My Zen Zone
"I love it. It's so...me."
Those were the first words out of Linda Linton's mouth when she saw the just-for-her relaxation zone created by Good Housekeeping and HomeGoods. Truly, if anyone needed a mom cave — "where the woman who nurtures everyone can nurture herself," as HomeGoods, which coined the term, puts it — it's Linda. In the last five years, this customer service manager from Solvang, CA, has buried a 22-year-old son ("I think about Chad every day," she says), given up her master bedroom to make space for husband Jeff's parents (mother-in-law Shirley has Alzheimer's disease), lost her own mom, and seen her 21-year-old son, Cody, serve as a Marine in Afghanistan. In her "spare" time? Linda caters events for local folks free of charge, or "for a giving, not a living," as pal Chrystine Urban wrote in the entry that clinched her friend's selection as the prizewinner.
Given all Linda had been through, GH's decorating challenge seemed relatively minor: Transform a light-starved, ceramic-tiled 10' by 17' space off of Linda and Jeff's bedroom into a stress-free sanctuary. Linda told us what she likes — earth tones, script motifs, and inspiring quotes — and we delivered, thanks to $5,000 in HomeGoods gift cards and an assist from her daughter-in-law, Megan. We also gave her what she hadn't known she wanted: a color palette as inspired by sea and sky as by terra firma (the walls are courtesy of GH Seal holder Olympic Paint); multiple lamps, a decorative mirror, and sheer window coverings to lighten things up; and a cushy, cut-to-fit carpet from Shaw Floors. "I so enjoyed the room last night," Linda reported after our redo. "I was focusing on my life, and people like you who love to give others joy, and how that outweighs the sad things." Hey, Linda — back at ya.
Linda's Mom Cave Wish List
A comfy reading chair, spots for friends and family to hang out, and room to use her Wii Fit.
Multiple lamps, a decorative mirror, and sheer window coverings brightened the room, and a peaceful color palette helped create a stress-free sanctuary.
The "Goods" Stuff
Here, highlights of the HomeGoods haul:
Linda loved this script-print armchair. Paired with a patterned ottoman in similar neutrals, plus well-placed color pops, it makes a real statement nestled up to new bedroom-cordoning drapes.
Mix it up
Odd-couple pillows — one a fun mix of hues and textures, the other a delicate pastel — add visual variety to a cream recliner.
A driftwood-style console and a shapely sea glass-inspired lamp fit the California vibe perfectly.
Have a Little Faith
Linda's favorite line of Scripture, from Philippians — hand-painted by Megan, her son Chris's wife — shines in this sleek frame.
How to Be a (Mom) Cave Woman
Stake Your Claim. Pick an out-of-the-way spot, if possible — not a distraction-laden living room corner or a hard-to-split-up space like your bedroom.
Think Happy Thoughts. Specifically, consider colors that make you feel amazing (peruse your closet for favorite clothes, flip through old photos, take a walk outside), and use them to create your cave's basic palette. (Try Olympic's free ColorClix app for instant paint picks; olympic.com.)
Know Thyself. What do you dream of doing in here? How will you really relax? Start small with, say, a comfy chaise or a nook for knitting. It's better to add later than to overstuff the space — or to overspend.