KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS
When designing your own space for meditation or reflection, the most important thing to remember is you.
This is a place to rejuvenate your spirit, says interior designer Ronda Webb of the Design Studio of Gabberts. In your home, you're not always decorating only for yourself, but making compromises for your spouse, your kids, your guests.
"In your space, you should use things that you don't get to have everywhere else," Webb says.
Choose a comfortable mat, chair or pillow to help you relax. Clear out all the clutter and avoid having bills, paperwork or computers in view. Don't have things you "don't" like or that bring on potential stress in this space.
Other advice from designing experts:
When choosing paint, look for cool tones like green, blue or lavender. These are considered soothing, calming colors.
Soundproof the room or use soothing sounds that drown out the noise from the rest of the house. A miniature fountain or a CD playing a "sounds of nature" disc would help.
This is a great place for scented candles.
"Smell is going to trigger a sense of serenity faster than the other senses," says Fort Worth, Texas, interior designer Deborah Reed.
Use low light such as small lamps or candles. Avoid harsh overhead light. It robs the room of ambience.
When choosing decorative items, Reed recommends picking one to focus on, "It can be small, it can be large, whatever."
By picking one dominant picture, candle or trinket, you keep the space clean and limit distractions. This allows you to concentrate and relax.
Jennifer Pierson, a visual merchandising manager for Pier 1, followed this approach when she helped decorate the meditation room at Cancer Care Services.
"I would choose a few things that you really love, and keep it really simple," she says.
Don't get hung up on what a meditation space is "supposed" to look like. Interior designer Christy Hill cautions: "Meditation rooms are not strictly about incense and Eastern religions ... A lot of what goes into a meditation room is so individual. You've got to really know who you are and what you are about. This is an opportunity to express yourself."