Minimalist’s Guide to Napping

June 06 2016

The search for calm is one that often leads right back home. When stressful days and long hours begin to pile up, it’s the inevitable exhaustion that leads to mistakes. While nodding off at your desk may not quite be acceptable, yet, there is a growing understanding that napping is a beneficial practice that improves mood, alertness and performance. Nodding off for a quick 20 – 30 minutes is all that is required, but to get the most out of the brief time, it is essential that the environment is just as relaxing. As advocates of both rest and napping, we wanted to create a space in our homes dedicated to the art of the zzz’s, and thought there was no one better to guide us through the process of setting up this space than Kristen Ziegler of Minima Organizing & Redesign

Any space in your home can be relaxing—it’s all about creating an environment that’s pleasing to the senses. The first step, as with any interior project, is to assess your belongings and remove anything you don’t love or use. Be intentional about every item you introduce into your home. I’ve been working with this philosophy for years now and have created a space that makes me feel so happy and relaxed, especially when I come home after a long day of work.

It’s important to consider each of the senses as you create your space, and it’s easiest to begin with sight. Soft, neutral colors provide a gentle palette for the eye. Greys and warm whites are our favorites at the moment. It’s always advisable to introduce plant life into a room as well, it has been proven multiple times that surrounding yourself with plants helps relax you.

The scent of a room is rarely considered until it goes wrong – a foul odor is perhaps the most jarring sensation to come home to. A proactive approach to introducing scents into a space proves to be one of the easiest ways to improve and environment. A candle or modern incense is an elegant way to bring scent into a room.

Taste is an often overlooked element, and while it is not necessarily of the space, a warm beverage is a soothing way to ease into rest. Having a dedicated space for tea, a favorite mug, and a kettle elegant enough to leave on the stove are especially encouraging to this effect.

Soft textiles are engaging both visually and tactilely. Organic cotton and linen blends are two favorites for textures both soft and natural. In warmer months, exchange warm quilts and blankets for lightweight, loose weave throws. The tactile sensation of curling up in a blanket is still one of the luxuries of napping, and there’s no reason it should be lost in summer months. There’s also something lovely about the way a sofa looks after a good nap, the blankets and pillows so artfully arranged. I’d also encourage spending time with your pet in lieu of a nap – or if you’re lucky enough to have a pet that will nap with you. There is something so calming about petting a beloved animal.

If I’m having trouble falling asleep, I like to play ocean or light rain sounds. If I don’t want to sleep, but need to get my mind off the day to day stresses, I’ll often play jazz. With the warmer weather we’ve been having, I’ve enjoyed turning off the A/C and opening all of the windows in my home. There’s something about hearing and feeling the outside that’s incredibly calming.

These thoughts can be applied to any space, but creating an area in your home that is specifically for rest is a luxury that should be encouraged if it can be afforded.

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