Finding sanctuary in our homes has never been so important. A global pandemic can do that. Our homes are our safe places – where we are isolating and social distancing with our loved ones. They should be somewhere where we enjoy spending time, and should help us to feel relaxed, calm and safe in these difficult times.
Having a home is something that many of us have perhaps taken for granted in the past. (I can’t imagine how it would feel not to have somewhere safe to live right now). But when Covid-19 arrived, it was as if we all suddenly found ourselves shunted right down to the bottom of Maslow’s triangle as we’ve had to focus on much more fundamental needs – health, food, shelter, family and community.
Before Covid-19, our homes were often just a space we came back to at the end of the day, and so we were less concerned about what they looked like. But during the last few weeks, many of us have started to look at our own four walls with a fresh eye. This unprecedented period in lockdown has fundamentally changed our relationship with our homes. Our focus has shifted away from going ‘out’ – to work and meeting up for social and leisure activities outside the home, and instead our lives have been concentrated inwards, to the confines of our own homes.
We’ve been spending more time gardening and baking, finding new ways of meeting or socialising online and even doing DIY jobs around the house. We’ve learnt new skills and become more self-reliant. We’ve had to reorganise the existing spaces within our homes to accommodate our new found routines. As we emerge from the other side of this, many of us will be thinking about how we can maximise the available space in our homes through re-configuring or expanding them to accommodate activities such as working from home on a more permanent basis.
But before we rush headlong into these new projects, it’s important that we take our time to get things right. We need to design a connection to nature into our spaces. And we need to think about things like how different colours cause us to behave and feel. These are both important elements if we want to design a space that is truly a sanctuary – giving us feeling of relaxation, calm and safety, but also in inspiring us creatively and helping us to be productive when and where we need to be. If you need help achieving this, then you know where to find me!
“A home is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life’s storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary.”