Now more than a third of the world’s population is forced to work, play with children, play sports and study from their own apartments.
I decided to talk with architects and designers and find out how the situation in the house affects our emotional background and what kind of life hacks for arrangement can help.
Will our attitude to the house as a whole change?
We began to spend much more time in the four walls than usual, and for many this was an occasion to equip the apartment. This is confirmed by dry numbers.
Designer Alex says that over the past two weeks, the store has increased demand, not only for furniture such as tables and chairs, but also interior items like lamps and rugs, as well as cooking utensils.
People have time, and most importantly, the desire to restore order at home and create an atmosphere of comfort. Children’s textiles and carpets are in special demand. Parents ennoble children’s rooms, equip play areas.
Opinions differ about whether such increased attention to home improvement will continue after quarantine.
Katherine, for example, is confident that many will rethink their ideas about working from home.
Many people will find that working from home is quite good for at least two or three days a week – this is a saving for companies, and an office – or, say, a room where you can retire – will make a lot of sense. This means a lot for a huge building complex, furniture and design services market.
At the same time, it seems to her that new aspects of interior planning will come to the fore – for example, environmental friendliness and focus on people.
Dahlia agrees with her – she notes that now many have paid attention to how the organization of life affects comfort and well-being.
Orla believes that you should not draw large-scale conclusions on the crisis, in fact, the situation, but she sure that it will teach us how to build relationships with both the family and the space in which we live.
The house is a huge resource that feeds us and fills us, and it is important to never forget.
Architect Mary is completely sure that this could be a growth point for the entire industry.
She really hope that after sitting at home, people on both sides of the profession of an architect will understand the importance of quality space for life and take it as a practice.
As my teacher on aesthetics said, unlike other forms of pure and applied arts, the effect of architecture on a person is continuous and compulsory – you can, of course, walk with your eyes closed or go to a dense forest, but how long will you last?
Is this a good time for a little repair?
Designers are sure: if you start repair, then first you need to soberly assess both its scope and your strength. Small work is more likely to be finished, while it will still bring the desired effect and satisfaction.
“I would first recommend a sober assessment of your psychological state and finances, if repairs do not entail relapses – go for it. If it is possible to order a can of your favorite paint with rollers and without extensive preparation to repaint the wall in the kitchen – this can work very pacifying and energizing,” – explains Mandy.
Orla agrees with her – she also advises to order light paint, so as not to choose a shade, relying on the color rendition of the monitor.
Now is a good time to repair, if you do not have children and diseases: all the same, the paint is toxic, and many works are related to dust. You can even paint wallpapers – and for many it makes sense in the era of meetings in the zoom. Many will now want to convert the balcony into an office or study room.
Katherine suggests repainting a piece of furniture if you want to change – and for the rest, freshen up the space with accessories and any art objects – not necessarily expensive.
How can I make an apartment or a room more comfortable right now?
Almost all experts are sure: in order to make it pleasant to be at home, it is not necessary to undertake a major overhaul.
Cleaning and relocation
The most important thing is to do a general cleaning and get rid of visual noise. Sometimes order is the primary source of a sense of harmony and tranquility in your home.
In a long self-isolation, even those things that we had not noticed before are distracting. Christine suggests using the method of Marie Kondo and removing everything that does not please.
Take away everything that annoyed and get everything that you love. Crockery, textiles, items for storage and cleaning. I understand that something will be difficult to replace. Nobody canceled the guilty feeling – “after all, it was the mother who presented it.”
Think calmly and impartially – why did you allow yourself to surround yourself with things that you don’t really like?
To disassemble the old trash and throw out half is always good for the apartment or room. You can order new storage containers and organize all things in the apartment in a new way.
Perhaps right now it’s worth thinking about rearrangement of furniture, if you have enough time and physical ability. The main thing is not to leave the case halfway, so as not to stumble later on an unsuccessful chair.
Relocation is a great way to switch and much less expensive than repairs. First, you will be carried away by planning on paper (measurements, estimation), then you will begin to move pieces of furniture in the room, finding a separate place already in the process, then you look – the day has passed and the room with its filling look in a new way.
Most of us usually use only the upper light. But rethinking the lighting in the apartment can significantly improve the quality of your life.
This is the last thing that people think about, and the first thing that defines our behavior in space. If you want to read more – you need a normal lamp with a soft diffused light, which help less tired of working – good uniform lighting where the working day goes, and so on.
Place lamps or a floor lamp to create cozy highlighted areas. Buy candles and light them in the evenings.
If there is an opportunity and you are comfortable, use more local light sources and less often – a common overhead light, this helps to zon and soften the space, and it is better to prepare for bed.
