Create Your Own Private Space in a Small Apartment or a Home!
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
The hustle and bustle of everyday life can leave you feeling worn out and tired. Apart from getting to work, achieving targets and getting back, surely there is something you want to do on your own in your free time?
However, no matter what your interest may be, doing something in your own time means you need to have a little private space for it. Somewhere to call your own. A man has a den. What do women have? Without going into gender differentiations, let’s think of all the ways by which we can create that special space for ourselves where we can just be ourselves. Chill, relax, work out, meditate, laugh at jokes, admire the greenery in the park opposite, or sip on hot tea.
Why Private Space?
Everyone wants to have a room or part of it, a screened-off area or just a table or a chair space to call one’s own. These are the spaces you hope your guests don’t see. Right? These spaces are your private spaces. It may include bedrooms, private bathrooms, back of house regions, laundry rooms, storage rooms or mechanical rooms.
In a well-designed home, these areas are arranged reasonably from the most public area to the most private space. For instance, you would not like the guests to go through the private space like a bedroom to a semi-private space such as study or puja room, or you might prefer to provide a powder room instead of allowing the use of a private bath.
A specified room’s level can differ from family to family. Some homes have office room as a private space where they pay bills, read, study, and so forth. In this scenario the office might be connected to the master bedroom on the upper floor. In the homes, where the office is used for business purposes, and other than the family members have accessibility, then the office should be placed adjacent to the home entrances.
Also Read: How to Improve Your Bedroom Space?
For instance, let’s talk about the real-life experiences which everyone faces. It has been proved that travelling cheek by jowl in buses and trains, being stuck in an overcrowded elevator or sharing a desk at work with a colleague, could stress you out. So, when you return home, all you want is a quiet private space all to yourself to unwind and relax for a while to meditate, read book, do yoga, chant mantras, listen music, etc. That’s your own, exclusively your private space. Or, you might need some private space to practice your singing or to play a musical instrument or to enact your role in a play. All this needs private space, you’ll agree.
You could also be a craftsperson with talent for DIY, embroidery or any other form of creative expression. To practice it, you need a room or a section of it, with enough sunlight and a window. Or, you may be a collector of sorts who likes to display your collections of photos, art, curios or anything quirky. If it’s expensive and needs a room, you need to look for some part of your house that can be devoted to this.
You might also be a fitness freak or just want a quiet corner to curl up and read kindle or any social media chats on your mobile.
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If one is a writer / editor and uses the laptop for work from home, he or she needs a quiet space.
Lastly, you might want to start your mornings quietly with a cup of tea / coffee; or your little kids are so chaotic that once they go to bed, you want a little time to yourself. It also helps to have private space when you’ve got a houseful of guests and all you want is to be by yourself for a while.
Before I jump to the private space ideas within your homes, I think you may need to understand the need of solitude and couple space too!
Understand Need of Solitude & Private Couple Space
Need for Solitude
Contrary to what you might think, being alone has undeniable positive effects on us. According to ‘Sherrie Bourg Carter’ (Psy.D., a psychologist and the author of a book called High Octane Women) says, ‘In today’s constantly connected world, finding solitude has become a lost art. In fact, Western culture tends to equate a desire for solitude with people who are lonely, sad, or have antisocial tendencies. But seeking solitude can actually be quite healthy. In fact, there are many physical and psychological benefits to spending time alone.’ It helps us get better results from our everyday activities and protects us from getting burnt out. These days, the popular notion is that anyone preferring a little time to himself or herself is basically a loner. However, the truth is that wanting this time is a healthy habit, and a sign of your spiritual growth.
As she said, Alone time has its own benefits, both physical and mental. First, it increases your productivity, creativity and attention span. Once you put all your daily distractions and noise behind you, you can think clearly and be productive. You can also work faster and better. Actually, you talk to yourself. You listen to yourself!
By spending time on yourself, you are able to resolve conflicts successfully and better your relationships. Without the interference of information from outside that distracts your thinking, you will be able to solve your problems easily without suffering emotional distress.
Need for Space Between Couples
These days, everyone wants a little time to oneself to do one’s own thing. Personal space is therefore a need, not a luxury. Spouse might want a little time to themselves without their partner checking on them, trying to be near them or distracting them with talk of home or friends.
However, the need for personal space between couples helps create a happy and balanced marriage.
Now the question arises – How to create my private space?
