By Shabna Cader
If you’ve not seen a Sorry Girls video on Youtube, I suggest you do that right away. The channel is run by Kelsie and Becky who focus on lifestyle, sustainability, and fun DIYs to empower oneself. Kelsie became a homeowner for the first time exactly a year ago, and over the last couple of months has been uploading videos on a series she calls ‘Making Home’. The idea is all about turning a house into a home and I thought it pretty clever and inspiring to watch.
It’s not easy to make a home. Whether you’ve decided to tackle a gazillion tasks all by yourself, or if you’ve got the help of some handy people in your life and some strangers on hire, it takes more than just brick, cement, and whatnot raw materials to turn a simple structure into a safe space for you.
In my mind, the house I live in is typically not my home. I’m not being aversive to the blessing of a home, but for the most part, every space except for my room feels like a house because I have not somewhat had a personal hand at making it so. Whereas, in my own room, I’ve decorated it exactly the way I want, and gives me comfort and a sense of belonging. I have certain nooks and crannies that I’ve adjusted to - like the little outdoor space we have where I have added a cane armchair and side table, along with some new propagations of my mother’s plants - I also have a space in the living room corner where I’ve designated as my ‘workspace’.
I think to make a home, one needs to fill it with items that bring you joy, a sense of happiness.
One way of doing the above is by adding art. I know that prints of art can be quite expensive, and even sculptural pieces of art can be pricer, but nowadays I think it’s okay to simply go online, or scroll through your phone, find images that speak to you - quotes, inspirational, illustrations, scenery and anything in between - get them printed at a print shop close to you or home if possible and just hang them up. Adding art to a blank wall can have a profound effect on your mental state and almost immediately bring a smile onto your face. So far, I’ve kept my walls nearly bare except for two different types of paint, one tiny canvas art done by my niece some years ago, and a wooden plank that I hope will hold some new plants.
Speaking of plants, it’s not just a way of bringing the outdoors in, but also creating an environment around your home that is lush, alive, and green. Plants are well known and recognised for their ability to uplift our moods and reduce stress amongst plenty of other benefits so why not fill certain spaces in your house with a couple that you think you could take care of with ease, and won’t require a great deal of attention. If you happen to be a plant lover on the other hand, just go all out! Create an indoor plant oasis if you will. Some hanging and trailing plants would add a calm aesthetic to your interior as well as make a space look taller.
I’m in the hopes of doing so in my bedroom with a couple of corners and balcony space already filled with some of my favourite green babies.
If you’ve recently moved space and have a ton of unpacking to do, I bet the thought of doing so can be quite overwhelming. In times of uncertainty, it’s normal to analyse and overthink things. Did you make the right decision? Was this not the time to move? Or perhaps you’ve decided to bunk back at your parents because paying rent seemed a tad difficult. Whatever reason it may be, give yourself and your mind a break and simply be. It’s okay if you have a ton of boxes to unpack. Maybe you can tackle half a box today, and another tomorrow. Set yourself up with small doable tasks and eventually, it’ll all get done. The more you surround yourself with the things you own and love, the more you’d feel comfortable and at ease, and more ‘at home’.
I do believe that adding texture to your space also adds to the sense of feeling more at home and more than just comfortable. Soft cotton, linens, handloom, even fluff, and velvet if that’s your thing would do. If you read a bunch of foreign articles on the subject of ‘home’ you’ll find many writers bringing up ‘throw blankets and pillows’. Throw blankets aren’t such a thing over here in tropical Lanka but the idea lies behind the fact that comfy and cosy blankets act as a feeling of security, and when you wrap one over the bottom half of your bed or corner of the couch, or even yourself, you feel safe, secure, nurtured and loved.
All those feelings in return make you feel more at home. I’ve not mixed too many textured in my personal space, but I do like adding warm wooden bits and pieces, some earthy pots and planters, muted tones on the walls paired with cool tones when it comes to my bedding and also curtains. Give yourself some time to think of what colours and textures you like and surround yourself with some of them.
A house or space should be more than just a place to crash. The more you add items that bring you happiness and a sense of belonging, the more settled you will be. Enjoy making home!