I’m trying not to count the days we are in lockdown, as I know it’s likely it will extend beyond the four weeks. It did however dawn on me today that it’s been a whole week since I’ve driven anywhere or been outside of my local area. I feel so lucky that we can still get outside and walk or bike down to our beautiful basin reserve - more often than not the sun has been shining and I find the water so cathartic - but feelings of cabin fever are starting to creep in. In my first Staying In post I touched on the subject of decluttering to help with your mental state of mind and keep feelings of anxiety at bay. Of course it’s not always easy with kids at home, and the chaos they create, but what we've found is that we can now invest more time in getting them involved in household chores. With our help, our youngest tidied and rearranged his room yesterday and it’s lovely to see how excited he is by the change. It's true what they say - change is good for the soul - and now is a great time to rearrange furniture to create a fresh feeling. We recently reconfigured our upstairs living room by moving one of the sofas and coffee tables, and it has made such a difference to the feel of the room.
Whether you have an open-plan space or separate living room, there is no set way of configuring furniture. While you will no doubt have fixed pieces, such as a wall-mounted television already wired in, or a shelving unit secured to the wall (like our String System above), work around these and try switching or moving pieces of furniture. For example if you have a sofa and two armchairs, you could switch these around. Move other pieces such as coffee and side side tables and rugs accordingly, and see how much even a simple change can invigorate the space. Other pieces I move quite regularly are our mirror (a change of reflection can be fun), our plinth and floor lamps.
In addition to reconfiguring pieces around home, it's also a good time to be resourceful. As a stylist in NZ (where we are so far from the rest of the world), this comes with the territory and there has been many times where I've had to think outside the box because I haven't been able to source what I want for home or a shoot. After finally choosing a side table for our downstairs living room and waiting patiently through the long lead time (that has been especially long due to the pandemic), I was excited to hear today that it has arrived in NZ but must be held in the warehouse until couriers are safe to transport non-essential items. In the meantime I've improvised by stacking a couple of my extra-large cushions and I have to say, it's working pretty well.
On a smaller scale, shelves are a great place to while away the time with some rearranging. Perfect for displaying books, flowers, ceramics and favourite objects, I find the best way to approach restyling of shelves is to take everything off, give them a good clean and then start from scratch. Get creative and display pieces in different ways, such as books facing out to showcase beautiful covers, or arranged according to colour. Change out your dried flowers or forage some simple branches from outside and play around with different groupings to create a nice balance of differing heights, tones and textures. It's also a good way to declutter, and more often than not I end up culling a few things to give to hospice, family or friends. Otherwise they are put in the 'props cupboard' in our garage to bring out when I'm doing another round of rearranging. Collecting pieces slowly, over time, means that you'll want to hold on to them for as long as possible.
Styling and photography by Michelle Halford/TDC
For more Staying In posts, take a look here and here.
#AtHome #Homewares #Sofas #InteriorStyling #CoffeeTables