Here is some inspiration to upgrade your home, no trips to the shops necessary. With worldwide lockdowns in place in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, millions of people are quarantining at home.
As we take shelter, and spend more time than ever in our houses, we look at the best ways to stretch the space you have for your new needs.
This week we have gathered a collection of our most-loved stories that offer practical advice on everything from designing a feel-good home to a beginner’s guide to decorating as well as new tips on how to make your home a haven. Read more, ‘The Home Lockdown Guide: How To Prepare For Coronavirus Quarantine.’ We hope they help you through the crisis and offer some inspiration for making your home a nicer place to find refuge, because, you deserve it, my friends! After all, our environments impact our lives and overall wellbeing. It might take a while for everyone to warm up to spending time together, all confined to one location. But now is the time to tackle household hopes and dreams. Here are a few of our fave things you can do very quickly that won’t cost a thing to do. Read more, ‘How Coronavirus Will Change Our Homes In The Next Decade.’
Here’s How to Make Your Home a Haven
As the days stretch on at home, it’s time to think about comfort and turn your home into a warm and cosy sanctuary to help make the coming weeks more bearable. Rather than grind through the dreariness, perhaps it’s time to celebrate it — or, at the very least, surrender to it, and embrace the clutter with the right mix of candles, mirrors, blankets, and books, that can feel downright blissful.
Candles aren’t going to change the world but it’s interesting how adding a few to the dinner table can change how people interact. Try natural beeswax candles which are reputed to release negatively charged ions into the air which may keep common allergens such as dust and dander at bay.
Keep the Flow and Mood of Your Home Moving
A new book by former Elle Decoration UK editor-in-chief, Michelle Ogundehin, Happy Inside; How to Harness the Power of Home for Health and Happiness, encourages us to think of our homes as ‘a holistic organic entity’. Here are four top tips:
Clear rubbish or clutter from around your front door. Try to keep the direct line from the street to your front door completely clear, so that you can walk in or out without having to navigate a mountain of obstacles, garbage or unnecessary clutter.
Ban small square tables. They are a nightmare to shins and small children, and their very angularity cuts off space rather than encouraging flow.
Clean your windows. It’s easy to overlook that simple way of admitting more daylight, and thus living energy, into our homes.
Keep pet beds and bowls as clean as your own. Use a different scrubbing brush, though, and invest in decent grooming tools, and a lint brush so you and your home are not perpetually covered in shedded fur.
It All Starts With Good Space Planning
If one room pulls you down, the whole will be pulled down, and you with it. Lift the whole and you will rise up too.
Too often furniture is places in a room according to one need, then never touched again for years to come, even as our family requirements change so much, we forget we can shift layouts around anytime we like.
Rearrange every component of your home….what might happen if you swapped bedrooms. Or if the sofa was moved to face a window…and is the dining table really in the best spot.
Used for millenia to purify and heal, some oils are also believed to neutralise airborne bacteria. Using an essential oil burner in your home is the best way to experience the positive effects – and stick to organic oil brands.
What to Introduce
House plants: Research by NASA has revealed that they can remove up to 87 percent of air toxins within 24 hours, as well as turning carbon dioxide into oxygen.
What to Get Rid Of
If you have mould anywhere in your home, you must get rid of it and tackle the cause as a matter or urgency – it gives off airborne spores that you definitely do not want to be inhaling.
Plastic: Choose natural materials over man made wherever possible, especially with respect to food storage, as some of the chemicals used to create plastic are known to leach directly into food.
Do Not Store Things Under Furniture
Things stuffed unders sofas, those drawers that slide beneath a bed, ideally no and never. Using these spaces to store rarely touched items is to introduce stagnancy right below where you sit or sleep. Keep the air flowing freely underneath them.
Welcome and Comfort
Your home has to be a sanctuary; as soon as you walk through the door your spirits should lift. If it feels that way to you, everyone who lives there will be uplifted. Style endures because it works. Quality’s ultimate value is the serenity that comes with style.
Mood breaker or mood maker, the entry to your home, says Michelle Ogundehin in her new book, ‘Happy Inside’, is a space of great subliminal power. Why? “Because the creation of a truly supportive environment involves harnessing every possible opportunity to give yourself an energy boost. And this begins the minute the walk through the door. It is therefore the first home zone to consider in detail. As the saying goes: “Home is not a place, it is a feeling’, so how do you want to feel when you come home?”
