As the COVID-19 pandemic turns our lives upside down in so many different ways and you make an effort to #stayhome, tiny frustrations with your home can turn into gargantuan ones, but it also gives us an opportunity to tune in to what's great about where we live which you can use if you build, renovate or look to buy or rent a new place in the future...
We underestimate how much our surrounding can impact on our mental wellbeing, particularly when we're too busy moving around to take any notice. Now, more than ever, the effect our homes have on our lifestyle is being brought into razor-sharp relief.
In my case, (strap yourself in for a laundry list of first world problems) the lack of pantry space means there's nowhere to store our panic-bought rice and pasta. Kidding! Jokes aside, with fewer dinners out, the weekly grocery shop takes up noticeably more space. Like, spread all over the bench, noticeably. It's a lot more space than our apartment's small pantry can bare. As a result, meal preparation more cramped and less fun and your sense of anxiety spikes every time you look over and see what a mess the place is.
Suddenly working from home means we've had to co-opt the guest room into a makeshift office. Which would be fine except there's a hulking (and newly redundant) guest bed in the way. How great would a Murphey bed be in this situation?
The third thing I desperately crave is some outdoor space with actual ground. Or, at the very least a place to sit outside that's wider than the space between two socially distanced shoppers.
One thing that I'm grateful for is the natural light streaming in through the north-facing windows. When you have limited opportunity to get outside, natural light is a great mood enhancer and being home all day means I'm more aware of it.
I'm grateful for a comfy place to relax after a day of working in a not-at-all Posturepedic dining room chair. And a place to display meaningful things from my life, gifts from friends, books that I've loved, photos and treasured objects.
It's a delight to have a generously-sized kitchen (in spite of the pantry) in which to prepare cooked lunches (because, why not, we're at home) and of course, the obligatory brunch, pre-lunch snack, lunch dessert, afternoon tea and pre-dinner cheese board, that comes with working steps from the fridge.
And to, you know, have a place to call home at all during this awful time.
So while you're home during this crazy time, my advice is: take note of what peeves you and what brings you pleasure. Because if you build or renovate down the track or even if you're just moving into a new place, the things that annoy you or delight you now are the things you'll want to avoid and embrace in your new home. You're surroundings matter.