Looking for ways to bring peace to your home during the chaos of pandemic living? You’re not alone! Creating work from home sanctuary spaces is a major trend right now. The reality is that many of us are juggling a lot of stress, so it’s natural that we want our spaces, especially our work spaces, to trigger inner calm.

Giving your workspace that sanctuary feel

Why wouldn’t you want your home office to be as beautiful as possible? It affects your daily experience of life, and you do have some control over your set-up (for once). Following is a list of some of the ways I create work from home sanctuaries whenever I’m renovating a home.

Dial it back to basics

  • Reduce rooms to their simplest form.
  • Find comfortable furniture.
  • Keep things a bit neutral or even generic to start.
  • While you’re “going back to basics,” consider dialing all the walls back to a decorator’s white. Or, if you know what you want, you might look at some soothing color options.

Work with a color palette

  • Look first to soothing neutrals for the sanctuary / spa / retreat effect. Sherwin Williams’ color of the year for 2021 is a dark grey color called Urbane Bronze SW7048 (245-C7). Sherwin Williams says it “forges a feeling that’s grounded, meditative and serene.”
  • Pantone picked two colors of the year for 2021, PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating (a bright, cheery yellow). It’s no accident that they selected ultimate gray as a neutral. This color is everywhere, along with white. I’m a little less sold on that particular yellow for home decor. At least it’s sunny optimism is fun to see on a website or printed page.

Lighting, lighting, lighting

  • Work with natural light when possible. Position your desk where you can enjoy natural light and also look good on video conference calls.
  • Add a lot of task lighting to avoid harsh overhead light.
  • Consider using light to add some warmth. Tiny strings of lights or soft pink light bulbs can add a nice effect.
  • Candles can be a nice touch as you shift from day to night work sessions. Bring a little hygge into the work environment for that ultimate sanctuary effect.

Work with texture

  • Soft blankets are also great for adding a cozy, lounge-like feel.
  • Furniture with different textures can bring a luxe feel. Think of leathers and shaggy throws.
  • Wall art can be soft or hard, flat or dimensional. Mix it up for maximum relaxation.

Declutter and simplify

  • It helps to assign every object an official “home” so clutter in motion doesn’t turn into clutter that’s just stuck sitting there.
  • Only keep what you want to see in sight. Use storage bins and boxes to organize everything else and keep the clutter out of your view.
  • Use clear containers or remove labels. The extra marketing text and images on all of our products add noise in a home. Remove the imagery and words, and you’re one step closer to a soothing sanctuary feel.

Add “touches of life” and multi-sensory effects 

  • Plants. Greenery brings vivaciousness to a room, and it’s nice to look away from a screen and gaze at something organic. My favorite green touches are …
  • Diffusers. Use a little aromatherapy to make work from home a little more relaxing. You get to set much of the tone and ambiance of your workday when you’re at your own abode.

Keep it clean

  • Dust and vacuum weekly. Okay, maybe this sounds like you’ll only be adding more work to your workweek, but trust me — it will feel great. It’ll make room for good things to come if you keep your space clean as well as neat.


There are many excellent ways to make your work from home space into a sanctuary of your very own. I hope these ideas help bring you to your inner zen during the workday and beyond.