Retreats: Create a home-based getaway

Published 8:00 am Friday, July 14, 2023

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The retreat is typically thought of as a fun place to escape to, and many a home has one. Certainly, vacation trips, crowded resort towns or a mountain cabin may be the retreat some seek from time to time. But more and more homeowners are finding or creating their own private retreats. 

So, where might someone go for either a spot for being alone or a place to relax with family and friends?

Some homes have a man cave, a theater room, a family library or a game room. Some have a porch or deck that is private enough to be a retreat. Outdoor rooms—a literal construction not part of the home itself, or a “room” of greenery that creates a secluded area—are popular places of retreat. Other folks think of enjoyable activities as a retreat; swimming, walking on a private path, tending a garden or small orchard or maybe just enjoying a table for two that is out of sight of other family or neighbors.

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What constitutes a retreat in your mind? And do you have one? How simple or complicated might it be to create one? Do you have a quiet spot to catch the headlines, read a little, perhaps pray or meditate at the beginning or the conclusion of your day?

The home retreat can give a person the same relaxing experience as a vacation, a calmness of mind and body and a rejuvenation of the spirit. It can produce the same feeling of well-being and can also be more economical, experienced much more often, minus the hassles of traveling. A home should be more than timber, bricks, or vinyl siding with shingles on top. It should offer separation from jobs and traffic, comfort, peace, safety and sanctuary.

Indoors, a special quiet room away from the tv, phone and various other household noises can often be created. If you have a room you don’t use much, this could very easily be transformed into a getaway space for one or all in the household.

Outside, patios and decks are possibilities, as are sheds, garage additions, outdoor kitchens, pavilions or gazebos. A beautiful garden of flowers attracting butterflies may be your idea of relaxing. A fire pit or a water feature with comfortable seating or a fenced-off section of the yard with some pavers and a small table could be your special spot. A place to sip your favorite beverage and listen to the birds chirp, katydids holler and lightening bugs flash may be all the retreat you need. 

Retreats, getaway places, places for sanctuary—these are things all of us need or desire at some point. Ideally, it’s a regular place to relax and rejuvenate and be free from the demands of others for at least a little spell.

Everyone needs a spot to retreat to. I’d recommend you find or design one that is easy to visit on a daily basis.

The author is a landscaper. Send suggestions or comments to