General / Green Living

Finding a Space of Your Own in a House Full of People

As a mother and wife who also runs her own business from home, I admit that my life can get overwhelming. So anyone looking in from the outside who thinks I “have it all together,” think again.

There are many nights when I don’t feel like cooking, or loads of clean clothes go unfolded for days (sometimes weeks). I’d rather spend my free time playing Sims3 than cleaning the bathroom and I look forward to weekends when I can just tune everything out for a few days.

I’m sure my life is no different from many of you, and I’m looking for the same thing many of you want in your homes: A quiet spot that belongs just to you. A spot where you can pray, meditate, read, do yoga, or just sit and tune out the rest of the world in your rare, but precious quiet moments. Because at the end of the day, no matter how beautiful or green your home, it won’t really be comfortable if it’s constantly filled with clutter and chaos.

The problem

Unless you live alone, finding such a space isn’t always easy to do. There are only three permanent residents of our home, and still there’s little private space. The only rooms with doors are the two bedrooms: my daughter’s and ours. And while I’d love to call my bedroom a calming retreat, the truth is that most of the time, it ends up being the dumping ground for loads of clean laundry, my daughter’s stuffed animals, myriad shoes and purses and all the “stuff” that comes out of my and my husband’s pockets. So it’s beautifully mess-free and relaxing right after we clean it, but that only lasts a few days.

My solution

For the longest time, I felt like there was no “quiet corner” of the house. My husband tends to meditate and read the Bible on our patio away from distractions, or under the tree right in front of our building, in the morning and evening. That works for him, but the Georgia mosquitoes eat me alive. So I had to get creative.

My office space isn’t ideal for this, since the computer is always there tempting me to get online and hop on Facebook and Twitter, but it is the one space in our small apartment that I’ve truly “claimed.” So I decided I would use the chair in the corner to read and relax. The chair is comfortable and filled with pillows that allow me to sink in and snuggle. Again, it’s not perfect since it’s in the sunroom (read:very brightly lit most of the time) and just steps from the front door and in turn, the street, but it works. It’s mine.

For the moments when I need a more private, darker space where I can be alone with my thoughts, I took a slightly more unconventional route. I sit in the windowless bathroom with the lights off. Noone questions why I’m in there, and I just let them assume 🙂 It is the closest thing I have to a quiet prayer closet.

I wish I had more quiet moments to use these spots, but now that they “belong” to me (even if only in my own mind), I’m starting to use them more regularly.

What about you?

Do you have a quiet space in your home for meditation, reading or contemplation? If you live in a small space or with a large family, how did you carve out a space of your own? If you’re having problems doing this, share your challenges and perhaps we can collectively help you find a solution.

in the morning and evening,
About Author

I am a graphic designer by trade who has a strong passion for interior design and doing what we can to protect the environment. This blog and my other site, Green & Gorgeous, are my ways of giving back to the Earth.


  • Christie - The ChatterBox
    October 23, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I seem to only be able to find that kind of solace when everyone is gone. I really need to find a place for me when everyone is home. I do have my own office but currently it is a hot mess…but not only that…it’s my office and when I’m in it, I want to “work.” Even though I love my work and do find it relaxing, it’s not how I should really unwind. This was a great post. Thanks for sharing how you find peace.

    • jennae
      October 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm

      Christie, I know what you mean! The rare times when I am home alone are precious. I often won’t even listen to music because I like the sound of (relative) silence so much 🙂

      My office wasn’t the ideal space either, but it was the most logical since it’s already “mine.” It also gives me an extra incentive to keep my space clean 🙂


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