Not Making The Bed
Decorating starts as soon as you put your two feet on the floor every morning. Making your bed every day will make your entire place feel more pulled together. People often forget to fluff the cushions – the cushions are functional, yes, but once you’ve curled up into them, bring them back to life with a good thump. A well-plumped cushion is a wonderful thing.
Tidy before you go to bed. Every evening , wash any dirty dishes or the load the dishwasher. Clear and clean tabletops ready for breakfast. Tidy away magazines and books. Close all your curtains, switch off lights. On waking your home is refreshed and ready to greet you for a new day, not still covered in the detritus of yesterday. Water plants weekly, deadhead flowers; develop good household habits, and elevate them to rituals.
Rearrange the Furniture
Use what you’ve got but shift it around—and see how uplifting it can be to enter what feels like a new room. Rearrange what you’ve got. Move paintings, tables, even china from room to room. Change the furniture arrangement or paint wood furniture the same colour. Shopping at home can be your most inexpensive resource. Get ideas from “Melissa’s Ultimate Guide to Decorating”. Never push all your furniture out to the walls – think of a doctor’s waiting room with its hard-backed chairs lined against a wall, and you get the picture. You want your seating plan to be sociable. Your space will seem larger if you have at least 5cm of space between your chairs and the walls.
Interiors are as much about ‘feel,’ as ‘looks’. Keep yours warm, and welcoming.
Physical clutter equates to emotional debris, stilfling energy and dampening enthusiasm.
Five-star hotels are a great lesson in organisation. The biggest single thing you can do to create the same feeling of order, and to improve the look of your house is to streamline what you’ve got. If you don’t use something, remove it from your life. Now find a proper place for everything that’s left. Store items where they are used, based on frequency of use. It’s the quickest (and cheapest) way to get the look (and feel) of a top hotel at home.
The 5-Minute Refresh
This is a great thing that makes your house look like a million dollars every day of isolation. Doing 5 minutes of housekeeping daily, is enough to “reset” your rooms to a neutral position over isolation, if you’re doing a lot of living in them. It prevents your pad from getting out of hand.
You Don’t Need To Spend Anything
One affordable way to refresh your rooms is to add greenery and branches. Not only is it cheap and chic, but bringing the outdoors indoors feels natural, authentic and individual – a great antidote to the anti-excess consumerism movement, too.
We’re not sure what people do in their homes that makes every chair, book and table askew, but just the simple act of aligning things back to where they belong can instantly bring order and calm to a room. Go around the house, and readjust furniture, ottomans, stools that aren’t where they go. Realign any tables (especially your coffee table) that have been nudged out of a place. Line up stacks of books or magazines neatly. Straighten crooked art pieces. Lamp shades, too. These easy ‘straightening’ movement will give a ‘feel’ and ‘look’ of order to your spaces.
Let in More Light during the Day, Dim the Lights at Night
Throw open the windows, the doors, and roll up every blind to bring as much natural light as possible during the day. Though that might seem to shed more light on a less-than-pristine interior, when you’ve got great natural light flooding inside, everything just seems fresher. At night, do the opposite. Turn off overhead lights and create dimly lit pools of warm glow from lamps and candles.
Love Your bed
Lots of things contribute to our well-being: our homes, and, of course–our sleep. As we dive into home isolation consider creating a sanctuary for slumber, a place that looks beautiful, yes, but also cultivates a state of serenity. Your bedroom should feel calming to your senses; a dark and quiet haven and a place to delight in the simple pleasures.
Open The Windows: Nature is the Original Ambien
Open your windows. There’s something about connecting with the natural world that makes the daily minutiae dissolve. People who live in the forest, in open barns, or with open windows, do not catch cold.
Make your bedroom a place of beauty and ease
If you want a tranquil room, you should keep your colour palette subtle and tonal. The more similar each colour, the ‘quieter’ the visual impact.”. Displaying items you love will meet the needs of your soul.
Table Lamps, Not Switched On
Replace globes that have expired. Fix overhead lighting that throws light on your head, and not on your table, where you need it. If you have table lamps; for goodness sake, turn them on.
