Our home is the most critical facet of our wellbeing, and I felt that ever so strongly when I was down with covid for a week last week. Sure I blog about homedecor and how to make your home look aesthetically sound but truth is, there is more to it than just good looks. Beautiful visuals, huggable fabric, organic textures, soothing scents- they are not just things that make your home look good but are truly the most “desirable domestic companions”. And when done right, they do the most beautiful dance of harmony and impart a sense of wellbeing to your home. The best part however is, it doesn’t even have to cost you a fortune.
Cultivate a sense of belonging
because if you do, it will eventually mirror back at you!
It doesn’t matter how big or small your space is or how much or little you have. You can cultivate a sense of comfort in your home that instantly tells you, “you are home. you are safe”. How? Surround yourself with things you love.
You have heard this hundreds of times and seen it on instagram captions and I assure you this is truly one of the greatest learnings you will ever learn. Comfort is a deeply personal thing and a space that doesn’t speak to you; doesn’t draw you in cant give you much comfort.
So go ahead and bring out your mom’s shawl and your childhood photographs. Put things on display that are of emotional and personal value to you. Things that spark joy and make you feel cocooned in love like a bright sheer curtain or a bedside lamp that fills your down time with relaxing ambience.
A convenient, functional home is a home you’ll quickly fall in love with. For example, do you often have to get up from the bed to switch lights off? Get a bedside lamp with a switch that’ll not only let you snuggle in uninterrupted but also give your home a soft glow when you are trying to relax. Do you keep washing utensils? Get two of each. Is your feet always cold? Keep a throw or two on your sofa and bed. Do you like to read but don’t want too much lights? Get an uplighter lamp with reading attachments.
If you consciously create convenience, you will see how amazing you feel living in your space. In day to day life you won’t feel the boon they’re so seamlessly incorporated in your life. But you will understand how amazing it feels to live in a home that’s functional and convenient when you stay someplace else!
Unless that place mirrors yours.
Houseplants, herbs or even faux plants (if you totally cannot handle plants)- they all boost the vitality of your home. Organic elements establishes your connect with the nature and it is truly comforting.
House plants are a beautiful and inexpensive way to get natural, organic elements in your home. From low maintenance ones to ones that require quite a bit of time- there is an entire range of plants you can choose from and they help you in three very important ways-
A. Taking care of houseplants establishes a routine. It becomes a daily ritual that you’ll start enjoying. This will give you something to look forward to every day and that alone is very comforting
B. A bit of green around you has its own benefits. From saving you from harmful environmental toxins to calming your senses – plants gave me a whole lot of comfort during the days I was sicketyboo and I used to enjoy looking at them
C. It gives you tangible, achievable goals which is very good for your mental health. A new leaf, a new bud or fruit fills you with a sense of achievement and which is very important to feel happy.
Don’t be messy. Don’t create clutter
Our covid days looked very different to what our days generally looks like. My husband and I were both down with the flu and we truly had no timing to do anything. Our days revolved around our medicine timing and we used to get up from the bed thrice or max 5 times through out the day. It was something!
And yet, twice a day, I would arrange the bed. I would air the room, straighten the sheets, fluff the pillow, draw the curtains and keep it neat and tidy for us to sleep on. I would wash the dishes twice, I would religiously put the lights on and diffusers on. And most importantly, I would keep things where they belong once I am done using it.
As a result, though we were sick, we were not living in dumps. A clean bed used to make us feel nice everytime we used to crawl back in. And it makes a world of a difference.
Create Calm with color
What colors make you happy? Make you calm? Let your home reflect that. For me, it’s neutrals and white and no matter what trends tell me, I will stick to this color palette because it makes me calm. In general, lighter and brighter shades invite the benediction of light and light makes everything better. But if its charcoal for you- so be it!
Optimum lighting & Circadian Rhythm
Our bodies work according to many biological systems – one of which is the circadian rhythm. This particular system uses light to signal our brain to release certain chemicals and a change in the intensity of light can truly affect our circadian rhythm which requires certain periods of darkness to function properly. And the intensity of light you are around directly affects how you feel because of these neuro-chemicals.
Bright sunlight can make you feel awake, revitalized. Get as much natural light in your home as possible that makes you feel good. On the other hand, as night falls, unless you are working, have low intensity lights around you. It stabilizes your mood, makes you less irritable and helps you relax. A bright white light on the ceiling on the other hand can make you restless. It’s said that bright harsh lights triggers the “hot emotional system” that makes you opinionated, irritable.
I also think that is why most homes in the 90’s used to look so drab. Flourescent, cool lights make everything seem a bit off.
In our home, we warm low intensity, warm, indirect lights everywhere and not one single over head light. I can change the intensity of light in our room by switching off or switching on different lights and it fills our home with the most amazing glow.
Bring comfort with layers and fabric
The first two days, when I contracted covid, it felt like death. There was a constant fever of 101 and a hollow, sucking feeling in my stomach and I couldn’t walk from one room to the other. I remember sitting down on this sofa and running my hand through the faux fur thinking, “oh, atleast this feels nice”. And I am not joking one bit.
Over the days, as and on I recovered, I noted where I liked to relax the most. It was either this sofa or the bed in our bedroom. The sofa has faux fur and soft cottons. Our bedding is all linen. And I used to feel so comfortable crawling in these two spaces. I used to never sit on the day bed – probably because it lacked layers.
This somehow leads me to believe that you can create a comfortable place with a good layering of fabric. Linen on linen, faux fur for winter, soft muls for summer- these truly create a difference. The correct fabric instantly brings a smile on your face.
Create tasks for all, all of you all relax together
Not something to do with things but us. I have seen this over and over in my life that a home where one single person works all the time, there is more friction. More differences. To create a positive atmosphere in your home, have everyone share the load. That way everyone gets to do some work, and everyone gets to relax together.
When I fell sick, Rohan used to make tea, heat food, fill water and do the laundry. When he fell sick, I took the reign. Every night we used to watch a movie, have medicines together and created a good time out of a really bad one.
Now imagine if only him or I had to work. Lashing out is inevitable when the work is not shared.
If you have kids, share the load. If you have pets, share the load. And the love!
A home where there is harmony and balance, happiness will come naturally. And where there is happiness, there is comfort, belonging and great vibes! A home you’ll love to stay in- in sickness and in health!