In these uncertain and worrying times home has become our place of refuge and how welcoming and comfortable it is, is so much more important! How are you spending your time at home? Have you worked out a certain routine for yourself? What are your home comforts?
What I’ve been trying to teach myself recently is to focus on the now more and make the best of the situation I am in. And to be honest, to have a chance to spend more time at home is not such a bad prospect.
I generally love pottering around the house and working in the garden (I am very grateful I have got one though, and I know not everyone has this luxury right now. It has never been used as much as in the last couple of weeks), so this is not a difficult task. But like never before certain simple home comforts can make a huge difference on your quality of life. Below are a few ideas I have come up with to help brighten my days and maybe yours too.
One of the most important things in my home environment that can instantly have a calming effect is seeing some greenery around. Particularly at this time of year, when the changes in nature happen so quickly and you can see more and more leaves and buds opening up almost overnight, I like keeping curtains and blinds open to let in more light and pastel green colours of the fresh spring foliage. I feel it creates more space and air in the room.
For the plants inside the house I personally love Ferm Living plant boxes for their understated simplicity that at the same time add a lot of interest due to a multitude of beautiful dusky colours and contemporary shapes.
One of my favourite ones and the one I’ve been after for a while is a large one on a stand. But the smaller windowsill box is also a great way to display herbs or seedlings in a neat way, which is what I am thinking of doing with my young tomato plants.
Set up a home office
Home workspace has become essential overnight and I have a feeling flexible working and work from home is here to stay and become more popular even after the lockdown is over, which would be a very welcome thing for many, certainly for me.
One necessity for every desk which can also add style to your work space is a desk lamp. Although there are many options I really like, in my opinion nothing can beat a classic which is Anglepoise, especially as now they come in such a large variety of models and colours. How about Edition Four – the latest lighting collaboration British designer Paul Smith?
A cosy throw
This lightweight waffle throw by Anthropology is perfect for the coming warmer months and the colour will go with pretty much any decor.
Something for the kids
One of the online retailers that I love to visit when shopping for the kids is smallable.com. They sell the most adorable brands that make me feel like a little child myself, such as Meri Meri and Numero 74.
Garbo&friends is another new favourite I discovered on Smallable – a distinctly Scandinavian brand that makes luxurious linen and high-quality baby care products. I have been eyeing this whimsically patterned blanket for a while and it looks like a wonderful addition to a child’s room to make them feel cosy and comforted at bedtime.
Something for leisurely family dinners
Speaking to my friends it became apparent that one activity people are indulging the most while staying at home all day is cooking – trying out new recipes, taking online cookery classes, baking with kids, trying to make your own sourdough starter (that’s me).
I love this serving platter that was handcrafted by artisan makers in South Africa. Exclusive to The Conran Shop it was created in collaboration with artisan tableware brand Prêt-à-Pot. I am thinking it will be a great addition to a family dinner table.
In the garden
The weather has been amazing recently, which makes it so much more bearable being housebound for those with a garden. Hopefully as time goes by evenings will be getting warmer too. One of my favourite items to have around the house but also very useful in the garden is a cordless lamp (See my recent post with an extensive range of cordless lamps currently available on the market link to my post about cordless lamps).
There are so many great designs but this one attracted my attention because of its’ more than reasonable price.
Designed by Ionna Vautrin, the Clover light is very contemporary and can be suspended everywhere. It can be recharged (2h) through its USB port. Then, it works independently for 5 to 7 hours.
Something to cheer you up
In this time of economic uncertainty being prudent with your money is a clever thing to do. I have also started to realise that there aren’t that many things that we actually need, we can get by on a lot less. But sometimes, especially in difficult or stressful circumstances we just need something to cheer us up and make us feel a bit better. In this situation I think I would make an exception for one item that I have on my wish list.
For me one of the latest discoveries was the work of illustrator and ceramicist Laura Carlin on thenewcraftsmen.com. Look at these tiles that she has painted!
A contemporary take on iconic Delftware, the tiles are illustrated with scenes of everyday London in the traditional ‘Delft blue’ colour way, and combine Laura’s typical balance of naivety and emotional astuteness. The illustrations have been hand-painted and then digitally printed onto white ceramic tiles, from the proud supplier of tiles to many of the London Underground stations.
A good book
I hope that even if you have small children in the house, you still get a moment to indulge in a bit of reading. One of the simple tips I discovered and started applying recently with great success is to read about 10 pages every morning before you even reach for your mobile phone. In this way you will read at least a book a month!
A book by Michelle Ogundehin, Happy Inside: How to harness the power of home for health and happiness, is on my reading list. It is coming out later this month. Happy Inside, her first book, shares her philosophy on the link between home and wellbeing, the confluence of 20 years of editing interiors magazines, her early training as an architect, and her personal study of colour psychology, meditation and mindfulness.
The book focuses on these simple steps to wellbeing and happiness:
- Understand the importance of play
- Find balance by creating the perfect palette
- Discover the fast track to great sleep
- Curate and contain your belongings in pursuit of calm
- Understand that home is not a place, but a feeling
So this is my top eight items for more comfortable and comforting lockdown time. Please do share your ideas and essentials that brighten up your days at home, I will be very interested to know.
Stay safe everyone!
For more inspiration also read: