We all need a little area where we can decompress after a long day, when we’re in a bad mood or when we just need a little alone time. For you, that might mean relaxing in a hot bath or reading a book in your favourite quiet spot. For kids, a dedicated calming area can be an oasis amid overstimulation, power struggles and sibling rivalry.
I know, I know. They already have plenty of space in their bedrooms or playrooms or kid caves. They — and their stuff — have taken up most of the house already.
But a small calming nook in the corner of their bedroom, playroom or even a main living area can be dedicated less to toy storage and more to relaxing and replenishing their energy.
Had a tough day at school? Hang out in the calming nook for 15 minutes before getting started on homework. Can’t play outside because it’s raining for the fifth day in a row? Take a book to the nook for a while. Pissed off at the overall unfairness of the world around you? Calming nook!
Of course, if you’re going to dedicate a corner of your home to serenity, there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure the end result does actually feel serene.
It might be tempting to pull some bright, cheery primary colours into your kid’s nook. You want it to be a happy space! But loud colours can be overstimulating, and overstimulating isn’t what we’re going for here. Choose furniture and decor in neutral colours and natural materials (more wood, less plastic).
A fluffy rug. Some large throw pillows. A bean bag chair and a few favourite stuffed animals. Soft materials to lounge on and cuddle with will make the nook extra cosy and inviting.
Limit books and toys
If your kids will use this space primarily as a reading spot, it’s tempting to pull in a bookshelf and fill ‘er up with plenty of material. Instead, keep the choices simple and minimal by filling a couple of soft baskets with a handful of books. Store the majority of the books in another room or closet and rotate the options from time to time.
If you do have shelving in the nook area, pull out the books and add a few family photos, favourite mementos and calming activities, such as puzzles, blocks or fidget toys. A small plant or two could also add a little warmth to the space.
Let there be light
More specifically, let there be natural light. Probably one of the most important considerations for your nook spot is whether it is near a window that will let in plenty of natural light. You want a space that feels bright and airy, and sunlight is the cheapest, easiest and most effective way to create a welcoming atmosphere.