- Sunday Sanctuary
Your Happy Place : Home Edition
When thinking of a personal sanctuary, the first place that comes to mind for most of us is home. Yet just like everything else in our lives, our habitat needs to be nurtured to achieve its full potential. We've put together some tips on how to make the most out of the space you have, from organisation to styling, and everything in between.
Less is More
We've all heard it, we've all tried to figure out what it means, no one can claim to be entirely sure, but we continue saying it anyway. In the context of your home, peeling back all the unnecessary objects that you've hoarded over the years (think: your 8th frying pan, 6th set of leggings, yet another cable, the gang of barbie dolls in the attic) and donating or recycling them can transform your home into a much more welcoming space. Halving your clothes drawer, spring cleaning the kitchen cupboards, and clearing out whatever the heck's been in your garage for a decade will make you feel better - especially if you know those long-forgotten items have the potential to make somebody else happy by giving them away.
One of the most difficult habits to drop is the 'I can do it later' mindset, yet the simple act of putting our future-self first can become, dare we say it, revolutionary.
Start small; in the mornings, make the bed, fold your pyjamas, and check to see if you need to buy any extra food on your way home for dinner. Coming home to a tidy and organised space can do wonders for your mental health, especially once the burden of things I really should've done earlier has been removed. Conversely, a few hours before bed spend a few minutes making sure your bag is packed, your clothes are ready, and that all the little chores you want to put off 'til tomorrow night have been ticked off.
Once these smaller measures have been mastered, you can move onto actions you thought only existed in urban legend; weekend meal prep, designated laundry days, and weekly dinner planning. It might sound daunting at first, but putting in a little extra effort is honestly much less scary than spending £8 on a lukewarm pot of pasta during your lunch break.
Once you remove the 'I wish I'd done that yesterday' element from the time spent in your home, you will be grateful/smug for how peaceful you suddenly find your surroundings.
Create a Green Space
Not all of us are lucky enough to have a garden, but that doesn't mean we should miss out on the simple joy that nature can bring us. If you haven't already, prioritise creating a green space where you can unwind (whether your miniature jungle on the windowsill or your full size one outdoors), because doing so will quickly give your home its heart.
In apartments with limited space, windowsills are an excellent location for teeny-tiny gardens: a mix of cacti, succulents, and other low maintenance plants can make all the difference to a room. Dotting plants around the house on shelves and tables will cheer you up on the days you can't get outside, and it means that no space is safe from a healthy dose of nature. Not even the toilet.
If you have room to spare, place larger plants on side tables, bookshelves, and empty corners of the house to add a little character. And of course, if you are fortunate enough have a garden or balcony, make sure you utilise them to their full potential; buy a vegetable trough, try your hand at growing your own food, and show off to everyone at work that you're eating a soup made with homegrown butternut squash. If getting down and dirty (literally) isn't your thing, then simply adding a few pre-potted outdoor plants is an easy and beautiful alternative.
This suggestion depends entirely on your tastes, but the transformation of your home into a mindful space has a strong connection to its aesthetics. For the majority, neutral, earthy colours and minimal patterns evoke feelings of calm; think white, beige, cream, green, pale yellows, and blues. Choosing wood over plastic, cotton over polyester, and meaning over the material can help to shape your home into a place that feels authentic to you rather than manufactured for the benefit of others. When placing a picture on the wall, is it because the image means something to you, or because it was expensive and shows your guests what you can afford? The same goes for furniture. Just remember: a price-tag isn't always indicative of taste or comfort.
These simple suggestions on how to make your home your happy place may not apply to everyone; you may disagree with one, or all, of the points, but hopefully you've been introduced to a new way of thinking about things, even if you choose not take them on board. The most important thing to remember when styling your home is that the intention is not to make it perfect, because nothing in this world is, but to remind yourself instead that often the most beautiful and sacred things are in fact, a little wonky.