A girl’s gotta have a little R&R, amirite? Bonus if it’s in a GORGEOUS place not far from home… because it IS home. 

Yes, I know the title gave it away, but work with me here — I’m talking about in-home retreats!  

living room cozy classic refreshing retreat stone fireplace white sofa yin yang coffee tables, miami

Yes, living rooms can be retreats!

Where should you create an in-home retreat?

An in-home retreat can be a whole room (like the sitch above) or a small area within another room, such as a nook. It can be indoors or out — an area inside your bedroom, off the living room or porch, in your garden… I think you’re gettin’ the picture here.

Where you put your in-home retreat depends on how you want to use it (more on that below) and the space you have available. 

If you have more flexibility and you’re redesigning your home, well, buckle up! We’ll have one helluva powwow about it. And then we’ll make it happen.

in-home retreat cocktails lounge seating art white chairs contemporary darla powell interiors miami

This sitting area is ingeniously located next to the bar and across from a view of the pool. Relaxing times? Good times? It all goes!

How will you use your in-home retreat?

A design that makes you giddy is the result of a good old fashioned. Plan, that is. Good old fashioned plan. (Sorry, the bar seating got me all distracted…)

A plan starts with the place and your purpose. It’s been a hot minute since I created my own retreat, but I decided I wanted a place to slow down, meditate, and see a bit of nature. Long story short, there’s now a gorgeous Koi pond in the backyard. Natalie and I love watching those fellas swim to their heart’s content.

Johanna’s retreat looks a bit different, but it’s perfection for her. She created a lounge area on her patio, designed for reading, drawing, or sipping wine in the evenings by the fire pit. Growing up, she says her parents had a quiet prayer garden tucked away in their backyard, complete with a fire pit too. 

Everyone has their own spectacular vision of a retreat, and as they say, “if you love it, it ain’t wrong.” 

Some more ideas to get you started...

  • Yoga, prayer or meditation

  • Reading, drawing, painting or other creative activities

  • Gardening and enjoying the outdoors

  • Spa-like activities, such as baths, a facial routine, etc.

  • Enjoying a cocktail when the clock strikes 5:00 (of course I wait til 5…)

The choice is yours. So ask yourself, “During which activities do I feel most at peace? And where?”

moody blue bedroom contemporary miami darla powell interior design pendants sexy

Our clients wanted a master bedroom retreat that felt sexy, soothing, and had a touch of drama. Nailed it!

sexy bedroom cobalt blue velvet chair walls navy photographs in-home retreat darla powell interiors

And of course, we couldn’t rest without adding this sultry velvet armchair in deep cobalt seated right across from great outdoors. 

What colors and places are you drawn to?

The next step is to design your retreat in the style that feels most YOU. I like to ask our clients what colors they are naturally drawn to — blues, greens, yellows? Fun fact: We’ve found that the places where our clients feel most at peace are usually associated with their favorite colors!

For example, water and tropical plants have always brought me feelings of peace. In my case, I literally brought these things into my retreat, with the green-bottomed Koi pond and vibrant landscaping.

Johanna has always felt most calm when near water too, whether at the beaches here in Miami or around the lakes where she grew up. No surprise, she’s most drawn to shades of blues, lighter beach wood tones, and pearly whites. 

Okay, the curiosity is overwhelming… is this true for you too??! Go down to those comments real fast and tell us: 1) what colors you’re drawn to and 2) where you feel most at peace. 

Then come on back up here, because we’re not done yet, folks!

contemporary reading nook overhead lamp bronze side table beige chair brick floor miami

In this office space, we added a cozy seating area next to a custom bookshelf — the perfect place to read a book and unwind… or just unchain yourself from the office desk. ;)

What materials are great for in-home retreats?

Well. Good news. At long last, we’ve arrived at the final stage of designing an in-home retreat. Surprise, surprise, this is the design itself! 

Your design will always depend on how you want to feel and use the space, so I can’t tell you exactly what to do. But I CAN give you some fun little tidbits about which materials and colors can create the vibe you want. 


  • Natural woods are great for bringing warmth into a space

  • Soft textiles create feelings of comfort and coziness

  • Stone,  jute and woven baskets are great for hints of organic and casual style


  • Blues, soft greens, pastels, and whites are known for being soothing hues with calm energy

  • A primarily neutral palette can help you with mellow, peaceful vibes

  • If you’re going for energizing, vibrant colors you love will do the trick! (Think SATURATED.)

living room retreat miami coral gables white leather chairs gray sofa stone fireplace contemporary

This whole project was designed to be effortlessly relaxing, especially the living room, where a neutral palette, the natural stone of the fireplace, and warm-toned wood begs you to sit down and stay awhile.

Boom. You are now ready for your own in-home retreat. What are you waiting for?! 

Download our furnishings budgeting guide below to start pulling that beautiful space together! Or heck, contact us here and let’s create this space together. You know you want to. ;)