Zen Den

“Living downtown Portland, my space is…compact,” says Katherine Cynewski. “My living room is also my office and my yoga space.”

With space at a premium in her downtown Portland home, Katherine Cynewski is thoughtful about everything in it. A yoga instructor who also runs a business from her home, her bright and uncluttered family room is also her office, her yoga space and a place to unwind with Winston, her French bulldog (who has a sweet little space of his own). Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

Cynewski, 29, is a certified yoga instructor who runs her wellness events company, Be Well Events, from her home. She has carefully chosen pieces for her living area. “I tried to keep as much open space as I could in the middle of the room to have space for my yoga practice.” With that goal in mind, she says, “things just sort of came together.”

“This room is filled with all the things I love.”

The big pieces of furniture are cream colored with walls just a shade or two darker. Cynewski says, “The whitewashed look is my favorite.” The bright furniture combined with natural light provides a sense of spaciousness in an area that could otherwise feel small. She opts for floating shelves by her work space and a ladder shelf propped up against the wall to reduce the amount of floorspace consumed by furniture. She even created a sweet little den for her French bulldog, Winston.

Photo by Lauryn Hottinger

“This room is filled with all the things I love: travel, my favorite books, daily inspiration, plants and pretty things that make it my unique space,” says Cynewski. And while she is a huge fan of great finds from places like HomeGoods or Urban Outfitters, evidence of her travels is all around. A white poof for meditation came from her trip to Morocco; elephant figurines and decorative plates she bought while in Thailand and India; and her brother gifted her the authentic stress god statue from Belize.

“As a business owner and yoga instructor, it is important for me to feel grounded and relaxed, which can be challenging as I’m usually running in a thousand different directions,” says Cynewski. “This space is filled with things that I find beautiful and instantly draws me to a more balanced place mentally.”

Emma Bouthillette authored “A Brief History of Biddeford,” about her hometown. She is a yoga instructor and a corgi mom. (emmabouthillette.com)

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