You can create your own sanctuary at home. Just find space to meditate, add elements such as candle light and trickling water to touch your senses, then sit back and rejuvenate

Are you stressed out? Are you feeling the pressures of holiday madness? Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth and empty your mind of thoughts. Meditating and finding inner calm is something we could all use. So I want to give you some tips on creating your own home sanctuary, as I recently did.

But I have to be honest. I did not create a yoga room because I wanted to meditate. I had a space to decorate and didn’t know what to do with it.


Sometimes a space can be too small to be anything but too big to be nothing. That’s what I found with a space on the side of my house that the former owners had used as a too-small exercise room and that I had been using as storage.


When I decided to stage the house for sale, I realized it didn’t need additional storage, and this space, with its golf-course view and little garden on the side, was too good to waste. What to do? What could someone use a very small, intimate space for?

Then it hit me — a meditation space! I call it a yoga studio.

So here’s what I did. First, I recarpeted the room and framed the existing mirror to give it presence. Then I began to layer in the zen. Dark, smoldering walls, accents of wood furniture and a tatami mat, a water fountain in the corner and tea lights on the wall to add the glow of candlelight.

How can you create your own sanctuary? Find a space. It can be indoors or out. Small and intimate is fine. You just need enough room for your mat, some candles and your music.

Now, add elements that will touch your senses of sight, sound, smell and touch.

Photo by Andy Landgraf of 360 Property Videos

Photo by Andy Landgraf of 360 Property Videos



Go for peaceful and meditative. Generally, darker colors help set the right mood — plums, reds, purples, browns, grays. Low lighting enhanced by candlelight creates a sense of peace. Surround yourself with things of beauty that touch and inspire you. Is it a special word to put on the wall or in a frame? An inspirational message? Keep it simple and serene, and not too cluttered.


Music and trickling water enhance the peaceful background and bring in the sounds of nature.



Use potpourri, scented candles or sachets. Don’t let the aromas get overpowering, but the moment you walk in, the scents should take you to a special place.

Special touches

Look for interesting textiles like silk pillows, Turkish towels, maybe even a tatami mat. My tatami mat was woven with a little silver to reflect the metallics throughout the room. Use various textures that bring in nature, like organic fibers.

So go ahead. Use these tips and create your space. Then light your candles. Get into your first pose. Breathe. Relax. And enjoy your own little piece of serenity. What better gift to give yourself for the holidays?


Cathy Lee is a home style expert, speaker, president and designer of Cathy Lee Style. Her work in redesigning residential and business spaces has been featured in local and national publications and on HGTV. Look for reStyle Hawaii, her new-concept furniture store, to reopen at 420 Keawe St. in Kakaako. To find out more, go to