Living With Style: Creating Your Own Personal Sanctuary

By Sasha Witte
Gazette Columnist
May 5th, 2018 

Dream Weaver

We traditionally spend more time focusing more of our energies on our "public areas" of the home, than we do on our private spaces. 

When, truth be told, we usually spend more time (though a portion of it sleeping) in our private spaces.  Why not make them an oasis?  Here are a few ideas to help you do so.


Pretty, Meet Practical

I sometimes hear clients express that it's not worth it to splurge on nice bedding, drapery or rugs because there are children or pets in the home. But with today's options, there really are fabulous bedding options that can be laundered instead of dry cleaned.

Consider one of my favorite lines, Pine Cone Hill, which is lovely and pretty much every item in the bedding line can go thru the washer and the dryer regularly.  And most do not even need ironing!  Take for instance a versatile matelassé which can create year round comfort and gets softer with every wash!

For area rugs, consider synthetic if there are pets or kids that are prone to spilling.  In particular, area rugs that are made for "Indoor or Outdoor Use" can be particularly durable and easy to clean up.

Living With Style: Bedding

If pets and kids are a concern, select bedding that can be laundered for easy cleaning.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

And if drapes are not an option due to kids or pets, consider items that sit higher than the floor such as woven blinds combined with a fabric valance.  This can still offer some wonderful texture and color to your space.

Don’t Skimp on Sheets

You know how amazing it feels to sink into bed at a nice hotel?  Crisp sheets, fuffy pillows, a comforter like a cloud…Make your own bed feel equally indulgent without spending a fortune!

Invest in 100% natural fiber sheets, such as cotton or linen (they are soft, breathable and long lasting).  Also invest in new pillows every couple of years.

A mattress pillow topper is a simple way to give an older bed new softness!

Living With Style: Textures In The Master Suite

Layer textures and colors to create a beautiful master suite.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Layer Texture

And color too!  Upholstered headboards are a great way to add an extra layer of both color and texture.

Layered window treatments, say a drapery with a gauzy linen sheer behind it, is a brilliant way to add and layer both texture and color and to give yourself an opportunity to create the amount of soft or bright light you want to let into the room.

When thinking about the colors you are planning to layer into the space, consider serene colors that are generally calming to the senses - like pale greens, blues and soft whites.

That being said, we've created some amazingly boldly colored rooms for clients that were perfect for them!  So, if you are comfortable with bold, by all means do not feel limited to softer muted colors.  Go for what turns you on!!

Create a Focal Point

Living With Style: Focal Point In The Bedroom

Every bedroom needs a focal point, a fireplace is always great or a collection of beautiful accessories.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

Every room likes at least one dramatic element.  In a bedroom this is often the bed and the art above the headboard (not heavy!  We get earthquakes here!!)  Four poster beds are also great for a little drama.  Or a corner opposite the entry door with an elegant chaise lounge, artsy table and beautiful floor lamp can also create a dramatic element that you will also enjoy seeing from the bed!!

Little Luxuries

Living With Style: Little Luxuries

Invest in little luxuries, like fresh flowers for your bedroom.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

We don't always need big fancy floral arrangements or expensive accessories to create a feeling of luxury.   I find that I often see and notice the details of the smaller flower arrangements with just one or two blooms that I'll create than I do with a large arrangement.

A luxurious throw at the end of a bed or chaise is a soft reminder of the comfort of our "blankie" in childhood.  Only it looks so much more sophisticated!!


Surround yourself with beautiful items that bring up pleasant memories.  Loved ones and landscapes from favorite vacations are in beautiful frames on my bedside table so that I go to sleep and wake up thinking about the best parts of my life!  I also have a favorite small sculpture on the table that makes me smile when I see it.

Candle lighting also adds a delightfully luxurious element!  Just be ultra-careful of placement or select battery operated candles for inside beautiful lanterns and hurricanes - that give you that same flickering effect but without fear of fire.

Please All Your Senses

Consider a water feature either inside your master suite, or just outside one of your windows - water is incredibly relaxing for most of us!  Soft music can also have a similar effect and should definitely be accessible in our master retreat!

And scent is a powerful way of helping us transition to a different and more relaxed mental state.  Consider lavender water or spray to give sheets a subtle, fresh fragrance.  Candles are of course very effective too.  For me, soft citrus fragrances always make me happy - but favorite scents are very particular to each of us.

Importance of Lighting

Living With Style: Lighting Is Important

Lighting is of utmost importance in a bedroom to set a relaxed tone and for practical things like reading in bed.

—Gazette photo by Sasha Witte

The Importance of Lighting is no were more important than in the bedroom.

Make sure you have dimmers to control your light completely.  Bright when you are getting ready and you need it and ultra-soft and low when you are looking to relax!

A good reading light is important if you like to occasionally read in bed.  Swing arm lamps offer a mobility that means you don't have to read in a fixed position.  When they are attached to the wall as a reading sconce, they also don't occupy space on a bedside table.  This is especially important in a smaller bedroom space.

Think about your best hotel experiences as you brainstorm about what ideas to implement for your own personal oasis.  And don't skim on attention to the bedroom just because other people don’t usually see it.

A bedroom has so much impact on the quality of your life that your time and money are well spent here!

Sasha Witte can be reached at or (562) 434-8824.


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