relaxing living room

How To Turn Your Island Home Into A Relaxing Retreat

relaxing living room

Vancouver Island has a reputation as a place to put your feet up and relax. Many cities on the Island are outgrowing their small town status (thanks to a strong Vancouver Island real estate market), and throngs of vacationers come every year to enjoy the plentiful beaches, serene forests, and laid-back atmosphere.

For people who call Vancouver Island home, the Island is also a place to work or raise a family. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the relaxing vibe and turn your home into a place where you forget you aren’t on vacation.

Here’s how you can turn your Island home into a relaxing retreat with some inexpensive interior design changes.

Thinking of selling your home sometime soon? Don’t be surprised if buyers snatch your property up quickly after taking a walkthrough in your calming West Coast-inspired space. 

Banish Clutter

Before you visit a home goods store, you can make your home more relaxing by dealing with a big cause of stress: clutter around the home.

Focus on areas within sight first like messy desks or old mail. Then tackle storage areas by taking items in for donation or getting rid of junk.

Keep an eye out for woven baskets or drawer inserts on your next shopping trip. Any way you can organize “unnecessary clutter” will give your space a much more relaxing feel.

Experiment With Earthy, Natural Colours

Living in Nanaimo, Tofino, or other coastal Vancouver Island locations brings a certain colour palette to mind. The soft beige of a sandy beach, calming ocean blue, and evergreen shades are the hallmarks of West Coast-inspired design.

It is a safe bet that if you incorporate these colours into your living space, it will feel much more relaxing. 

Furniture made of driftwood, woven jute rugs, and accent walls in shades of blue and green are ways to bring West Coast design into your home. Look for inspiration from designers who live and work on the Island, and stay on the lookout for conversation pieces from local artisans.

The Relaxing Power Of Plants

Vancouver Island is all about greenery. Low-lying parts of the Island have some of the mildest weather in Canada, and this means the landscape stays green all year round.

It only makes sense you should carry this theme into your home, and outfit your space with houseplants that not only look great, but help to purify the air.

Even though Vancouver Island sees very little sunlight during the winter months, there are many easy to maintain plants that have become ubiquitous in Island homes. Snake Plant and Chinese Evergreen are particularly good for low light rooms, and Boston Fern and Spider Plant are known for their hardiness and quick propagation.

If you can, build a relaxing space in a room with south-facing windows and position your plants to take advantage of the sunlight. 

Use Natural Light

While we are on the topic of sunlight, let’s talk about how to maximize natural light in your Island home. 

In the summer, you should have less of a problem filling your space with light, but many homes will not have the same advantage during the winter months

So how can you maximize the natural light that makes it into your home? Reflective surfaces like mirrors, furniture with glass or chrome accents, and metallic light fixtures all bounce light into your living space.

Although it may not seem like much, reflective surfaces can effectively double the natural light in a room. 

Do you have a skylight or south-facing window that pulls in a large amount of light during the winter? Focus on maximizing this space. Natural light boosts your mood and creates a serene environment for you to relax and recharge your batteries.

Try Aromatherapy

Candles can be an inexpensive, easy way to change the character of a room in your home. 

Look for candles in soothing spa-inspired scents like eucalyptus or lavender. Scents like these “hack” the brain/scent connection to make you feel more relaxed or transport you to your last vacation resort visit. 

If candles aren’t your thing, essential oil diffusers are another effective way to bring a relaxing scent into your home. 

Try a Wellness Space

It can seem daunting to change your entire home, especially if some rooms don’t have the advantages of natural light or good temperature control to allow you to relax.

Start off by designating a “wellness space” where you can go to relax, do yoga, or entertain guests. This space doesn’t even have to be an entire room, even a cozy corner or nook can do.

With so many more people working from home these days, the lines between your workspace and relaxation zone are being blurred. Keep your wellness space clutter-free and purposeful by using calming tones, soft textiles, and plants.

Looking for inspiration but don’t want to get dissuaded by expensive interior design magazines? 

Check out our listings to see a variety of well-staged homes in the Nanaimo real estate market and beyond.