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THE DESIGN CHASER

Staying In | Simple Ways to Enhance your Home Room by Room

3.19.2020

It's been a strange week adjusting to a new normal and navigating our way through this time of uncertainty. I know that many of you will be practising social distancing and working from home if possible, and others will be in full scale lockdown, juggling work with home-schooling of kids. I've been taking it one day at a time, and thinking a lot about my platform and ways I can help, even in some small way. I hope that, despite everything that is happening, TDC can be a place for you to visit, to lighten your load, and feel a sense of calm. If there is something in particular you would like to see more of right now, please do let me know.


In light of the current situation, where many have no choice but to stay home, I wanted to round up some simple ways to make your home as appealing and as comfortable as possible. I've broken it down room by room, with a focus on making the most of your current space. If you are able to treat yourself to some online shopping, be sure to support local businesses, as they need all the help they can get right now. 

— Kitchen —

As the hub of the home, the kitchen is a place we we often congregate as a family. Since I've been staying at home more, I find myself gravitating towards the kitchen, thinking more about meal times, and enjoying my Nespresso coffee making ritual more than ever. Why not try out a new recipe or some baking? Making an extra effort to keep the bench clutter free, I'm planning on using this time to clean out the pantry, cupboards and drawers. Now is a great time to declutter and get organised (in any area of the home). You could start a herb garden or pick some flowers from the garden to bring inside. Nothing brightens up a kitchen more than fresh flowers. If you don't have a garden, think about treating yourself to a bunch from a local delivery company. The flowers on our kitchen benchtop are from Bloom Social, who offer the convenience of bloom delivery subscriptions.

  

— Living Room —

Whether you're working from home with your laptop, watching Netflix or have your nose in a book, it's inevitable that you'll be spending more time on the sofa, so it makes sense to make it as comfy as possible. While you may not be able to invest in a brand new sofa, cushions and throws are an easy way of adding comfort, texture and cosiness. The photo below was from a recent collaboration with Book Depository where I got to choose a couple of beautiful design books that had been on my wish list. Now is a great time to pick up that book you've been meaning to read, or why not treat yourself to a beautiful new coffee table book? You'll find some great ideas here and here


You may remember this Home Styling Post on Creating Sensory Spaces - a great one to revisit right now. Scented candles are one of my favourite sensory elements, as are flowers. Instead of throwing away dead flowers, let them dry out. It's fun experimenting with different varieties and you'll be surprised how beautiful they can turn out. My red roses, shown below, transformed into a beautiful deep hue. 


— Dining Room —

Being open plan, our dining room is a casual affair where we sit down for dinner every evening as a family. But it can quickly become a gathering ground for kids activities, work paraphernalia and styling props. From what I hear, this is a common theme for those who work from home. Whether your dining area is similar to ours, or a more formal space, try to keep your space clutter-free and spruce it up with some table top pieces such as a beautiful centre piece, candle holders or flowers. If you have a space that opens to the outside (it could be your kitchen, living room or even bedroom), open the doors - weather permitting - and let the light in as much as possible.


— Bedroom —

A place where we retreat at the end of the day, I recommend creating a tranquil bedroom space. For me, that means pared back simplicity with a neutral palette. Fresh bedlinen can transform the room and as I've said many times before, linen bedding is my go-to. Making the bed everyday is another good habit to get into while being at home so much! Add some personal touches to your bedside such as flowers in a textural ceramic vase, or a scented candle.


— Workspace —

I'm lucky in that I already work from home, so have my own office. However that wasn't always the case, and I remember the days of moving from the sofa to the dining table to the bedroom with my laptop in tow! If you don't have your own dedicated space, you may need to get creative. Is there an unused nook where you can set up a makeshift desk? Or what about something more permanent? Now is a great time to try out a DIY project, and even after you return to work, a home office nook is so handy to have long-term. If that's not possible and you find yourself at the dining table, carve out your own space and make it as functional as possible. My office is compact, but I love keeping the area tidy and surrounding myself with favourite objects and personal touches.


A fantastic local concept that came across my desk today is SheShed, a range of specialised wooden cabins that suit a wide range of uses, including a home office. A great option for those working from home in the coming months, they can be converted into other uses (such as a teenage space) at a later date if the need to work from home changes. Quick to build, without a huge outlay of funds, SheShed offers free freight in NZ and doesn’t require a council permit. Find out more here. 


— Laundry —

I'm not embarrassed to admit that for me, one perk of working from home is being able to keep on top of the washing! While it's not my favourite past time, I do find that having a tidy and functional laundry space makes it feel like much less of a chore. Another great DIY project to tackle right now, you can read more about our laundry makeover here


Styling and photography by Michelle Halford/TDC

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