In celebration of International Self-Care Day on July 24, we share tips on how you can create a slice of zen in your home—take decor cues from these stylish and calming spaces

This article was first published on June 7, 2021, and updated on July 22, 2021.

If you're feeling unmotivated, restless, or extra anxious as your work-from-home arrangement may be set to continue, you're certainly not alone. Whether you're going through a series of zoom meetings or just having pent-up energy while you're staying home, it's good to create a space in your home for devoted to me-time—be it a hobby room, reading nook or a quiet spot where you can calm your mind and meditate.

Boost your attention span by staying focused on a singular activity, whether you're playing music or assembling a jigsaw; put your phone aside and out of reach to stay in the zone, rather than feeling compelled to multitask all the time.

In line with International Self-Care Day on July 24, we highlight several mood-uplifting rooms, which feature ingenious ways on how you can create a tranquil alcove to spend your time at home more mindfully.

See also: Work from Home Essential: 5 Coffee Machines for a Perfect Morning Brew

1. A stylish home office

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Above Blue shelves and back-lit lighting makes this study designed by Stephanie Coutas extra chic

Your home office doesn't have to be a purely functional space, at this chic room would demonstrate.

In this stylish townhouse crafted by French interior designer Stephanie Coutas, the use of blue cabinetry creates a calming study that can be used for reading and board games. The display shelves also showcase beloved objects—what better than to surround yourself with the things you love to turn a functional room into your favourite nook?

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Above This nook becomes a perfect spot for reading and contemplation

Even a compact corridor can be better utilised with the use of a compact desk. Within this same home, Coutas installed a pebble-shaped desk coupled with a sunny yellow pouf and armchair. A green rug adds to the cosy atmosphere. What's as key is the amount of daylight that filters through the window into the room, accentuated by the white walls in this area.

See also: Home Tour: A Fifties-Inspired Townhouse With Colourful Accents And Vintage Influences

2. A chic wardrobe area

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Above This stylish wardrobe area looks out to calming views of the greenery nearby

Make dressing up a part of your day to look forward to, especially when you need an extra mood-booster that caffeine alone may not fix. Whether you're known among friends as a beauty junkie or the fashion maven who's always got her style game on, your vanity area can similarly be more than just a functional space. Create a wardrobe area that keeps your clothes well-sorted and clutter free, and orientate your vanity area towards the outdoors, particularly if your home looks out to amazing views. 

In this home project by Prestige Global Designs, the team cleverly made full use of the green views with this curved desk and a chair with a beautiful backrest. If your wardrobe area has sufficient room for a workout mat, why not use it as your mini exercise zone, whether you're into yoga, pilates or other core-strengthening exercises, too; swap out the grey rug here for your mat and get into position with your favourite poses.

See also: Home Tour: A Combined Penthouse With Extraordinary Views And A Hotel-Style Bar Area

3. A calming patio

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Above The patio in the home of Elyn Wong, founder of womenswear label Stolen. Photography: Darren Gabriel Leow

The present humid weather aside, there are many benefits to keeping your windows open and spending more time outdoors. Style maven Elyn Wong, founder of womenswear label Stolen, has done just that by crafting numerous cosy nooks that encourage her and her husband to take in the green views of their garden. 

See also: Home Tour: Explore Fashion Designer Elyn Wong's Classic, Vintage-Influenced Abode

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Above This penthouse project by Prestige Global Designs keeps the look of the balcony simple and neat; accent cushions help add pops of colour to the space

When you've already got the amazing views to boot, your outdoor area doesn't have to be overly decorated; you need just a set of weatherproof seats and tables. Furnish it simply so that it's easy to shift furniture around should the rain come in.

Similarly, this penthouse project by Prestige Global Designs provides a good reminder to furnish your balcony areas, rather than keeping them underutilised. The ceiling fans installed also help keep this area cool on humid days.

4. A spa-like bathroom

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Above This bachelorette's stylish abode by Design Intervention features an enviable master bathroom that's fitted with a bathtub, plus separated zones for the shower area and sauna

Make it spa day every day if you wish. With the goal of creating a personal spa within her home, the owner specially requested to have extensive bathroom facilities. Design Intervention fulfilled that and more within this enviable bachelorette pad. These amenities include an elongated bathtub, a sauna, a vanity area, a shower in the master bathroom, as well as a secondary shower area by the gym that’s equipped with invigorating water jets.

See also: Home Tour: A Glamorous Apartment Inspired By Cherry Blossoms

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Above The blue ceiling and botanical motifs on the glass panels contribute to the stylish and calming look of the powder room, located in the home gym
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The master bathroom has indeed become the owner’s zen zone in her home; to top it off, her bathrooms are also fitted with excellent built-in speakers so she can play her favourite tracks while enjoying a spa day at home. “I love how the bathtub and the curvy lines of the bathroom are reminiscent of the architecture by the late architect Zaha Hadid, who has been dubbed the ‘Queen of the Curve’,” says the homeowner.

See also: Why Smart Homes and Biophilic Design are Growing in Popularity

5. A sleek and neat hobby room

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Above A toy collector created a hobby room that showcases his favourite figurines and models

Have a hobby that you're passionate about? Embrace it; particularly if it brings you much joy and when you're spending more time at home. That's what this owner has done by creating a room that showcases his collection of models and figurines from his favourite film and anime series. A long desk provides the much-needed space where he can lay out all of his tools and start working on assembling his next plastic model kit.

Designed by local architecture studio RT+Q, this room also features a playful yellow aperture in the ceiling that brings more natural light into the room while adding an element of fun.

See also: Home Tour: A House In Tanjong Katong With A Toy Collector's Dream Room

6. A minimalist home gym

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If staying fit is an important part of your daily routine, why not invest in building a home gym? In the Cove House designed by Ming Architects, the owners wanted a dedicated space where they can burn calories and keep fit, while looking out to calming views of the neighbourhood.

As evident here, natural light is crucial to creating a space where you can stay motivated to work out. The full-length mirrors installed help you check your posture while the TV can show the workout steps you need to follow.

See also: Home Tour: How A Curved Staircase Became The Focal Point Of This Minimalist House

7. Playful beats

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For this musical family, it was clear they needed a room that celebrates their shared passion. In this project designed by Ong&Ong, the firm created a soundproof space where the family would spend time together for jamming sessions in the attic. Besides having the requisite acoustic requirements, the design team also selected an earthy palette to create a conducive space for the owners to rock out and bond over their love for music.

See also: Home Tour: A Family's Dog-Friendly Semi Detached House

8. Curate your library

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Any bibliophile will appreciate having a dedicated home library that showcases their favourite tomes and well-read volumes. So make time for reading by creating a stylish nook where you can let your imagination take flight as you escape into fictional worlds or read the latest detective thriller from your favourite author.

In this abode designed by RT+Q, the library becomes an unexpected highlight—it is housed in a circular antechamber inspired by the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris. The tower of books rises up to the ceiling where light passes through an oculus to imbue the room with a surreal quality. Between the walls of tomes lies another hidden surprise—a secret door leads to the younger son’s bedroom. 

See also: Home Tour: This Modern House Pays Tribute To Architectural History

9. Go TV-free in your living room

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Who needs a TV to be entertained, when you can find more ways to enjoy family bonding together, whether over board games or a cosy tea session?

Skip the TV unit for the living room, just as these homeowners have done in a resort-themed residential property designed by Brenda Ang of Lab Architects. Featured in the October 2018 issue of Tatler Homes Singapore, the living room is also lined with planters to add to its calming ambience.

See also: Home Tour: A Minimalist House With Japanese-Style Details

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