4 home sanctuary ideas

Between noisy neighbors and misbehaving kids, your home can feel more like a madhouse than a personal sanctuary. If you’d like to reclaim some peace and quiet, here are four DIY projects to give you a calm place of your own.

Green House

For green thumbs looking to extend the growing season, a greenhouse is a must. Fortunately, a greenhouse can also be an affordable and easy project for those with a little DIY know-how. The Door Garden has an simple step-by-step guide on how to build a basic hoop-style greenhouse for around $50. Rather than rely on glass, which can be expensive and difficult to install, these greenhouses rely on clear plastic sheeting, which makes construction a snap.

If you do want a traditional glass-based greenhouse, many people have turned to old windows as an affordable DIY option. By heading to a salvage yard, or turning to a contractor with a surplus of old windows, you can stitch together a bunch of frames into a makeshift greenhouse.

“Man” Cave

Long the refuge of the domesticated male, man caves are a great way to create a place where you can kick back and relax. Fill a garage with an old couch, a TV and a little insulation for the winter months and you have yourself the perfect retreat from the stress of family life. But increasingly, women are looking to set up a “man” cave of their own in the home.

If your man has already claimed the garage as his own retreat, worry not. Many people are turning to tiny structures, like the ones built by Tumbleweed Homes. These 100 to 200 square-foot structures are the perfect size for a sanctuary or a home away from home. And because they are so small, they often don’t require a special building permit, making them an easy addition to a back yard. For those looking for a truly DIY option, the company also sells blueprints, allowing you to put together one of these quaint little cottages on your own at a much lower price.

Bird-Watchers Paradise

A easy hobby to pick up, bird watching is a great way to relax while gazing out the back window. If you’re a bird lover looking to transform your yard into a avian sanctuary, you can turn to simple backyard additions like bird baths, houses and feeders. But to step things up a notch, you’ll want to invest in a little landscaping to help attach the right kinds of birds. For instance, by adding small trees to your yard, you can start to draw robins and jays. Fruit-bearing shrubs like elderberry and sumac will attract thrushes and tanagers. And taller canopy trees will bring in birds like warblers and woodpeckers. Take a look at a few websites that specialize in bird-related landscaping and see what will work in your area.

Of course, once the birds start flocking to your yard, you don’t want to miss a moment. By attaching a weather-proof camera — like the Hero GoPro — to your feeder, you can keep track of your feathery friends even when you’re not around.

Bathroom Spa

Upgrading a shabby bathroom to give you a spa-like experience at home doesn’t have to cost a fortune or even require a ton of DIY know-how. While a low-flow fixture can shave a few bucks off your monthly bills, those looking for a more luxurious morning ritual should consider upgrading to a more immersive experience, like the Blue Ocean Shower Panel. The panel features multiple shower heads and multidirectional mist jets for a fully immersive showering experience.

For longer soaks, DIYers can turn to plug-and-play hot tubs. Unlike the hot tubs of old, these ones don’t require a plumber to install, making them truly do-it-yourself options. Simply fill them up and plug them in to a typical wall socket, and you’re ready to relax.