There’s no denying the fact that we’ve all been spending more time (like, a LOT more time) at home lately. It’s enough to make anyone feel inspired to improve their living space, be that painting your bathroom, Kon Mari-ing your sock drawer or building a backyard garden. But if you’ve already done all of that, what else can you do to bring more joy to your home?
“It’s crucial to make sure our homes and living spaces make us feel good, rather than like they’re confining us,” says Otherland CEO and Co-Founder Abigail Cook Stone. “It’s all about curating what I like to call ‘interiential’—a combination of interior and experiential—moments during a time when our homes have taken on so many new roles,” she says. Ahead, Stone shares easy ways you can create these moments in every area in your home—yes, even if it’s a tiny studio apartment.
In Your Living Space:
Start to collect something. For Stone, it’s an assortment of matchbooks she houses in a giant glass vase and a rotating collection of coffee table books, but choose what resonates for you. It’s an easy way to add a personalized touch and warmth to your home, especially when every item has its own story, she points out. When you pass by or catch a glimpse of your collection, you'll feel a little pride and joy.
In the Bedroom:
A few small tweaks can make it easy to score that relaxing, luxurious hotel vibe. And really, who doesn’t feel good in a hotel? First, treat yourself to some nice sheets—yes, you deserve them. Stone suggests not only making your bed every morning but using an anti-wrinkle spray to mist and smooth out wrinkles, too, hotel housekeeping style. Finally, add a spritz of calming spray to your pillow every night before you crawl into bed. Try ThisWorks Deep Sleep Pillow Spray ($29; dermstore.com). “It’s a moment of aromatherapy and a sensory cue that it’s time to wind down,” she says.
In Your Bathroom:
Just like in the bedroom, go for that hotel-like feel; Stone recommends rolling your towels in a neat stack, and grabbing a white waffle weave shower curtain and robe from Amazon. A luxury hand soap and lotion set can elevate the space and your mood, too, making the thoughtless task a more enjoyable experience. For the finishing touch, snag some eucalyptus branches (Trader Joe’s is well-known as a great place to find these) and hang them on your showerhead for an aromatherapy experience akin to any spa. Top tip: “Roll the eucalyptus leaves with a rolling pin or wine bottle to release the juices before hanging,” says Stone. This ensures they’ll give off plenty of scent.
In Your WFH Set-Up:
Even if you don’t have a dedicated office, don’t stress. “I live in a small New York City apartment, so our dining table is now our work station,” says Stone. (#Relatable.) Her tip: Use specific items to help create a separation between work and home. On Monday morning, set up your office situation; bonus points if you invest in some cute office supplies.
Stone also lights a candle at the beginning of a work session: “It’s a ritual that helps me engage in work and find focus,” she says. FYI, we tried this tip and it worked like a charm. There’s science behind this concept, too: According to a recent study conducted in partnership with P&G, malodors (AKA bad smells indoors) can have a negative effect on people, while mitigating those smells can help increase performance.
Come Friday night, clear off the work stuff because it’s playtime. Consider topping your table with a cute tablecloth and a simple centerpiece, like a bowl of lemons or a bouquet of fresh flowers. Even this subtle shift can help delineate between work and play, explains Stone.
In the Kitchen:
Add a little bit of artwork. “Art can turn even a small cooking area into a gallery-like experience,” says Stone, who suggests hanging a large poster on a blank wall or placing a small framed piece or letter-board on an open shelf. She also recommends getting down to the nitty gritty and organizing everything from the beverages in your fridge to your spice selection; you’ll be surprised at just how good micro-organization can make you feel.
In a Virtual Learning Environment:
Kiddos having a tough time adjusting to the new normal? Just like in your living space, Stone says encouraging your child to start a collection can help bring joy to their virtual learning area. (Think rocks, cards or those fun erasers we used to collect as kids.) Then, “create a dedicated space, like a shelf in a closet or a bookcase, to serve as a museum for these items, complete with descriptive item tags and signage,” she suggests.
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