A Private Place: Whether it's a sunny room or that favorite chair, create a cozy nook that's just for you.
Strategies for finding the best place in the house and decorating it in a way that captures your spirit and individuality.
1. Find a space that is underutilized -- beneath the stairs, beside a window, or under an eave. Even the tiniest alcove can be turned into a stylish sanctuary.
2. Carve out a small area within a larger room if there is no traditional nook to be found. Separate the two spaces with sliding doors or curtains or a large piece of furniture.
3. Ask yourself if others will see your nook. If your private place is within a public area of your home, coordinate its decoration with the larger room.
4. Personalize the space with things that inspire and comfort you: photos, keepsakes, and interesting collections.
5. Indulge in a few good pieces. If you intend to write, invest in an ergonomic chair. If you wish to read for hours beside a large window, a luxurious cashmere throw will keep chills at bay.
6. Keep it neat. Clutter hinders creativity. Seek out attractive storage boxes to help you organize. Plan for access, to. Even a bench in a foyer can provide discreet storage for shoes.
* Limit the access of others to your special place. "The little moments you can steal for yourself are absolutely necessary," says Nancy Laboz, mother of two and owner of the housewares shop Parcel (shopparcel.com)
* Inspiration: Create an inspiration board above your desk and fill it with snapshots, postcards, swatches for decorating or crafts projects--anything that sparks creativity.
* Sunlight: Good light is essential for so many activities--writing, painting, sewing, and making scrapbooks. Try to position your private space near a bright window.
* Organization: In small workspaces, opt for desk accessories that can be toted elsewhere if more elbow room is needed.
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.
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