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Creating a retreat at home – Unique Homestay’s Top Tips

Whether a retreat for you is escaping with your other half to a hideaway cottage in the Welsh mountains, or a group get-together where great food and company combine (small though the group may have to be), or simply heading off to a spa hotel for a day of self-indulgent ‘me time’, there’s no doubt that getting-away-from-it-all has never been higher on the agenda.

With a diverse portfolio of private homes that range from beach huts to country pads, retreat specialists Unique Homestays have a collection of homes that combine simple pleasures – from waking up to ocean views to inspirational interiors (that happen to include some of our most popular styles!). While you look forward to your next getaway, Jess Clark, Property Curator at Unique Homestays, gives her tips on how to create a retreat vibe in your own home – allowing you to create your very own sanctuary without ever having to leave the house!

If you’re looking to carry out more substantial updates to your home, then factoring in additions such as real fires and double-ended baths will ensure that when you do have time to kick back and relax you can really luxuriate.  Simple, retreat-led styling additions include lots of blankets to hunker down with, candles to create ambient lighting and aroma, along with a great stash of must reads, all accompanied by soothing music – a sensory treat, whatever your interior style.

Credit- Unique Homestays. Property: Novella. Photographer: David Curran

Our Oscar sofas in Sage smart velvet sit beautifully around the wood burner – perfect for that retreat vibe

Clearly defining zones within open plan spaces can ensure that you can create calm areas where relaxation is high on the agenda alongside those areas that are more functional. There’s no getting way from the fact that the kitchen can tend to be a busier, activity-filled space and clever storage is key if you want to keep the aesthetic calm and tranquil. Keeping colour-usage and furniture style consistent throughout the kitchen/living/dining spaces are key to creating cohesion, then clearly defining the relaxation zones through adding lots of texture through blankets and rugs in the living/relaxation area will ensure a change of pace as you sit down after dinner prep, as well as adding a cosy edge.

Image Credit- Unique Homestays. Property: The Cotton Tree. Photographer: David Curran

We love how cosy this room looks, with our Isaac corner sofa ensuring the open-plan space has a calming feel

While some crave a pared-back, white-filled space with minimal furnishings when looking to escape from it all, for others a collated and collected lair of interesting finds fuels their creativity and proves inspirational. Even if you live in the smallest of city abodes, the scheme that you choose can be truly transportive. Embracing a strong and individualistic interior scheme – whether that be wooden-clad cabin-inspired or colour-infused mid-century modern affords an uplifting and energising space to call your own. Keep everything – from the crockery and cutlery, to the linen  and throws – on ‘theme’ and you’ll create an authentic, inspiring space. Form over function can be a positive… surrounding your home with things that you love is the quickest fix to creating an uplifting abode!

Image Credit- Unique Homestays. Property: Firefly. Photographer: David Curran

Keeping everything within a key theme is a great way to create a “you-filled” space – including our Bluebell chaise sofa to stretch out and relax on!

While the aesthetic that you hope to achieve will lead the look and feel of the space generally – be that dark and dramatic wooden-clad Scandinavian spa-style or white-washed and minimalist in design – de-cluttering bathroom essentials is a quick-fix to removing the day-to-day busy from this space. Where possible, opt for double-ended baths, massage showers and creative lighting schemes, but if you are not looking to fully refit your bathroom, a spa-like atmosphere can be easily created through candlelight, lots of plants and woven baskets brimming with fluffy towels.  

Image Credit – Unique Homestays. Property: The Cotton Tree. Photographer: David Curran

Decluttered bathrooms with spa-like finishing touches, such as fluffy towels and throws, help to achieve that relaxing feel.

To encourage connectivity within family spaces, create a lounging area that incorporates L-shape sofas alongside occasional chairs around a sizeable coffee table, which can be utilised as much for informal dining as board game playing. For younger members of the family, beanbags are a flexible solution that can then be hidden away in a cupboard when you’re entertaining all-adult groups. Disguising TVs in cupboards means that they are not the main focus of the room but ensures that family cinema evenings can still be enjoyed. If there are younger members of the family, opt for a practical leather – such as the Satchel vintage leather – the character of which improves over time. Introduce large rugs over wooden floors which can be easily replaced when necessary yet provide comfortable lounging surfaces meanwhile.

Credit- Unique Homestays Property: River House. Photographer: David Curran

Having a large corner sofa such as our Izzy corner sofa helps ensure there’s enough room for the whole family to relax together

If you’re working with a small bedroom space, then as opposed to wardrobes opt for hanging rails which afford good ‘propping’ opportunities. Similarly, opt for baskets over chest of drawers, and chests – which can double up in a seating/storage capacity. Interesting mismatched bedside tables, propped with books/magazines and bud vases, work beautifully with collections of artwork and lovely linens with sinkable rugs to step out onto. Set the scene with fragranced candles and ambient lighting – dimmable always preferable!

Credit- Unique Homestays. Property: Little Portion. Photographer: David Curran

Create a unique guest bedroom with mismatched bedside tables, book collections and lovely linens

Create an additional ‘living’ space within your garden to embrace the Antipodean way of life. Think firepits, blankets and outdoor rugs to create a retreat space that is as idyllic for solstice gatherings as it is bird watching. Include clever lighting, comfortable seating and occasional tables to create an inspired relaxation zone where fresh air is top of the agenda. Clear winters eves can be spent stargazing and marshmallow toasting from your garden ‘room’, whilst summer nights call for a glass of wine whilst watching the sun go down.

Credit- Unique Homestays. Property: The Hide. Photographer: David Curran

Create your own antipodean space outside or in – with large windows and comfortable seating such as our Holly chaise helping bring the outdoors to you.

The benefits of immersing yourself in nature is well-documented and bringing the outside into your home as much as possible creates a verdant backdrop for a calming interior. Complementing with moss green velvets and one-off furniture finds creates an eclectic foraged look and feel. Alternatively, the greenery can take centre stage in a white-washed, simplistic aesthetic, where trailing hanging planters and rustic terracotta pots become the ‘art’ within the scheme.

Credit- Unique Homestays. Property: Little Portion. Photographer: David Curran

Bringing plants into the home is a crucial step towards creating your very own haven, and we love these hanging planters!

Missed out on Jess’ exclusive tips during our latest #Onthesofawith… virtual event? You can watch it here!

Find out more about Unique Homestays, and take a look at their incredible portfolio of properties here: ,+ 44 (0) 1637 881183 

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