When it comes to creating a comforting home, Grochowski says that carving out spaces for quiet reflection is key. These are areas you can go to be with yourself and your thoughts, almost like little cocoons. If possible, they should be tucked away from the main throughways of the home—perhaps in a back corner, by a windowsill, or even in a bathtub. You can further siphon them off with a curtain or pocket door for added privacy. Once you have your area chosen, fill it with soft fabrics or inviting objects so that it’s an attractive place to spend time and recharge.
In addition to areas that are all your own, your home should have places to gather with roommates, family, and/or visitors. It may sound obvious, but Grochowski notes that many of our residential spaces are not necessarily designed for connection. (Take, for example, the typical kitchen island with chairs on one side. With this layout, having a face-to-face conversation requires some maneuvering.) Whether it’s rearranging your furniture so that chairs are facing couches more directly, or creating clusters of furniture in large, open rooms, designing for conversation can instantly up the intimacy and coziness of a space.