Lie in luxury
"Quality linens will enhance your sleep in a profound way," says Joanna Goodman, owner of Au Lit Fine Linens in Toronto. "They'll last longer and become softer over time." When shopping, look for 100 percent Egyptian cotton sheets. Equally important is where the linens have been woven. Goodman first recommends sheets woven in Italy, followed by Switzerland, France and Portugal. As for thread count, aim for no less than 200. Higher than that, she says, is more of a personal preference. Two-hundred thread count sheets will be crisp and dense, while higher thread counts yield finer, silkier sheets. Our top picks: 1. Perla Embroidery flat sheet, from $280, fitted sheet, from $100, and shams, from $176 each, aulitfinelinens.com. 2. GlucksteinHome Davenport 700-thread-count sheet set, $180 for queen and $190 for king, glucksteinhome.com.
Be one with nature
Camping in your own backyard is a hot trend in summer vacationing, mostly because it's a low-stress (and cost-free) way to get all the health benefits of sleeping under the stars—fresh air, exposure to nature and by-the-fire bonding—all within shouting distance of running water and a fridge. Don't have a tent? Create a structure by draping blankets over a branch or a swing set (you can always go inside if it's too cold or it rains). Set the scene with candle lanterns, and if you don't have a fire pit, use a portable charcoal grill or a hibachi for roasting marshmallows. Then, sit back, gorge on s'mores and play all your favourite fireside games!
Preserve a piece of paradise
If you're jonesing for the tropics, a fresh terrarium is a fun, affordable and long-lasting way to bring paradise into your home, says Cory Christopher, an Edmonton designer and florist. "I've created terrariums that last up to six months," he says. Start with any clear container, adding one to two inches of polished gravel and charcoal, topped with two inches of soilless potting mix. Then, plant small tropicals, purchased in two- to four-inch pots from your local garden centre. Finally, to create humidity, cover the terrarium with a transparent lid. "You may need to remove the lid once a week if your terrarium starts to fog," says Christopher. Best of all? Plants in the home have been linked to lower anxiety, reduced stress and a more positive outlook.