The successful meditation spaces in the homes I visited were as unpretentious as they were distinguished by personal touches, some governed by the traditions or disciplines of the practice, and others purely by aesthetic preference. There are, however, basic tools and accoutrements that can make meditation space more usable and inviting.
Sage Meditation, based in Madison, is a pretty complete source for mail-order meditation supplies. Meditation cushions come in a variety of colors and shapes. Prices depend on the level and type of cushioning you require, and whether you prefer a removable cover that can be washed. Their online descriptions are quite detailed, but if you'd like to give the cushions a test run, Sage has a showroom at 621 N. Sherman Ave. that is open for limited hours during the week.
Knee cushions can be very helpful for beginning meditators who have not yet achieved the pretzel-like flexibility for sitting meditation, and Sage also offer devices for back support that can help with spinal alignment during sitting meditation.
Lighting can be important to a meditation space, especially on those dark winter mornings. Sage has a nice selection of small lamps. My favorite is the box luminaire lamps that sit nicely on the floor as well as a table. And though there are a variety of inexpensive gongs, chimes and singing bowls, I am always tempted by the meditation timers and Zen clocks that function as countdown timers as well as timepieces, gonging at intervals you can preset.
Shakti, 320 State St., has a good selection of yoga and meditation-related jewelry and art, along with the basics in yoga mats, blocks, blankets and straps.
Mimosa Books & Gifts, 260 W. Gilman St., is a great source for meditation accessories and gifts, particularly books, CDs and DVDs related to practice.