4 Introvert-Approved Tips for Creating a Calm, Serene Space at Home

updated Feb 27, 2020
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Credit: Alvin Wayne

If it ever seems like it’s an extroverted world and you’re just living in it, interior designer Rachel Cannon feels you. Hard. She has made herself the go-to source for introverted creatives, and she’s using her twenty years of experience to empower introverts everywhere to make their homes fit their needs. 

Cannon is an introvert (according to the Myers-Briggs test, anyway). “After a long day, I want total silence—it helps restore me,” the designer says. “When introverts have a little quiet time for themselves, it helps them show up on a higher level.” What can be hard about that is making sure your home is designed to properly provide that restorative quiet time when you need it, especially if you don’t live alone.

Even extroverts, aka people who feel energized by human interaction, can benefit from a low-stimulus environment. This is why Cannon argues that every home should have a quiet room—a space dedicated to being alone, resting, and recharging in complete silence. “It’s a place where you can relax and be comfortable and achieve deep focus with minimal distractions,” she adds.

Ahead Cannon shares her tips for carving out this kind of a sanctuary in your very own home.

Nix the Open Floor Plan

These days, open floor plans are a design norm, but this kind of layout is certainly not the best solution for introverts. For Cannon, coming home after a long day to a space where noise is coming at her from all angles—the living room television, the kitchen—things can feel overwhelming fast. 

So when carving out a quiet space, it’s best to stick to a spot with more than two walls to minimize external noise. If you’re working with a studio apartment, create a little nook with a functional room divider such as a shelf. 

Sound Proof Where Possible

Invest in solid doors rather than hollow core ones, Cannon advises. They prevent sound from echoing around a room, which means your family or roommates can watch TV or talk on the phone without you having to hear every last word. 

If you’re truly committed to the quiet room concept, consider upholstering the walls. Not only will it make the space feel extra cozy, but it will help absorb sound as well. “A wool fabric will do the most because it’s so thick,” Cannon says. Same goes for wool rugs. There’s a reason lots of landlords and property owners institute rules for floor coverings; area carpets really can dampen noise.

Credit: Jessie Preza

Surround Yourself with Things You Love

Cannon urges her clients to go with their gut when decorating their space. Whether that trickles down to wall color, art, or furniture is up to you, but it’s important to feel like you have a connection to the elements in your room. “If you don’t love neutrals, then it’s not going to be a very pleasant space for you,” she says. 

It’s less important that everything polished and pulled together and more important that you feel happy and calm when you’re in the room. “Anything you have a deep, meaningful connection with can go in that space because it’s your space,” Cannon says. 

Set Ground Rules

No matter how much you tweak your space or how fancy your quiet room is, it probably won’t be a success if you don’t establish some standards. Take a step and outline your intentions for the room. Cannon urges her clients to communicate with the people they live with and let them know that when they’re in their quiet space, it’s for rest and recharging.