I am a person who needs time alone to sort out his thoughts, and living in a busy house interferes with my ability to think. As a result, I have carved out a few places in my home that I use for thinking and writing.
My default zone for creativity is my oft-messy desk, which is in easy reach of reference texts and office supplies. I use this space for my work, as well as for most of my writing.
This space, though, is within earshot of most of the happy chaos that is the Brooks household, and I am doomed to frustration if I attempt to use my work area for heavy reading or deeper thinking. For these times I usually sit in a chair on my front porch, where I can isolate myself from most of the disruptive noise of my children.
When even the front porch provides an insufficient level of isolation, I turn to a small hosta garden in my backyard that surrounds a 4'x 6' pond. This is where I go to meditate, or to cool off after a heated battle with a headstrong teen who knows so much more than I ever will. In cooler months I fire up the outdoor fireplace and burn a few branches, embers floating upward as I watch the heat waves shimmer in the cool air.
In warmer months I sit and watch the birds, listen to the water in the pond as fish dart about, and try to connect with nature in a few dozen square yards of space I have created. While not a cure-all for either teen agnst or urban stress, this garden provides me with a physical space that allows me to momentarily escape my earthly burdens.
Not exactly Walden, but this is what I have, and my life is markedly better because of the quiet spaces I have available.