2020 has been the year of flexibility, compromise, and uncertainty. As we’ve adapted our routines, social life, and work environments, all these changes have undoubtedly taken a toll on our personal wellbeing. So much forced change is hard for anyone; thus, we must be gentle with ourselves and prioritize our safety, health, and mental health in unprecedented ways.
What if we took care of our homes the same way we take care of our bodies? We spend so much time in them, why not make them a place that brings joy, comfort, and inspiration?
This VALENTINE'S DAY, I encourage you to give some love to your home - the space that has kept you safe and warm throughout the pandemic and cold winter. Make some improvements in those spaces that you have occupied for so many hours - make it a form of self love! Home improvements can be expensive and overwhelming to do on your own, but below are several affordable ways to lighten up and upgrade your home.
CANDLES, INCENSE & FRAGRANCES
Scents are one of the most powerful tools to create comfort in our homes. Our minds have a powerful connection between scent and memory, which is why a certain smell can trigger an intense memory or emotion. Miss your parents house? Find a home fragrance like this refillable one from Le Labo, or a candle that reminds you of the smell of their linens. Miss your grandmother’s baking? Find an apple pie candle and emulate the aromas that you cherish so dearly. Bring the memories to your home as a way to re-live them - without putting our loved ones at risk. If you're not into perfumed scents, burning incense has several benefits, from purifying your air and killing pathogens to calming nerves - in fact, some studies reveal antidepressant and anti inflammatory powers of incense. Smudging, or burning sage, also has many benefits; easing anxiety and promoting sleep, eliminating negative energy and pathogens in the air, and of course, the soothing aroma. The smells we surround ourselves with have the power to change our mood.
In addition to green houseplants, you can add some color and life to your home with floral elements. Click here to browse some options. Buy yourself some flowers this Valentine’s day - select a bouquet that brings you joy, perhaps filled with your favorite flowers. If you live with a partner, maybe you can have a bouquet making session that will lift the energy of your home. Having fresh flowers and/or potted plants in your home is linked to an increase in positive energy. The colors and scents of flowers have been said to boost energy, improve memory, and enhance creativity. Additionally, keeping flowers in your home during winter months helps keep the air fresh - a lack of humidity breeds infection, so some extra moisture helps with dry skin, dry throat and dry cough (Homestead at Hamilton).
POTTERY AND SCULPTURES
Physical forms of art such as pottery and sculptures capture moments of life in three dimensional forms and can be a wonderful way to augment your art collection. Pottery has been around for thousands of years following the discovery of clay. Including a couple pieces in your home is both a way to connect to the century old art form as well as admire a beautifully crafted bowl, vase, or whatever it may be. Likewise, sculptures are a great way to express your style and to display art forms that fit your personality (Homedit). Sculptures aren’t limited to the extensive carvings by Michaelangelo - many different styles of these pieces come in all shapes and sizes. Vintage and second-hand shops are a wonderful place to find some pottery and sculptures to fill your home with emotions, shapes, and expressions of yourself. If you're an admirer of female body shapes, check out Le Minou studio - our newest favorite.
COFFEE TABLE BOOKS
Books are yet another way to illuminate your interests and passions within your home. Having a few coffee table books that you or your guests can open up and flip through in a moment of down time can invoke inspiration, curiosity, and new information. I highly recommend Athena Calderone's Live Beautiful.
ART AND WALL DECOR
One of the most wonderful things about indoor spaces is that they are so versatile and transformative. As an interior designer and visual artist it’s crucial for me to walk into a room and feel the positive energy - whether that comes from seeing photos of loved ones, art pieces that help ground me, or vintage furniture I’m proud of discovering. Art has the power to invoke certain feelings, ideas, and sensations - fill your home with prints and pieces that provide positive feelings and inspiration for you. Prints of a favorite animal, place, or scenery can transform your mind when you see it, reminding you of your favorite things. On top of that, hanging up photos of dreams and aspirations is proven to move you closer to achieving those dreams. What images do you want on your walls? Click here to browse some options on the Poster Club.
When we dedicate time and energy to perfecting a space we occupy regularly, the results and benefits often surprise us. Give some love to your space - make it cozy and warm because in turn, putting love into your home is giving love to yourself. Every mindful investment into your home will return as a boost your mental well-being. After all, home is where the heart is.