This prolonged period of self-isolation is an opportunity for all of us to consider our home environments and whether they evoke feelings of pride and joy or shame and despair. Before lockdown we typically spent 90% of our lives inside, whether at home, at work and the spaces in-between. Now that we are spending more time in our homes, we have the capacity to really engage with our living environments and make improvements.
We become so familiar with our home environment that we never really give it a second thought. Inherited items of furniture and ornaments that are bought as well-meaning gifts are moved from home to home and although they may still serve a purpose they may not work in their new surroundings.
There are many different solutions to changing your home environment to suit a range of budgets and needs. A great way to start is to strip away all the things that no longer enhance your life or give you pleasure. The first step is to de-clutter those cupboards and drawers, this can have an empowering effect on your mental well-being. If this feels like an overwhelming task, start small; do one drawer at a time, it doesn’t all have to be done in one go. It’s really important that this isn’t seen as an onerous task but should be something that you take your time over and enjoy. You might come across an item that sparks a fond memory, which you may end up finding a creative way to display.
Rearranging your furniture can also give you a fresh perspective and help you decide if you really need that new sofa or if the one you currently have works perfectly well and would benefit from being re-upholstered in a fabric that brings you joy. Or maybe you feel that you have too much furniture and by donating an armchair or sideboard to charity you can free up some space and make your room feel more spacious.
Print off some photographs stored on your phone or computer or discovering old photos that have been hidden in a drawer and placing them in frames to hang on a wall can bring back fond memories and create an interesting feature. Colour can be added with new cushions or rug and plants brighten up a dull space and add texture. Or if you’re feeling adventurous why not paint a wall or two in your favourite colour? The aim is to experiment & have some fun!
Lighting is another key factor in creating positive emotions within your home. To create a sense of peace and calm in your interior then warm, ambient lighting is essential. An easy way to create an interesting and exciting atmosphere with light during lockdown is to source some table lamps, floor lamps or fairy lights to create pockets of indirect lighting. Placing candles around a room also provides a lovely, cosy atmosphere in the evenings too.
If you want to make bigger changes but don’t know where to start, then speak to an interior designer to see how they can help. Interior designers bring a fresh perspective to your home and can help with a vast range of tasks from redecorating your living room to a complete re-design and spatial planning of your home.
At Slightly Quirky we understand that everyone is unique, and our homes should be a reflection of our personalities as well as being practical for our everyday (and evening!) needs. So, our first task is to get a really good understanding of our client’s behaviour within their home as well as who they are and why they want to make these changes. The initial meeting between designer & client is fundamental to achieve a successful outcome. Taking time to really reflect on who lives in your home, what their wants and needs are and to connect with how you want to feel in your newly designed space is vital. Do you want bright, open, fresh spaces that evoke a feeling of openness and serenity? Or do you hanker after a darker, cosy, warm environment that makes you feel grounded and safe? Are you utilising all of the spaces in your home or are there area’s that aren’t serving their full potential?
Our homes are very personal to us and impact on our wellbeing in many different ways. In these unsettling times our homes need to be a place where we feel happy, where we can rest and play and most importantly where we can be ourselves. Maybe the best advice comes from author Cecelia Ahern who once said, “home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling”. Photographs by Anna Stathaki