It is important to pay attention to the temperature of light: ideally, it should be warm white and neutral white, in the range from 2800 to 4000 kelvin.
Filling the space with “your own” things also positively affects the emotional background. Now many home improvement stores operate online, not only large brands, but also small Instagram businesses.
If there is an opportunity, first of all you should think about buying a new textile: changing pillowcases and curtains is much easier than repainting the walls.
Small things are best collected in groups. Jewelry, jars, stationery, candles – on trays. Postcards, clippings – on pegboards, cork boards. All this can inspire and support, but in order to prevent little things from creeping in, it is better to immediately set the framework.
I would also recommend listening to myself: am I interested in looking at all sorts of things on the shelves now or does it create rattling and is it better to be in a cleaner space?
The state may change – I had periods when, apart from books, not a single thing was in sight.
What plants are worth planting if you have no experience?
Interaction with plants pacifies – and this is exactly what is needed in such a nervous time. At the same time, the plants themselves are also comfortable now.
First of all, the right time of the year: the sun has become more, the day is longer, the plants react more calmly to the transplant. Due to the fact that we spend a lot of time at home, we can observe plants, read materials about care, and take master classes.
In addition, the plants will not be affected upon delivery. While spring does not pamper us with excellent weather, but you should not be afraid to order a plant because of the cold: all good flower projects can pack the plant so that it does not freeze and does not break during transportation.
Main life hack: let the freshly brought plant stand for a couple of hours so that it slowly gets used to the heat.
There is an invariable top of unpretentious plants, which I recommend to all beginners: sansevieria, zamiokulkasy, epipremnumy, philodendrons. Then on the list – spathiphyllum, aglaonema, ficus elastica, peperomia.
Before buying, I recommend that you again evaluate the conditions in the apartment (dark/light/hot/cold/dry/wet), as well as your needs – for example, you often forget about watering, or vice versa – like to do it every day.
If you want to green your home, but are afraid that you will come across a capricious plant, take something from the unspoken “top of the immortals”: zamioculcas, sansevieria or chlorophytum.
If you googled Sansevieria now and thought: “Oh, well, they were in my school (university, hospital)” – pay attention to its different types: there is a terribly stylish three-lane sansevieria, similar to a hanni rosette, and also cylindrical sansevieria – it’s funny spreads out in different directions.
I would advise you to buy an already transplanted plant – this way you will support a small business, and save time and reduce the number of deliveries.
How to zone space in a small apartment?
What is happening now is not the norm of life, but an extraordinary situation, mobilization, life on a spaceship, from which there is no escape.
Let each member of the family have their own corner for this time – agree and assign them to loved ones. Define together a list of things you like. Team up for these activities, and the rest can be dealt with independently.
Most likely, the delimitation of the space to which you will now come is a temporary phenomenon. From my own experience I can say that the best zoning is walls and doors, preferably with a lock. And so there are always curtains, screens and headphones – well, and bathrooms in extreme cases.
But not all apartments will have such a solution. If you have a small area, it is better to abandon screens and heavy curtains. Designate a children’s corner with a light partition from decorative elements.
An additional workplace can be arranged in the living room or even on the balcony – it is almost a separate room with natural light and fresh air.
How to equip a small workspace?
First, you need to find a suitable zone. The best part of the apartment is where you can retire – be it the corner of the room or even the loggia.
If you have small children at home, you should consider how you can equip a decent “backdrop” for video conferencing and zoom in the bathroom. Use every opportunity to have “social nullification” places where it’s difficult to disturb you.
How to choose the right lighting:
Sit at the table from different sides to find the point at which the light from the window did not glare on the screen, so that you could be seen in the camera not in the back light, if you write – so that the light (both natural and artificial) went as far as possible for left-handed people on the right and for righties on the left.
If possible, place the table by the window: there is not much natural light. Mandatory attribute – table lamp.
Use all three ways of storing things: under the table (in cabinets and drawers), on the table (in organizers) and above the table – on shelves that can be reached without getting up.
Start the morning with task planning, a diary or slate will help you with this. In addition, cleaning the table in the evening perfectly helps to tune in to work the next day.
Designers agree that it is necessary to allocate a place under the office. First of all, it is necessary to systematize working documents with the help of beautiful folders and organizers.
Then you should pay attention to furniture, in particular a work chair. If funds allow, it is worth investing in a good chair – wheel chairs are ideal for work: now there are a lot of home versions with a semi-ergonomic fit.
If there is a possibility – do not skimp on a chair, if not – choose a chair at home with the highest, slightly tilted back, for a more natural deflection of the spine, you can put a thin pillow. The correct chair height is also important.
Smells help complete the space setup. A diffuser, aroma lamp or candle will create the right mood.