If there is a survey taken of the one thing most of us missed in the past year and a half, I am pretty certain the most common answer would be travelling. What do we miss the most during our travel — maybe shopping (yes, yes, yes) or maybe the amazing food (although most of us have turned home chefs in this period). What I think forms an integral part of our travel are the experiences, what they make us feel, and the beautiful environment around us.
This makes me wonder how wonderful it would be to have a special corner that evokes those feelings in us on an everyday basis. Home is a space that makes you feel YOU the most and gives you the feeling of comfort. How can we then make the two meet? Here are a few quick ways!
Sit by the fireside
Captured this unique fireplace during a short visit to a friend’s cottage in Baricella, Italy
In our travels to cold places, the one aspect that features in finding the perfect place to stay is a fireplace in the room. Having a fireplace installed in the home can improve the look and the feel of the room. Fire provides a more natural type of warmth that many individuals feel is more comfortable and sitting in front of a warm fireplace provides a great means of relaxation and calm. A warm and inviting fire in a fireplace in the living room, dining room, or family room makes people want to gather in that room. When you’re entertaining, your guests will naturally gravitate towards the roaring fire, especially during the holiday season.
A hearth is one of those things that are synonymous with holiday entertainment. And even when you’re not entertaining, a fireplace is a fantastic decorative element that makes your living space the kind of cosy and relaxing spot where you can shake off the stress of the day and spend some time with the people that you love.
In our warm climate, it might be a good idea to have a fireplace hand-drawn on a wall — I had done it in my formerly physical store Onset on Hindustan Park road that has now gone online and fondly remember how it had immediately changed the vibe of the whole space.
An Italian store-front captured on a trip in 2017
A green Europe on your balcony: Walking through the streets of Europe, one of the things that has always caught my eye is the flowers and foliage all around. Flowers and plants do have a way of adding instant beauty and warmth to any space. So why not create that warmth in your space in easy ways. Don’t limit your green thumb to the lawn and extend it indoors by bringing greenery to your expansive balcony. You can turn your balconies and verandas into a natural oasis by planting plants.
Streets of Switzerland, back in 2017
Paint me like your Italian walls!
Don’t we love walking down the alleys and streets of Italy or Spain which have coloured walls? They instantly bring in emotions of joy, freshness, and happiness. Bright walls make a visual impact. One of the best ways to make your home shine is by painting the walls with “unexpected” colours. Such colours are dubbed as instant updates to any room. Aside from that, brightly coloured homes look like they’ve been cared for really well. Needless to say, the walls are the perfect spot to have fun with colours. Wall colours can create an illusion of infinite width. A single wall painted in intense colours is a bold statement in itself. The onlookers will pay special attention to the hues used and how it complements the accents in the room and not the other way around. Painted walls rekindle in our minds a memory, a moment, an experience and if you want to be more experimental, paint a motif or a design on a wall.
Breakfast with a view of Lake Como in italy
A Meal under the open skies
I miss my breakfasts sitting on the patio of my holiday space, having a yummy breakfast cooked by my little sister. If you have an open space in your home, don’t shy away from creating a little seating where you can enjoy a meal with fresh winds around you. The smell of the leaves of the trees and the first rays of sunlight that would hit your skin would be an awesome addition to our mostly-indoor life that money can’t really buy. It also seems a great way to break away from the stress and pollutants of everyday life. It’s a great way to start your day as opposed to sitting at your regular dining table for your meal.
Blooms on a table at Pennsylvania, USA
Lay some plants on the table
Talking about plants, I cannot overemphasise the importance of adding them in various places. Imagine a wooden table with some stunning succulents on it. Our weather may not permit all kinds of succulents to grow very well, but let us pick and chose the ones that will thrive and bring a little bit of holiday feel into our lives.
Coloured shutters on windows in Appenzell, Switzerland
Colour my windows
How many of you are DDLJ fans out there (me, me, me!) and had Raj spoil our formative years by giving us unrealistic images of love? And if you loved the movie, you HAVE to love Switzerland. Bring a bit of Switzerland into your home by doing a coloured shutter. They also remind us of our growing-up days with LEGO blocks. They add an element of fun and statement to your home. So if you are lucky enough to be able to paint some shutters of your home, be experimental and go ahead and paint it in a fun striking colour.
These little things will make your everyday life more like living a holiday. It’s the little things in life that matter more anyway. Wouldn’t you agree? So while, we can’t travel much (yes, even though things are opening up, we should be responsible about our actions), let us make some small changes in our homes and bring our travels, our experiences to our space, our home.
The author runs her own soft furnishing brand Onset while working with her family textile business. She has taught Textiles at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology and been a visiting lecturer at Philadelphia University and JDBI, Kolkata