The quest for a calming, private space can feel like an impossible dream, particularly for urban apartment dwellers or those who share tight living quarters and a frenetic town. How to shut off the world to grab some privacy and nourishing rest to help maintain emotional and mental balance, can be an all-important challenge.

I like the low-tech simplicity of a slung cloth to do the job… no nails, screws or fancy tools required. DIY on the real down-low. The following solutions vary widely, but in every case, simplicity rules.

A rustic Greek island sleeping/lounging area is sectioned off from the main room by natural cotton hooked over a swaying pipe creating a cool, dark space for resting, talking, and taking refuge from the meltami winds (above).

Rough wool blankets slung on a wooden lath shroud this cozy bed space blocking wintry drafts.

Scandinavia Living Design, photo Kari Haavisto

A bed becomes a private niche by hanging natural cotton on hoops from a black, iron frame suspended from sisal rope. Beautiful simplicity at negligible cost.

Slung 4
Textile Style: Decorating with Antique and Exotic Fabrics; photo Andrew Wood

Even a mosquito net, artfully strung over a bed, can create a private space for resting, sleeping, or lovemaking. (I bought one of these online and love it on my Ikea bed.

Isabella Gianneschi
Isabella Gianneschi

Most of these images from my archive of cool home design ideas employ decidedly DIY methods, repurposing curtain rods, hollow metal tubes, rope and wood, even sliding curtain panels, as was done below.

As summer approaches, what can you do to help induce sweet rest at your house?

—Susan Dworski

Top photo: Greek Style; second photo: Scandinavia Living Design; third photo, Textile Style; fourth photo: Isabella Gianneschi; bottom photo: My Scandinavian Home

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