Lockdown – for those who are not key workers (thank you to all of you who are), it has been a tough time working from home, perhaps being furloughed or longing to see their loved ones. For others, it has been extended time with their family, attempting to home school and keep the children entertained for longer than 5 minutes. For some, it has been an opportunity to finally make their house the dream home they have always longed for – and thus to attempt the dreaded renovations and decorations.
Mental health has been at the forefront of a lot of conversations throughout the pandemic, and rightly so. Whilst decorating and re-designing your home can seem a daunting task for many, and so is avoided at all costs, it might actually be the one thing that boosts your well-being. Winston Churchill once said “We shape our homes and then our homes shapes us”. Invest time in your house, in your home. Declutter, clean and organise. Take care of your home and take care of yourself. Make it a place you enjoy and want to be, rather than a mere practicality.
However, to help accomplish such a goal, brainstorms and visions are needed to get the ball rolling. These days, it is less about the websites and house magazines that provide inspiration and helpful tips to those attempting DIY, but it is in fact social media that they turn to. Not surprising, given that just typing in #homedecor on Instagram, comes up with over 69 million posts to scroll through, to help with the ideas for the lockdown project. If it’s not pictures of people’s food we are seeing, it is before and after snaps of their house or garden.
To help those wanting that lightbulb moment, here are some suggestions of where to start on the gram. Perhaps ones you might not think to look at…
1.Stacey Soloman (@staceysoloman) – hilarious, entertaining and very real. She works wonders with ‘junk’ items, turns candles into plant pots and is always coming up with new ways to organise her storage. Stacey grabs any bargain she can find and promotes small businesses as well, which in the current climate is so important. If you don’t want to paint but merely want to spruce up your house with bits and bobs, and to be more organised, then definitely give her a follow. Plus, she will put a smile on your face.
2. Mrs Hinch (@mrshinchhome) – very similar to the above, Sophie Hinchliffe shows you lots about upcycling, cleaning, the garden and freshen up Friday. There are some very fresh, modern and clean design ideas on here, that are bound to get you excited to get the project underway. The most recent posts on here are about the garden. Helpful, real and motivating.
3. Lizzy and Phil (@renovationhq) – A couple from Hertfordshire who have spent 5 years turning a run-down house into a gorgeous home. Normal people, with normal jobs (finance and marketing) they have worked weekends and evenings and done over 90% of the work themselves. They have dug foundations, built an extension with their neighbour, fitted bathrooms and a kitchen and more recently during lockdown, they have completely transformed their garden. It is absolutely incredible to see what the house now looks like. Granted, they have spent over £100,000 but their Instagram page is full of helpful tips, ideas and motivation for those daring to undertake renovations during lockdown.
4. Roz Hatfield (@aboutmeandmyhouse_) – In comparison to the above 3, this is a very low key page to view, with only 5500+ followers, but one that still offers a lot of help with DIY. Now in her second house, the page shows how Roz takes an old room and transforms it into something modern, stylish and sleek. Whether that is panelling in the bedroom, tiling the kitchen or making her own fireplace, it is refreshing to see young professionals embark on such a house transformation alongside their teaching career. Lockdown saw her gut the garden and it is now unrecognisable. To those wanting to really renovate – yet keep it simple – this page will surely help.
5. Not an Instagram account – but one of the most used sites for home décor ideas in 2020 has been Pinterest. It is just a hub of wonderful (and sometimes wacky) creations that will inspire and motivate anyone undertaking a house project this summer. It even has a plethora of ideas for transforming gardens with their very own bar!
Given the social distancing rules that are in place at the moment, many people are opting for spending their holiday money on doing up their gardens – hot tubs, bars, retreats and paddling pools for example, and hoping that the weather is kind this summer. But amongst all the decorating, building, digging and painting, you need to relax and put your feet up, and of course, order your favourite takeaway. In fact, there has been a 300% increase in the takeaway orders throughout lockdown, according to a recent comprehensive study done by the statisticians at Betway. The question would be, pizza or chines? Pizza may be the world’s first choice, but Chinese is the UK’s.
As the American interior designer, Albert Hadley, once said, “Make your home as comfortable and attractive as possible and then get on with living. There’s more to life than decorating.”
Make sure you enjoy it. Relish in the work you have done.
Make time to just sit and relax in the space you have created.
Look after your house and look after yourself.