Expert Advice

6 Design Ideas for a Magical At-Home Retreat

Taking staycation to a new level.

By Cristina Cleveland

This Australian home looks like a peaceful treehouse oasis, so you’d never guess that it’s actually home to two families, a baby, a toddler, and a dog. Homeowner Phoebe Bell says “arriving home to this sanctuary after the busy-ness of our days is magical.”

The floor to ceiling views of eucalyptus forests on the outskirts of Melbourne certainly help set the tone, but the creative use of neutral colors and natural textures also help to create the calm retreat feel.

If you could use a little bit more sanctuary and magic in your home, try these on-trend ideas.

Resort-worthy pieces.

This straw pendant belongs in a spare, modern beach hotel – or in your living room if you want to evoke the same on-vacation sense of bliss.

Natural textiles.

Natural materials with plenty of texture like linen, leather and wool look right at home in neutral settings like this, and they tend to grow better with time as they become worn in.

Sculptural furniture.

These hand chairs have maintained their icon status since they were designed in the early 60s, and Kelly Wearstler describes them as “a modern take on classical sculpture,” she adds, “it just makes you smile.”

Pieces that make you smile.

Even if you’re not into the hand chair, try incorporating an element of whimsy into your home by choosing pieces that make you smile. A grown up indoor rope swing is a perfect example.

Tall ceramic ware.

This white, textured vase is just the type of vessel for bringing nature indoors. Display a eucalyptus branch, a palm frond, or the on-trend pampas grass to add a sculptural element.


We knew rattan was having a moment, but now that Ikea is carrying its own rattan line I think that means it’s here to stay a while. It’s a relaxed, natural material that works well in contemporary settings because of its grid-like lines.

*Sources: inspiration photo of Phoebe Bell and Chris Monahan’s home for The Design Files, straw pendant light KOTE7Shop on Etsy, white linen pillow Zara Home, Aalto book Need Supply, hand chair Anthropologie, rope swing HangAHammock on Etsy, large stoneware vase Anthropologie, rattan cabinet Ikea