Here at Topps Tiles, we're all for creating a relaxing space that's tailored to you. Having a space to relax in, and enjoy your favourite hobbies is so important - whether that means having a place to read, play a particular game or just taking some time away from the rest of the world!
However you like to unwind, part of what makes the space so relaxing is knowing you've got it just how you like it - and all to yourself! That's why we launched our Home Havens campaign. We wanted to find out just how much you value your own space, and what your idea of relaxation is.
As part of this, we asked a couple of homeowners to tell us about their relaxation spaces, and even share a few snaps of it with us. We got a fantastic insight into their lives and what the home means to them, as well as an idea of the importance of having a space to themselves.
First up, we spoke to Harrie Neal, a PhD student. Here, Harrie tells us just what makes home so important: "My house is where I spend a lot of my time; I sleep in it, eat in it, watch a considerable amount of Netflix in it, and sometimes even work there too, so it's important to me that it looks the way I like it.
"The house is a Victorian build and I also inherited a lot of dark, heavy furniture, so I've tried to make it more contemporary by adding in hard textures and colours. I particularly like the wooden 'welcome' sign, which I made when I moved in two years ago before I even had a sofa, which really shows I've got my priorities straight."
"I like my days to start like this: I wake up, which I'm usually unhappy about; I get ready for work, I try to find some dark clothes that aren't too offensive to the eyes in the early hours, and scramble around for the various paraphernalia I need for the day.
"In this fragile state it's nice to come down to the kitchen to make breakfast and a pot of coffee, and relax in my living room for ten minutes while watching BBC Breakfast."
Next, we spoke to Amy Gerrish of Kvinde Magazine about the space in her home that's just hers: "In my space, I can leave the day job at the office, but still feel focused enough to work on side projects when I get home. It's important to me that my space both reflects my personality, but still maintains a simple, almost minimalist aesthetic - I work best in a tidy environment!
"I adore Danish design, so have tried to bring elements of my favourite design house, HAY, into my workspace - but I'm also an avid supporter of independent brands, so you'll see plenty of pieces that are designed and made locally in my space, too.
"Having a creative centre that's entirely my own, away from the hubbub of the family home, is the perfect tonic to a stressful day - even if there are still words to be written and emails to be sent. This is where I work on Kvinde Magazine, where I network with like-minded people, and where I can sneakily watch Netflix if it all gets a bit overwhelming!"
As well as rooms within the home, it seems that 2015 has been the year for taking creativity and relaxation outdoors… almost! Louise Blackwell, an account manager from Poole, was lucky enough to have a cabin built for her!
"My husband made it from scratch, but I've decorated it how I wanted, and I often go in there to read or chill out from the busy house (which is currently being refurbished).
"It's got a log burner, a sofa, and that's about it – no electricity, just the way I like it! We are currently renovating our home, so it is a much-needed addition to my lifestyle. It provides peace and comfort to my usually very busy and hectic home life!"
Another lucky soul with a gorgeous outdoor-haven is Vanessa Law, a PR & Marketing Consultant at VL PR in Cambridge. "I have a garden snug my husband built for me earlier this summer. I love having coffee in it on a Sunday morning while reading through the papers, after walking the dog."
Vanessa adds that she used her snug right up until late autumn, and is looking at ways in which she can winter-proof the snug too. After all, it seems only right to want to enjoy such a gorgeous space year-round!