After a year of self-imposed isolation, working from home, ordering in and sheltering in place, we’re understandably stir crazy and maybe even a little anxious. We’re feeling trapped rather than relaxed, as our sanctuaries have become confining. It was wonderful to come home after a long day at the office or just from being out and about. We’d sink into our favorite Stressless recliners and let the worries of the day fall away with each happy sigh. Wine may or may not have been involved.
But now, we’re here. All. Day. Long.
Maybe it’s time to shake up your space and create something new, without even leaving home. Here’s how:
Roll up the rugs
Nothing freshens a room like changing out your rugs. Since we’re still getting winter weather, don’t go with bare floors just yet. That’s a summer vibe. Instead, push the furniture aside; roll up your rugs and switch them around from room to room. Depending on the dimensions and color schemes of your carpets, your choices may be somewhat limited. But don’t let that stop you. Give it a try for an instant lift from the floor up. It’s also a good chance to clean the dust and pet hair from underneath, which will make the air easier to breathe.
Re-curate your art
That abstract has always gone over the mantle. And Grandmother’s portrait has been a fixture in the dining room for decades. So live a little. Shake up your art collection. Think of your home as an ever-changing gallery exhibit. Take down key pieces and live with the bare spots on your walls for 24 hours. Then mix things up. Maybe you don’t put back up everything you take down, so your eyes have a place to rest between pieces. All you need is a hammer, and if you’re lucky, the old nail holes will be hidden behind the artwork after your re-curation is done. Then pour the aforementioned wine and mosey from room to room admiring your newly hung collection.
Throw a pillow party
Take your pillows and throw blankets off your sofas, chairs and beds. Change them out for the season. It’s a quick pick-me-up for any space in your house. We like to keep a stash of decorative pillows in the closet to pull out, plump up and revamp the look of any room. Go from muted to vivid, from tasseled to fringed, from Kilim to faux pony skin. Play with textures, colors, sizes and shapes. You’ll be surprised what a difference a well-placed pillow can make.
Remove extraneous things
This may be a difficult ask for those of you who love stuff. In Norway, we minimalists embrace the Scandinavian aesthetic of less being more. Regardless of your personal brand or design preference, take something out of each area in your home and see how it strikes you. At first, your eye will go to the shelf where you removed the framed graduation picture. Next, it will shift to the coffee table where the cut-glass bowl of seashells used to sit. After a day or two, you’ll feel renewed by the absence of things. It’s a subtle shift but a powerful one.
We’ve talked before about Hygge, the Danish concept of coziness and comfort that engenders contentment. Well, here’s another apt Scandinavian term—this one from our Swedish neighbors—Lagom. It’s the quality of doing something in comfortable moderation and balance. Lagom is about finding what works for you.
Now, that’s living well!