You’ve got a drawer full of vision boards, a stack of spiritual texts next to your bed, and a worn-out meditation pillow, yet you’re still feeling stuck? Maybe it’s not you—it’s your living space.
According to Anne Sage, Los Angeles-based interiors guru and co-founder of Rue magazine, the way we design our homes plays a big role in helping us manifest our goals (no feng shui expert required). She’s such a strong believer, in fact, that she wrote a brand new book about it—Sage Living: Decorate for the Life You Want—filled with Pinterest-worthy pictures and tips on how to furnish with a purpose, room by room.
“The idea of Sage Living stems from a time when I essentially hit restart on my life,” says Sage. “Newly single in a new city with a new job, I became deeply aware of how each purchase for my home could be a statement about the values I wanted to embody moving forward.”
One thing many of the featured pads have in common: A sense of spirituality, whether it’s a tabletop altar or an entire home sprinkled with little touches of reverence. Says Sage: “Carving out a calming space in your home is a physical manifestation of your commitment to spirituality. You’ll imbue the area with your energy of reflection, devotion, and peace.”
Here, the author shares five things she’s learned about how to craft a Zen den of your own, along with photos of some of her favorites. —Erin Magner
1. Keep it simple. Resist the urge to go wild with the crystals and mala beads—too many and your space will likely cross the line from relaxing to distracting or even kitchy. “Visual calm begets mental serenity, so practice restraint when decorating your spiritual space by culling your small decor to include only a handful of your most meaningful pieces,” Sage says. Find a pretty container to store the rest and pull them out when inspiration strikes.
2. Tell a story. “A well-styled vignette is like a haiku; each carefully chosen element plays a key role in telling a concise story,” says Sage. So if you want to travel more, curate a collection of globally inspired items (try getting specific by purchasing items from the countries you want to explore). And pay attention to design nuances, too. “Use characteristics such as texture, color, and scale to evoke a response,” says Sage. “Bright colors and slick surfaces energize, while neutral hues and earthy finishes connect with nature.”
3. Find your light. Bad lighting isn’t just a bummer for selfies—it can also kill your good vibes at home. “Consider the light at the time of day you devote most often to your spiritual practice and create your devotional space where the light is best,” says Sage. “Position your meditation cushion to take advantage of the morning sun, or reserve a spot beneath a west-facing window for golden hour yoga.”
4. Flaunt your intentions. In the age of #mondaymantras, you no longer need to hide the affirmations taped to your mirror when friends come over. Not only does text-based art look cool, but, Sage says, “words have a powerful energy and add an extra layer of meaning and intention to a spiritual space. Frame or simply tape up sayings and phrases that reflect your values, including some that you write in your own hand for an extra personal touch.”
5. Think outside the altar. Not all of us have the time or resources for a floor-to-ceiling metaphysical home makeover, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with an uninspired dwelling. “Sure, an entire room devoted to a spiritual practice is nice, but any space in your home can be spiritual when you decorate with intention,” says Sage. “For example, if cooking is your meditation time, then support your Zen of meal prep with thoughtfully—and beautifully!—organized shelves and cupboards.” Amen.
For more information, check out Sage Living: Decorate for the Life You Want
(Photos: Instagram/citysage, Dana Grant)