Each person thinks about what the private space should be. It can either be a separate room like Pooja room, Library, Home Office, Basement room, Garage, Passage between your rooms, a default corner of a room, Covered Balcony, Bathroom, Garden or some part of terrace if you are living on the top most floor.
There can also be a case where you have issues with your neighbour. Let’s speak about a true-life story that I face every day. The window of my dining room overlooks the laundry area of the annoying neighbour, where they dry their clothes. We usually talk our whole day’s works and some private discussions while having a dine. Now what happens, whenever we seat to dine, the lady (neighbour) reach to that area to hear what we are talking. And that always trigger-up in my mind to get a private space where a talk can occur.
Read on and find the right idea for the creations of your own sanctuary.
Ideas to Create a Private Space in Your Home
When you leave the hectic and high-pressured world behind your door, surely you want to spend some time in a private space which is all your own? Somewhere you can rest, unwind, relax, read, listen music or just chill for as long as you want.
No matter how small your apartment / home is, you can find a small space that you can call all your own. A place where you can lie undisturbed until you actually have to join the noise of real world.
Here are a few ideas you can use to create that special private space in your tiny apartment:
01. Use a Wooden Screen or a Curtain
A curtain or a wooden screen can give you the privacy you long for. It is a medium through which you can separate your private space in your rooms from your neighbours or guests.
02. Use Tall Plants
Indoor plants can have many benefits. Sometimes whenever you need some private space instantly, you can use it as a room divider. By using some tall indoor plants, you can get your private space to give the outsider the general meaning. It would be great if you have enough gardening area around your house to plant trees/tall plants as a buffering element for your neighbours.
03. Add Vertical Garden
If you want to bring the outdoors into your space, vertical gardening is a great idea. On the opposite wall, you can have wind chimes and a small water fountain which lights up at night. The sound of water and the tinkling of the wind chimes isn’t anything you’d want to get away from in a hurry. Let say it can create a better designed private space!
Here we suggest some beautiful water fountain for your home which increase the aesthetic look of your privet space.
04. Use a Bookshelf
Your goal is to get the most space out of what you have for yourself. Even a bookshelf can provide that personal space without adding to the furniture. By using it as a room divider, you can create a small space just for yourself where you could add your own touch to decorate the place. Small, but it could be very effective, if you know what you want. Though it won’t be practical to have a bookshelf that reaches the ceiling, yet you could make it tall if only to give the impression of extra space.
05. Use a Movable Room Partition
It is the best way to separate your area. You just have to move it around to screen off the areas that you don’t want seen by others. And the best part of it is you can remove it whenever you want. But here, you need to be watchful in buying only lightweight and durable partitions. If they have a bit of design and are attractive, much better.
06. Have Dramatic Black & White Photos Against a Blank Wall
If you’re a collector of black and white photos, you can hang them on a blank white painted wall and let each one tells its own story. Have a comfortable sofa opposite it into which you can plonk yourself and watch them, and take in the nuances that you might have missed before.
07. Convert the Extra Bedroom into a Hobby Centre
If you live all by yourself and have one extra bedroom, why not put the extra one to a good use? Perhaps, you have a hobby that needs a bit of space and good sunlight, like needlework or making crafts, drawing, reading kindle or your mobile, painting or fitness centre.
You might need a little more space than a comfortable corner to stock your threads, sewing machine, crafts and required equipment. By giving yourself the required space and time, you could create the most beautiful and useful arts and crafts—and all by hand!! If you have some quiet private space the better ideas will click. You can concentrate on the type of work you do and create a better work of art that everyone will admire. For this, you need a quiet spot with lots of natural light.
08. Dress-Up a Meditation Corner
If there’s an ignored corner of your home/apartment that needs to be filled up, why not use it for meditation?
Have a small cotton rug and an upright chair on which you can sit and meditate. Alternatively, if you wish to sit cross-legged and meditate, your rug will come in handy. Fill the air with some gentle perfume and have a vase of brightly coloured flowers to make you happy and loved. Play soft music and generally, keep the place absolutely minimalistic.
09. Create Terrace Garden & Its Serenity
If you create a terrace garden for your private space, then you’re going to be in the midst of beautiful and lush greenery and multi-coloured flowers. In the midst of this beauty, you can also install a wrought iron sofa set or swing with a canopy just in case it rains. Spend several hours here enjoying the sun, breeze, scent of flowers, butterflies and calls of various birds as you de-stress.
