With so many of us either spending extended time practising social distancing in our homes or coming home after working increasingly long shifts, it’s more important than ever to appreciate what we have and ensure that we rediscover the simple comforts of being at home. The Pfeiffer Design Team are currently all working from home, and as interior designers, our homes mean the world to us. They are our sanctuary and retreat from the world and the place that reflects most truly who we are. Building a relaxing space in which to feel at home, increase productivity and even keep up with our social lives is now more important than ever.
Our home environments have a tangible effect on general health and wellbeing, so even though we’re all having to reduce our horizons temporarily, we can still find joy in life’s simplest of measures. Here are our top tips for staying healthy, happy and motivated.
Work from Home
With so many of us being unexpectedly thrown into WFH, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your home functions as practically as possible as somewhere that you can be productive. This doesn’t have to mean having a dedicated home office, which few of us are lucky enough to have space for. Carving out a temporary space to work is essential in order to be able to start and end your workday on a high. Whether that means setting up your laptop at the dining room or kitchen table, moving furniture around to accommodate a new desk space in a corner of the living room, or even utilising your dressing or vanity table in your bedroom – just make it work, however, you can. It may mean a temporary rearrange of your home and life, but trust us, you’ll benefit from not working from your bed in the long run!
Whilst you’ve carved out your designated work area, why not use the space to get creative in your downtime? We’ve all got those long-lost passions we mean to get back to. Dig out those oil paints, dust off that old sketchbook, get into journaling, or learn a new skill like crocheting or cross-stitch – YouTube is a wealth of information and has a video out there for every possible new skill you could ever wish to learn. If all this seems too much, why not take advantage of our free remote interior design consolation service – let’s work together to make your home somewhere you really want to spend time.
Bring the Outside In
Houseplants add colour and life into a home and are a relatively cheap and easy way to update a space without structural changes or the need for new furniture. In addition, there is scientific evidence to suggest that introducing plants into your living space is actually good for you! Houseplants reduce atmospheric pollution (including allergy-inducing dust) and even reduce blood pressure, increase productivity and lower stress levels. A well-cared-for and healthy plant improves your indoor home life tenfold, filtering out pollutants and helping to clean the air you breathe every day. Caring for and nurturing plants also has a therapeutic effect; surrounding yourself with plants you’ve helped grow and watched evolve is incredibly satisfying, helping to promote positive mental health and an increased sense of wellbeing. In times where our time spent outdoors is limited, it’s more important than ever to bring the outside in and engage with nature within your home. Don’t forget, too, that the simple act of throwing open your window and doors and letting the fresh air and sunlight stream in will make a world of difference to your mood, especially now that the spring air is feeling warmer.
Now is not the time to save for best. Bring out the special tea set, use the ‘fancy guest’ towels a la Monica Geller and enjoy every small visual pleasure within the home. Make the most of every meal, or at least your dinnertime, by laying the table fully before you sit down to eat, lighting candles, using those linen napkins and appreciating the little things. Serve and present food using beautiful bowls, take the time to make a filter coffee, style up a breakfast tray with a single-stemmed flower and a jug of orange juice or simply put together a table full of popcorn and snacks in individual bowls to eat while watching a film. Why not use the time to rearrange your bookshelves and post that perfect #shelfie – or run a bubble bath, using all your favourite and most expensive products, and enjoy a mug of hot chocolate. Use the extra time to really enjoy all the things you usually save for best. Go on, treat yourself.
Stay in Touch
There is no reason to let your social life go to ruin throughout this period of social distancing! Our designers are utilising online conferencing software Zoom to keep in touch with each other throughout this period, but it can also be used to stay in touch with friends in a more informal way. House Party is another app that’s seeing roaring success in recent weeks – use it to keep up those weekly wine dates with the girls, or family catch-ups which now include games and filters. There’s absolutely no reason to be lonely, even if you are self-isolating alone!
Similarly, why not utilize technology to stay on top of your fitness regime? With the wealth of videos already on YouTube, plus studios live-streaming classes, Instagram Live workouts, Class Pass running virtual classes, and the ever-popular Joe Wicks workouts available for the whole family, there really is no excuse. Don’t have dumbbells? Use tinned beans. Don’t have a yoga mat? A folded-up towel will do just fine. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can even find your favourite retro workouts on YouTube – Buns of Steel, Jane Fonda’s Original Workout, Tai Bo and Cindy Crawford’s Shape Your Body are all there. Why not call your friends on FaceTime and coordinate a retro workout session?
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