Find Your Space
Your Home Tells Your Story
Connecting with others is something we USED TO take for granted. While quarantine video dance parties were fun for a second, there is something about in-person human energy that makes all the difference. Look around. If you are one of those people locked in your home with family, then man o' man, you've got it made. Sick of that crew, are you?
Time to try something new. Create spaces in your home that are made for warm connection. A large coffee table with comfy pillows on the floor makes a great game table. Add some yummy snacks and there you go. Love coffee? A dedicated coffee bar in an unused corner is all the rage. Then hang out with a cup of java, just the two of you.
Don't forget the patio. A well designed outdoor space with a fire pit (Fall) or water feature (Summer) will draw the family together. Create intimate seating areas to encourage deep conversations. Set the stage for connecting with those you love. It is the greatest gift of all.
You just got home from a work day you don't want to talk about. Your head is spinning and teeth are gritting. Your arrival at home can go one of two ways:
1. Stuff everywhere. You still can't find that bill that is now probably late. You trip over your workout gear, again. Starving, but kitchen is a disaster, so you order in chinese, again. Flop on sofa. Ouch! Oh, there's the missing hairbrush. Close your eyes, but only feel more agitated. Ugh.
2. Home is your sanctuary and priority. Feeling annoyed from work, but as soon as that door shuts behind you, it's a world away. You grab the mail in the basket, and mmm, smell your favorite citrus candle sitting next to it. First things first, change quickly to workout clothes stored efficiently in organized closet and go for a run to let off remaining steam. Then dinner to be enjoyed at your bistro table with a view so pretty, it reminds you why you bought this home in the first place. Deep breath and smiles! Ahhh.
Do you identify with scenario 1 or 2? Home is a place to unwind and relax. There is scientific & medical proof that having well designed, functional and beautiful surroundings contribute to mental and physical wellness. Make home a priority and then close that door behind you.
OMG. Look. At. That. Face.
It says "I love you and I'm sorry you didn't take me out in time, so I peed on your favorite area rug, again. Literally not my fault, human. But I'm so darn cute, you'll keep loving me." Yes, that is the scenario I have lived every day for 26 years (2 dogs, Kiwi pictured above with guilty looking face). Many area rugs later, I ask myself, how could humans live with pets without sacrificing style at home?
1. OFFER PETS ONLY A PART OF HOME TO LIVE
Installing a retractable gate keeps Fido from cozying up on your fancy designer living room sofa, reserved especially for eyes only. (Why do we do that anyways?)
2. RUGS - CHOOSE NYLON OR WASHABLE
Choose manmade rugs made of nylon (never wool), which clean up pretty well. Purchase a carpet cleaner to hit spots as needed, or reserve a large part of your income for a professional cleaner. Quality rugs clean better than cheap. Conundrum. Also, there are great rugs you can throw in the washer. My fav is the most stylish Lorena Canals. Great for kiddie spills too.
3. COVER YOUR FURNITURE
Fur everywhere? Eww. Like washable rugs, you can also find stylish washable slipcovers to protect your furniture. (another blog post will go deeper into this, but for now look at Pottery Barn)
4. BRUSH YOUR BABY
Embrace your grooming responsibilities. Keep lint rollers and dog brushes tucked away in each room in a tidy basket or drawer. I recommend the FURminator. Just be careful not to shave Fido too closely. Grrrr. Watch TV and brush.
5. WIPE PAWS
Speaking of responsibilities, leave Zwipes at the door to wipe off Miss Fluffy's pet paws and bath Mr. Meow regularly. If they don't come back indoors with icky paws, your job is 1/2 done.
Now go take Tiny for a walk. She's sweetly waiting with those little doll eyes!
You are climbing the walls. Only so many glasses of wine can help manage the stress with your home functioning as school, office, date night, family time, spa and day care. The loo has become your private getaway (yeah, we know). It feels like you are living inside a fictional dystopian novel. We get it.
What can be done to make your muddled mayhem into a harmonious haven? Home has to work harder these days, so we have to be clever. Here are some simple tricks:
1. CARVE OUT SPACE
You have unused spaces that normally, you would not delegate in regular times, but look around. Under your stairs makes a great play area for kids (of various ages) that feels like a cozy tent. Your unused dining room becomes a homeschool, supplying a giant sized desk. The guest room gets a makeover as your office-at-home as you post office hours outside the door, including breaks you will take, so everyone knows when they can access your time (and when they can't).
2. ONLY USE ROOMS AS DESIGNATED
Don't use your kitchen table to work or your bedroom as a family TV space. It will feel better to go to bed when you haven't been in that room all day.
3. BRING THE OUTSIDE IN
It has been scientifically proven that being in nature provides stress relief and feeling of calmness. Biophilic Design is the expertise of bringing in nature to improve your physical and mental health into interior spaces. You can do this yourself by cutting plants in your garden to make a nice arrangement. Adding colors of nature and natural materials such as a jute rug will also help make your space feel calm.
4. LATE NIGHT DATE NIGHT
Once a week, after kids are tucked in bed, plan an indoor "outing". Get dressed up, plan a special meal with fancy table settings and pop the good vino! After dinner, make popcorn and break out the secret stash of chocolate for the (living room) movie theatre.
Now is the time to use those candles collecting dust on your shelves. Light candles in the bath to give a feeling of a private sanctuary. Add music, a good book.
"What quarantine? I LOVE being at home."