Use layers when lighting a room – much more flattering.
Remember The Sense of Smell
While the things you see and touch get the most attention in our homes, scent can also play a role. Find a room scent you love. We prefer home-fragrance sprays over scented candles. Lately we have been using a couple of spritzes of a lavender and musk spray every night before we go to bed that transports us to a different place.
Here are some ways to stretch the space you have for your new needs:
Designing a Feel-Good Home: A happy house doesn’t just create itself. Think of things that put you in a good mood – your favourite song, fresh linen or sand between your toes. Your surroundings should make you feel equally good. We have a lot of small changes that are easy to make including five easy steps you can make today to create a home that supports your wellbeing instantly and boost their happiness and confidence, enhancing their productivity and relaxation.
How to Decorate For Happiness and Mental Wellbeing: What we think we want isn’t what makes us feel at home. When it comes to design, we are subject to a host of things we have no control over, and which we may not even recognise.
Improve Your Mood With These 50 Top Decorating Tips: How your style affects more than you thought. Your surroundings reflect what you think of yourself. Our series of stories on the best decorating tips of all times are among our most-clicked and enjoyed – so make sure everything you put on show speaks to you and sends a positive message to others.
10 Interior Tips To Happy Up Your Home: Find out the most important things you need. How to delight all your senses and why a home should always feel like a portrait of the people that live there. Home is the ongoing story of a person, and should be filled with things that please the eye, soothe the senses and move us in some way. It’s a time to focus on the simple things. Pieces that make you happy and you are more likely to enjoy your surroundings and – most importantly – they will work well and allow you to live a life free of complexity. Which is perhaps the greatest luxury in these increasingly chaotic times we live in.
How To Create A Serene Home: By following a few simple steps, it’s possible to calm the chaos, take control and make any house or apartment a more welcoming home. Here’s how to bring joy to your space.
What Your Home Says About You: If you live in an explosion of clutter, chances are your thoughts jump from one to the next like a moth on heat. You can’t stay focused surrounded by mess.
The 22 Biggest Cleaning Mistakes You’re Making: Conventional wisdom has it that a clean house makes for a relaxed state of mind. Here’s how to carry out a stress-free deep clean – and make your space cleaner, brighter, and better during the pandemic.
Conquer Clutter in 10 Pain-Free Steps: Make the most of your long days at home and organise it room by room to create a more relaxed and efficient environment. Don’t share your life a minute longer with anything unwanted (this means everything you no longer need, like or use). Remember your objective: to get the best out of your space and possessions.
You can’t go anywhere, so you may as well spend an afternoon tackling those cluttered shelves and closets you normally ignore.
The Organised Home: Making The Most of Your Home: If you’ve ever rediscovered a favourite vase, bowl or quilt cover that’s been been buried in the depths of your cupboards for months, you understand the importance of a well-organised house. Not only does an organised interior make for a more visually appealing (and less stress-inducing) space, but it also makes everyday living more efficient. Something we all need right now. Get on top of that mess, and get on top your life in quarantine – it will make all the difference.
The Ultimate Decluttering Guide: Good organisation is invisible, muddles stares you in the face. Here’s our all-time top tips for getting organised and keeping up morale (while you’re doing it). Don’t try to do everything at once. Organising the right way takes time and can be an investment. However, the benefits far outweigh the financial and time commitment necessary. Just like dieting and exercise, when we approach it as a shift in our lifestyle, that is when we can most successfully learn how to keep house.
50 Things You Have At Home (But Definitely Don’t Need): The pieces you can ditch now (and will never miss).
Ideas to make your home more comforting for all your family members.
Lighting a Room, Simplified: The right lighting can lift your spirits and make you more relaxed and productive. Here’s how the pros do it.
A Beginner’s Guide to Decorating Your Home: The things that make a home and affirm your sense of self worth Including the 3 golden decorating rules.
Melissa’s Ultimate Guide to Decorating: Once you’ve got all of the cleaning and organising under your belt, here’s some of our favourite decorating fixes to transform your rooms into chic expressions – whether that means a coffee table refresh, a complete bedroom makeover or rearranging your furniture.
15 Style Rules That Will Make You An Interior Guru: Don’t get upset about your interior – get a bunch of spinach.