What a Monday it is! We are in a time that everyone is being affected by Covid 19. At this moment my partner is flying his last flight with Stobart Air for the foreseeable future. We are all in a situation that we could never have imagined. Whether you are looking at job loss or find yourself stuck at home with a large family, children to entertain or a couple now working from home. We are all affected. So I wanted to do a post that would give us all little bit of break from the current chaos we find ourselves in.
I have gathered some of Ireland's top Interior Designers, Architects, Sustainability Designers, Homemakers, DIY Gurus, Bloggers & Creators! You name it I got it boo. To bring you and myself :) some much-needed headspace with tips on what we can do in our homes right now to make this situation a bit easier for ourselves. As I have had such amazing feedback and contributions from everyone I am breaking this up into a mini series that I will publish throughout this week.
I also want to say a big big thank you to all that contributed to this blog post. I contacted everyone on Friday asking to get involved and the quick response and feedback I received from these lovely creatives made me smile :). So Thank you xx
This is a long one you guys with tips from interiors to baking! Everything you need to entertain yourself during this time of solace when the Netflix runs dry :) So grab your cuppa pop your feet up and enjoy what this talented bunch have to share with us. :) Lots of tips and even some nice words of encroachment. Ahh just what we need right?
I hope this brings a little light to your situation today and stay safe xx
Design Tips From Some of Ireland's Top Interior Designers That Can Help Us In Our Homes Right Now.
1: The Power of Space & Zoning with Roisin Lafferty of Kingston Lafferty Design
This is undoubtedly a new chapter for all of us. Try and look at your home with fresh eyes.
Start by de-cluttering or stripping your main spaces back.
Look at the artwork, decorative objects, such as lamps, loose chairs, mirrors and styling items that you already have, and create deliberately styled areas. Simply by repositioning things in a different way, in a different room, can make a space feel fresh and new.
If you can get your hands on any paint, look at adding fun elements to brighten your spaces. Choose colours that you gravitate towards and that bring a smile to your face. These are the spaces that you will be spending more and more time in; make them positive and calming environments.
How can interior design help us right now in our homes during this time?
I am always talking about the importance of home and the power space can have on our attitudes and behaviours. Never before have our homes been under such pressure and demand from families. Focusing on the space around you will make you aware of how it can best frame your current lifestyle.
Many homes are now busier than they have ever been with multiple people using the same room and on each others toes. The demands on the space are going to be increased dramatically. Keeping a level of calm is important where possible.
Try to zone your activities within the home. Make sure you use specific spaces for specific things, so that subconsciously you feel like there is structure in your day. Take your time with each task, make your new home office the office. Try and avoid eating meals at your new desk, even if that desk is also the kitchen table... consciously stop, clean up your desk at lunch time, prepare your meal and clean up before reopening your office.
The same should be done for kids. As toys start to spill into every room and homework onto all surfaces, try to contain certain activities and deliberately set the different scenes throughout the day and the evening. There is less contrast between week days and weekends, so try to create a different atmosphere and environment at weekends, by putting work out of site and deliberately changing things around.
2: Layouts & Styling with Geri O'Toole Glynn of Geri Designs.
In these uncertain times our homes are our safe space to stay healthy and adhere to social isolation. We can all feel apprehensive about the future. Having a home or a space in your home that you really love improves your mood and it’s great for your well being. If there is a space in your home that you love that’s well designed and well organised with the right lighting and colour scheme it can sooth the soul and it will be a place you want to spend time in.
An interior design tip people can do in their homes right now : rearrange furniture - it’s a great time when you have a lot of spare time at home to play with your furniture layouts and styling in certain areas. It’s a great way to spend a few hours shifting furniture around and considering what looks better in other areas. It’s a free way to get a new look and see how a new layout might work for you.
3: Your Home is Your Sanctuary with Lauren & Louise of North Design
Our homes are spaces that we would normally refer to as our sanctuary, a space where we relax, feel safe and unwind with family and friends. Today, this testament is being challenged with our homes having to cater for all our daily needs and more - a family hub, day time office, a children's playground and our ‘night out, in’. These are challenging times for all, but at NORTH we believe through interior design you can help your home cater to this unexpected situation we find ourselves in.
