| by Jamila Sidhpurwala | 1 comment

Make your home livelier – preparing for the isolation in times of Covid19

COVID19 or the Corona Virus threat is looming all over the World. Countries everywhere are preparing to fight the novel disease and advisories have been issued for people to stay indoors. Self-isolation, social distancing and staying at home has been strictly advised to fight this deadly outbreak. It is important for everyone’s safety that these precautionary measures be taken seriously so as to slow down the spread of the Virus. We might be stuck home for a while, so let’s do everything we can to make our homes livelier and more interesting for this isolation period. I am not getting into any tips to fight the virus (as there is still no wholesome scientific answer to the COVID19) This article is strictly related to home improvement so that we survive the long boring hours home. 

CLEAN

Needless to say, but still, clean your house. This is the perfect opportunity and necessity. Throw out garbage, vacuum and mop, wipe all surfaces, wash the doormats, hand towels, curtains etc. Wipe all surfaces and disinfect if required. Washing your hands is great advice, but it won’t work unless the rest of the surroundings are clean too.

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RESHUFFLE / REORGANIZE

You could also take this time to fix that broken shelf, oil your squeeky drawers, adjust the limping stool and so on. Since we are going to be spending a lot more time home, this might be a good chance to reshuffle some stuff, more to your changed daily routine. For instance, how about rearranging the living room (not according to how many guests come over, but according to how you want!) You could move things around a bit, face the couch to the window instead of the TV, move dressors around for more space, take out the lazy boy from the attic for your lounge, put out a swing in the balcony! Basically reorganize your living space to actually live!

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DECORATE

Come to think of it, we hardly spend any time home. Its mostly Sundays, and the 5 hours after work in the evenings, which really go in front of the TV and dining. Most of our time is spent at work, which is why we neglect or never use other parts of our house. Guest rooms, terrace, balcony, basement, cellar are rarely used. How about we decorate and start using other areas of our house? You could plan a study or home office in your guest bedroom! Plant seeds and flowers in your balcony or better still, start a small vegetable garden! The basement can become a private theatre, game room, cards or chess room, music lounge, reading room! You could reorganize your library and catch up on all the reading. How about a minitub (even the inflatable one) to beat the heat indoors? 

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DIY

Decor can never be talked about without mentioning DIY! Long hours at home is the perfect opportunity to hone your DIY skills! Make use of all the gift wrapping paper you have saved up, use old clothes, stationary, plastic bottles and old toys to create amazing decor items. There are unlimited tutorials online to make the best out of waste. Not only will these make valuable additions to your house, they will also keep you engaged. Kids and teens can help with these activities, which will also keep them busy. You make wall hangings, embroider cushion covers or curtains, restyle your clothes, paint (your walls or furniture to restyle them) or plain canvases! How about a new interesting lamp shade, a big planner or journal poster for your wall, put up pictures around the room, organize the shoe closet, makeup or soft toys. 

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INTERESTS

Do what you love and love what you do! If we are to survive the loneliness and boredom which comes with staying at home all the time, we need to keep ourselves interested and busy. A great idea can be creating pockets of interest around your house! Usually our bedrooms are so cluttered and our lives so busy, that our interests while many, seem to hide behind everything (including dirty laundry.) 

What is it that you love? Is it music, movies, gaming, hiking, photography, cooking, working, writing, reading, gardening, knitting, beauty, gymming? Whatever it is, I’m sure we can make it work at home. How about creating little corners, around the house with your favorite hobbies? Choose a niche to display your guitars/piano/violins/drums and fix a time to play. A small dance space in the basement, a quiet zen environment with plants, candles, pillows and rugs for Yoga or massages, a reading and writing nook near the window decorated with your favorite book stack, laptop or kindle, some munchies! Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Give yourself a home vacation by putting up your photography, use your camera and gear to shoot details inside, capture the sunrise and sunset from your windows, take self potraits. You can create a small space for gaming or set up a nice nook for beauty tutorials. Reorganize your kitchen and improve your cooking skills, create a small meditation space, decorate your pet’s lounge – you could DIY a new cushion or a small playhouse for your dog/cat! You could also set up a nice home office – with your books, a proper table and chair, laptop, office files and stationary, storage, planner etc. in your bedroom or a spare room. We are going to communicate a lot over video calling and conferencing in the coming weeks. How about setting up a good professional looking corner and backdrop in your house. You could hang up your degree, your trophies, your work, library, small travel artifacts and create the perfect setting for video calls!

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TREASURE HUNTING

Our houses are actually a giant treasure of memories for most of us. Especially Indian homes are filled with small touches, knick knacks and spots which were our favorite growing up. It could be the attic where we played hide and seek, the cupboard under the stairs where we pretended to be Harry Potter or the toy which our Uncle got from Canada which we used to love, our fairytales and old report cards, family albums and home videos! Why not revisit all these memories now that we are home with our loved ones! This can be a perfect quality time situation with our loved ones. You could recreate the Ouija with your cousins, pour over family albums, make more silly home videos, go through halloween costumes and decorations, have a board game night, or go treasure hunting! The person to find the perfect article with a sweet memory  – wins more time in the restroom.

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WINDOWS – BALCONIES – TERRACES – GARDENS

Staying home for long periods can be frustrating, but it is important to look at the bright side – literally. Natural light, views outside, beautiful semi-outdoor spaces like our balconies, terraces and gardens – where we are isolated but outside can be a boon in these times. Remember to clean the glass, decorate your windows with a planter, put up a rug or pillow or bean bag in the balcony, mow your lawn or clean your terrace. Get comfortable with a small barbeque or bonfire, cricket on the lawn, badminton or tennis, swing on the porch and get some exercise as well. 

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Times are tough, but its important to stay positive, healthy and happy. Being self isolated and avoiding social contact is our only hope to slow down a pandemic – for now. Our homes have always been our haven. It is time for us to make it our heaven, to make them livelier, brighter and more interesting in order to stay sane, busy and happy. If you have more ideas on how to make your homes more fun and interesting, I would love to hear it in the comments!

Stay safe, stay healthy! Wishing all my readers good health and hope! 

Typographic Illustrations by Sean Williams
Typographic Illustrations by Sean Williams

Author: Jamila Sidhpurwala

Jamila is one part artist, two parts foodie, and all parts traveler. She is a patron of good art and design and loves to immerse herself in books and music. Simplicity and minimalism is her motto as an architect. A writing enthusiast, she surrounds herself with all things creative. She actively shuns all “ists” and “isms” and firmly believes in a “no – label” world! She isn’t afraid to take risks, speak her mind, push forward and challenge preconceptions. She is currently pursuing Masters in Architecture at the University of Liechtenstein.

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