10. Invest in Loft bed
If you are having a high ceiling, then you can opt for loft bed or you can have one custom built by creating designed space. That space can be such that you can add ladder that leads you up to your loft bed. Many Architects have made it a respectable small space solution for adults too.
11. Chill in an Isolated Area
This can be your backyard garden. In your garden you can create a nook where you can seat and talk or chill surrounded by trees or decorative plants. To make the space more private you can add green walls by creating a vertical garden.
12. Use your Balcony
No matter how tiny it is, your balcony has plenty of design potential. The balcony is usually semi-opened space, and there are many ideas to create it into your private space. You can either cover your balcony with metal screens or add green creepers to create the private seating space to distract from overlooking neighbor balcony. There can be a sofa or swing with a small center table and to make it look livelier, add flowers pots.
13. Use a Default corner of Room
The planning / designing or placement of furniture error can lead you to the default and unused corner or passage which have you never use for any purpose in your house. If it is there, you can use it as a private space, either for reading, gossiping with your friends (on phone), etc.
Ideas to Create your Private Space More Lively
14. Get Rid of Bulky Sofas & Invest in Chairs
Not only does this open up some space to walk around the room, it also helps you choose the kind of chairs you want to sit in. After all, you’re going to be occupying those chairs to read, snack, watch TV, entertain a friend, etc. And you need to be comfortable. Of course, if the chairs you choose have a character all their own, why not invest in them?
15. Light-Up your Space with Candles
Aromatic candles make all the difference to a small space. Their scents are very uplifting and can be real mood uppers. So, keep nice-smelling candles in two or three parts of your personal space. And while the scent wafts your space, breathe in the relaxing aroma and chill.
16. Bright Lights or Mood Lighting?
Depending on the space you choose, match the lighting to it. It also depends on how you plan to use the space.
For instance, if you want some quiet space, warm sunlight is ideal. However, if you’re going to read or write there, bright sunlight will help. Soft lighting is right if you’re going to meditate or practice some yoga moves there.
17. Repaint with Soothing Colours
Delicate pastels sooth and remind you of infancy, when it was all soft and comforting. White is always comforting and cooling colour, which gives a soft and simple look to any surface. With white walls you can always coverup your upholstery or cushion covers with a busy printed colourful patterns.
For a gentleman’s corner, the tone for serious wok can be put in dark navy, brown, burgundy or green forest shade.
If you are inspired by bright cherry colours, by all means, then have these colours in your retreat. No one says that a personal space has to be boring! The blues and greens are soothing, yellows are fresh and uplifting and reds are inspiring – Choose your colours wisely!!!
18. Add Decorative Element to your Space
Even without painting your walls, you can bring inspiring colours to your personal space with decorative accessories, flowers, and art works. Choose your pieces that contribute a relaxing and supportive atmosphere that you expect.
Want to check some decorative accessories then here you go.
Some More Options:
Some more ideas for creating your private space includes:
- You could place a swing in the middle of your private space, whether it’s a small part of a room or a balcony. Alternatively, use the wooden plank of an old bed and have it suspended in the frame of a swing and use it as a day bed.
- Place a small rug on the floor and on it place a few cushions so people can sit on them.
- Pouffes / ottomans / beanbags can be used in the same way.
- A diwan can double up as a bed. You can decorate it attractively with colourful cushions during the day, and at bedtime pile them up on one side as you use it for a bed. Besides, the diwan can be used for seating on both sides.
- Make your grandfather’s armchair the hero of the space you have. Often, they’re good to have an afternoon nap on.
- Have a mix of a beanbag, a couple of pouffes and a bench for the variety.
It is difficult to create private space when you live with large family. However, creating personal space is possible. By turning your need around and adding a dash of imagination to it, you can come up with several practical and eye-catching solutions to having a private space in a small apartment. Once you begin to make these solutions part of your life, you’ll wonder how you did without them before.
If you’re already in a situation where you need to have some personal space in a small apartment, try using some of the tips mentioned here. They could help you set boundaries and yet enjoy the company of those around you. But one thing always remember, enjoy your personal space, but do not segregate yourself with people.
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Mithi Chinoy – With over 15 years’ experience as a freelance writer and editor, Mithi Chinoy brings to the table proven writing capabilities in articles, ebooks, children’s writing and web copy. She is also adept at copy editing. When not writing or editing, you can find her trying to crack crossword or jigsaw puzzles. To know more about her, click www.mithichinoy.com.