Space is going to be the key factor in your home right now, defining each space and what that space is to be used for is very important especially if you are working from home with children off school. For example if you are working from home to allocate a room or area in your home which is for work only. Set this space up as best as your can to mirror to your office set up, this familiarity will ground you and make it easier for you to work from home with less distractions. Also, it's important to make it known to the family that this is your area for work and is out of bounds. This will help to avoid any disruption even when not in use.
Being organised is going to be another key factor during this time, although it’s not necessarily an ‘interior design’ item it is very much apart of an interior process. Having things in its place and creating a structure for each day for the family will help things run smoother. For example, take the time to tidy up the living room the night before so that tomorrow is a new day, starting off on the right foot!
As we are spending everyday at home it's more important than ever to buy those pretty blooms to brighten up your rooms. If your local florist is still open, nip down and buy a bunch of them (whilst keeping that 2m distance). It will be sure to make them smile and add a lift of colour to your home!
We would encourage to use this time at home to get creative, do those jobs that you never have time to do and most of all - experiment and add some colour! Go to your local hardware store and buy some paint and get stuck in, there is no better feeling than freshening up your home and now is the perfect time. Be bold and remember it's only paint - Not only will this pass the time at home but it will give your home a new lease of life, trust us you won’t regret it!
4: Colour & Wall Mural's with Wioleta Kelly of Abbeyfeale Interiors
Most of us are stuck at home and it is a great opportunity to beautify our homes. Do things that we always wanted to do but never had time. Well, now we have too much of it!
If you have leftover paint after your previous project why won't you put it to good use? The thing is... we all have that one weird wall at home that we don't know what to do with it. A wall that looks awkward no matter what you do with it. Am I right?
Wall murals are a thing now. Everyone is seem to be painting one and I totally understand why. Not only they are super easy to make but they look absolutely amazing too! I'm guessing that when I mentioned a wall mural you instantly saw in your head a badly painted picture of a princess or a smurf in the children room back in the 90s. No, the new murals are totally different! Search for #indoormural on Instagram to see examples of how they look like in other people homes and to get inspired.
All you will need to make a mural is a pencil, a brush and a few colours of wall paint. If you haven't got any paint at home you can get paint sample pots which won't cost a bomb.
All I can say about painting a mural is that before you start an empty wall might look a bit scary and overwhelming but I promise you will get over it quickly and have fun with it! Just imagine the jealous look on your friends faces when they call over with a visit when our lives get back to normal and when they see what you did!
5: Create a Feeling of Hygge with Jill L’Estrange of L’Estrange Designs
In these uncertain times, it is natural to want to feel safe and cozy in our homes. Hygge is a Danish concept which roughly translates to 'cosiness' or 'the art of creating intimacy’. To create a feeling of hygge in your home, start with decluttering and streamlining your surroundings. Clear out that forgotten junk drawer, organise your bathroom medicine cabinet or find a better storage system for your kitchen cupboards. Pinterest is a great resource for finding inspiration and organisation tips suited to your lifestyle. Take this time to rethink the way you interact with your everyday surroundings as this has a very big impact on our general mood.
The next step is to add soft accessories, like textured cushions and blankets in warm neutral colours. Make sure to go for fabrics that are soft to touch, to make cozying up on the couch that much nicer. If you’re feeling daring, why not try knitting one of your own scandi-inspired large knot blanket? There are plenty of tutorials out there and you can purchase all the supplies online, so no need to leave the house. You can pick up a new hobby to help pass time and have something beautiful at the end of it.
Soft, moody lighting is a great way of creating a comforting atmosphere. If you have a fireplace, now is the perfect time to cozy up to a fire. For those of us who are not so lucky, a cheap and easy way to add a soft glow to your home is to scatter a few candles in each room. Pick your calming scent of choice - some of our favourites include “Rain Candle” by Crop, “REPLICA By the Fireplace” by Maison Margiela, “White Jasmine” by Max Benjamin and “Saffron, Patchouli and Oud” by Brooke & Shoals.
So guys that is it, enough there to keep you going for at least another week! I would love love LOVE to hear if you decided to do any of the above tips. If you do please do let me know on instagram xxx
Tomorrow we will be looking at Architectural tips with Courtney McDonnell and tips on wellbeing and sustainability during this time with Hana Jarrar of Beo Glas Designs.
Stay Safe and in the words of Paul Kinsella Stay Styling :)
Style So Simple - Aoife xxx