Did you know that Marie Antoinette had a little country house on the gardens of Versailles that she used as her own personal retreat? It was given to her by her husband, King Louis XVI as a wedding gift. Interestingly, it was decorated very simply with family portraits and objects that held special meaning to her. More importantly than the decor was Marie’s attempt to create a separate world for herself, one that was far removed from the elaborate palace of Versailles where she was under constant scrutiny. The house was named Petit Trianon and within its walls guests were permitted to serve themselves, children were included and amateur theatrical performances took place, many of which Marie herself participated in. Although more girl than woman when she was crowned Queen, Marie understood the importance of escaping from the pressures of everyday.
Having a special place to retreat to is more achievable than one might think. Whether you’re lucky enough to have a space like this:
or something far more simple like this:
it really doesn’t matter. What’s important is that it’s YOUR space and no one else’s. Remember when you were a kid and you built a fort? Or how about a tree house? Let’s think of our adult spaces as grown up forts. We can let other people in, but we don’t have to .
Find your place and stake your claim. Don’t let anyone tell you how to design or use your little retreat.
It’s About You
Personalize your little haven with the colors, fabrics and objects that you love.
Keep It Simple and Soothing
Keep out objects that might remind you of work or that endless to do list.
Make a Commitment
Whether it’s your spot to meditate, read or give yourself a manicure, make sure you commit to spending regular time in your special place.
It Doesn’t Have to be Inside
A hammock, a no longer used shed or a special area in the garden make great little getaways. Perhaps you have a porch where you can carve out a space for yourself? Isn’t this one pretty??
A few months ago I wrote about my craft space at our weekend cabin. That’s my private domain while we’re there, and at our primary residence I have a comfy chaise and a favorite chair where I like to read or watch tv.
Do you have a favorite chair that pretty much everyone knows is off limits to them? If you have a hobby like sewing or painting, do you have a separate room that is dedicated to it? Do you have any tips to share?
Photos Sourced at BHG