the music soothes you, bring along a wireless player or even a turntable.

Finally, if there is no other room for a little refuge, the bathroom can become the ultimate “me space”.

There are waterproof, wireless, and voice-activated speakers on the bathroom market. Or for a truly immersive bathing experience, there are shower facilities with a rainfall showerhead, LCD touchscreens, pre-programmed sound and light, and visuals like waterfalls, sunsets — even a fireplace. crackling.

New York writer Kim Cook regularly covers design and decorating topics for The AP. Follow her on Instagram at @kimcookhome.

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