Lockdown is a perfect time to be more creative with how we use our home spaces, says Cape Town-based interior creative and behavioural specialist Kim Williams. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we should be able to connect with our domestic spaces on a deeper level, increase their functionality and adapt their aesthetics to suit our new needs.
Kim’s experience with how people are psychologically impacted by their environment makes her uniquely qualified to find solutions that enable people to truly enjoy and be enriched by the spaces they inhabit.
Kim’s Top 10 Insights on How To Work & Live Better In Our Shared Home Spaces:
- Every good space starts with a plan and every good plan starts by communicating with all the people in a space to find out what everyone’s needs are and when they will need to use the space.
- Once you know what you need from your space you can work out how to share that space. A schedule is a great tool to diplomatically divide space and should include: the time and room everyone will be working in; the time and best places for family time together; and who gets which space for recreation and when.
- Differentiate spaces by their function. Demarcating a space psychologically prepares you for the task you must perform in that space, giving you a sense of control and predictability, which is good for your mental health.
- Move between the spaces in your home to help alleviate a sense of monotony and cabin fever. Mealtime, playtime, alone time and family time should all ideally happen in different spaces in the home or the space should change depending on the function it is serving.
- Transform your space at different times of the day. It’s a creative activity that will physically and mentally mark the end of one activity and the beginning of another. It is also healthy for you because transforming your space also transitions your mindset.
- Clean and organize your space before and after you use it. Having a clean home is part of being able to manage your energy and repetitive behaviours, such as cleaning. A clean space and good organisation has been shown to alleviate anxiety.
- Use a tray to organise your routine and prepare for your next day. For example, putting all your breakfast items on one tray, your work tools on another, and the children’s toys or puzzles on another is a great way to stay tidy and mobile.
- Look in your cupboards for items to creatively transform your space and create different moods and ambiences for different activities, days and times. Think about making a pot of tea on your work lunch break, lighting candles for date night dinner or making specific food like tacos on a Tuesday for the family. These rituals reinforce a sense of time moving forward and have the added benefit of increasing your mindfulness.
- Using food for décor is something stylists have been doing for years and elegantly arranging food provides both a natural element to your space and has a way of engaging people and bringing them together.
- Go outside on your balcony, patio or garden if you have one. Studies have shown that being outside can improve blood pressure, boost mental health, and even decrease cancer risk. An outdoor family area where everyone can get some fresh air, watch the sun go down and exercise is a lovely place to spend an evening.
An international trend that is being accelerated by the Covid-19 virus, and the subsequent lockdowns it has caused, is that we are nesting more and more.
Our homes now serve as an escape from the chaotic outside world and what is happening in our daily lives.
This is a wonderful time to create your oasis and focus on the little things that can make you feel good as they are often the things that make the biggest difference.
Hopefully, if we are all mindful of our needs and how our space serves them many of us will find that we already have everything we need.
Follow Kim on Facebook and Instagram @kim_williams_design.