As the weather turns cooler and we start to head indoors, it becomes more important than ever to create a space that feels good to us. And at KIM+ONO, we know intimately about making your space a sanctuary. That’s exactly how we approached our kimono store when it opened on Grant Avenue in Chinatown, San Francisco in 2018. When we brought our brick and mortar store to our neighborhood, we wanted it to feel like a respite. We wanted everyone who walked through our doors to feel like their shoulders could drop, they could breathe deeply, and feel relaxed and calm while they spent time with us. It’s this feeling that we hope to cultivate in our kimono store, and one we hope you can cultivate in your own home — especially during this transitional fall season as we get ready to hibernate!
It can certainly feel daunting to start shifting your space from one season to the next. The light, fun, airy, transient nature of summer can leave us feeling a little extra whimsical, making it difficult to ground ourselves in our own homes. But there are a few ways to bring a little extra calm to your home and make it a respite from the outside world. As we prepare for winter in a few short months, there’s no time like the present to bring an extra touch of luxurious calm to your homebase, no matter where you are. So in today’s journal post, we’re going to explore the ways you can turn your home into a sanctuary, using some of the techniques we used in our kimono store to hopefully inspire your own beautiful sanctuary at home.
While trends come and go, the things that make you feel good are such a wonderful place to start when creating a sanctuary out of your home. You don’t need to buy things that are trendy or decorate the way your family decorates. It’s so important to feel comfortable in your own space, and leaning into your taste is integral to that. When sisters Tiffany and Renee Tam, co-founders of KIM+ONO, opened their kimono store, they were building off a family business that had been 30 years in the making. Their parents already had shops in Chinatown full of beautiful, fun, traditional pieces. Every shelf was full and there was something to see around every corner. But for the Tam sisters, they prized minimalism and breath in their kimono store. They wanted to feature the airiness of their space, maximize the natural light, and give customers an experience focused on ease and comfort. While both styles are perfectly wonderful, it’s always important to stay true to how you want your space to feel. Think about the colors and textures that make you feel good, and then lean into those. You deserve to be surrounded by the things you find beautiful.
Another quick way to create a respite out of your home is to fill up your senses with beautiful things. Whether it’s the amazing smell of a candle you light when you walk in the door, the extra natural light you get from light-filtering window shades, the feeling of a silk robe against your skin first thing in the morning, or the sound of your favorite album playing in the background, these are all wonderful ways to make your home feel like a sanctuary. Think about each of your senses and what kinds of elements bring you the most peace. Those are the items you should fill your home and senses with, as they will be a quick way to feel your best.
We love rituals so much. Every year for Lunar New Year in our kimono store, we decorate with the lucky color red and participate in the neighborhood festivals and parades honoring the tradition. But you don’t need just one annual celebration to create a ritual for your space. You can build a ritual into your everyday. Simply carve out a little bit of time and a little bit of intention and it goes a long way. You could slip into your plus size silk robe first thing in the morning, brew your favorite cup of tea, and write out your intentions for the day. It may be a short ten minute ritual that makes your space feel like a sanctuary as you intentionally and thoughtfully begin your day.
When Tiffany and Renee Tam set out to design their plus size silk robes and ‘one size fits most’ silk robes, they are inspired by a mix of the old and new. They’re inspired by vintage Asian art, but also by modern and minimal aesthetics. It’s this inspiration that they’ve incorporated into both their kimono store and their botanical kimono cardigans. Whether you’re putting up a painting or you get inspired by the handpainted designs on your silk robe, make sure you’re looking at something beautiful every day! All it takes is a little bit of beauty to inspire you and make you feel like your home is energizing you as much as it’s calming you.
Now that we are mostly past the most challenging parts of the pandemic, we are thrilled to be able to gather with friends and family again. And this is a hugely beneficial way to reinvigorate your home! Bringing people together for dinner, afternoon tea, or even a girls night wrapped up in your favorite kimono cardigans is such a simple way to infuse extra energy into your home. But remember, as much as you bring people in, it’s also just as important to take that time for yourself as well. So one way to make your home a sanctuary is to let the energy ebb and flow. Make time for connection and solitude. Give yourself the opportunity for both. Allow the people you love to invigorate you, and then step back into your cocoon to relax. This fluctuation gives your home a connection to both community love and self love, two important components of feeling good.
If you’re in San Francisco, stop into our kimono store and pick out your favorite kimono cardigans and wellness goodies to make your home a sanctuary! And check out our newest washable silk robe that is based on our in-store mural — one way to take a piece of our sanctuary home with you!