Home has taken on all manner of new meaning. It’s a sanctuary, but an inescapable one. No surprise then, that our feelings are in flux. How lucky we are to have walls and a roof. Oh, but how imposing they are. And that paint? What was I thinking? Wait, I have walls to paint! What am I thinking? You’re allowed to ruminate - it’d be unnatural not to. But remember to find contentment too, if only in the quotidian rituals that make home a place that's unlike anywhere else in the world. These women are...
I’m very lucky because I’d just finished renovating my house, having joked that when it was done, I’d just want to stay in it all the time and well, here we are.
I’m splitting my time between desks and windows – saving sitting in the window for leisure (if I stick my legs out it feels like a holiday) because it’s much harder to differentiate between day and night, weeks and weekends now so I’m trying to use space to do that. At my desk I’ve found it’s really important to have things in my immediate field of vision that are cheerful or beautiful. At the window I just want a junky, gentle crime novel and some sunshine.
I’m more than usually sentimental about objects that connect me to the outside world or to the people I miss. Photographs, things that clever friends have made, books they’ve written. It’s a daily reminder isolation is temporary, and that talent and love endure.
Brighten the drudge of your desk with Bridie Hall’s brush pots, £40
I really could make a home anywhere. I’m not confined to these four walls, but we have just come to the end of a three-year renovation project, so this couldn’t not feel like home. My husband Jon and I are so busy usually, so it’s nice to slow down and spend real time here.
Since the clocks have gone back, I'm seeing the the house in so many different lights - paint colours really do look different. It's why we've decided to change up the current ochre that's currently in the kitchen, because on an evening it can feel a bit oppressive. I’ve ordered two samples, both white based - one with a hint of pistachio and the other with a hint of pink. I just want to flood the space with light.
The kitchen is such an important room to me, as I love cooking and entertaining. For some people, self-care is a face mask, but for me it’s tablescaping. Finding candles and crockery, and deciding on a theme - I could do it for hours. I started #makeamealofit (kind of on a whim, actually, but it’s really taken off), to encourage other people to make an event of eating. It’s not about money or class, or what you’re drinking or eating - I pay just as much attention to toast as I would to fresh pasta. It’s simply about sitting down to enjoy something we so often rush. Plus, who doesn’t need to punctuate their day right now?
I love nesting, and making a home cosy. At the moment, I’m seven months pregnant, so it’s never been more important. Little pops of colour and fresh flowers make my house a home. I always have my yellow Roberts radio on in the background, chatting away. On an evening, I light a couple of candles, so I can differentiate the day from dusk, and I sit down and relax. I’m a sucker for a gin and tonic (oh how I miss them), but obviously that’s not an option right now, so I’ve swapped gin for seedlip, which is a great alternative. The littlest things have the power to brighten my mood, and the Rita Konig Daisy Murano Glass Tumblers I drink from are no different. I guess the common denominator of the things I love is their colour: yellow!
This fragrance brand is one of my all time favourites. it reminds me of holidays and happy times spent in Italy. I have a terracotta pomegranate in my living room, diffusing their famous and delicious ‘Melangrano’ fragrance. Ah, I adore it.
I love the emerald Matilda Goad natural beeswax candles, which look divine in this ceramic candlestick holder by one of my favourite artists Claudia Rankin. She does camels and leopards and all sorts.
I'm isolating at home with my mum in Yorkshire. I grew up here, so I say home through habit, even though I've actually lived in London the last two years. Within that time, I've lived in three different flats, but always on my own. Despite the upheaval of moving flats so frequently, and the fact that the very thought of Yorkshire comforts me, this period has made me realise that actually, London is home. It's not that I miss the over priced corner shops, more the experience of solitude. I'm craving the instances I usually take for granted. As soon as I wake up in the morning, I put music on. The bathroom is free whenever I need it (it'd be one hell of shock if someone was in there). I often leave a wine glass out on the table for over 24 hours, my fridge is perpetually and pitifully empty, and my bomb sites of cupboards are places only I could find the dried basil. I also have a tendency to shout loudly on the phone. But no-one can say anything about it, because it's my home, and that feeling is incomparable.
‘Calm’ is the word that most comes to mind when people walk through the doors of my light filled home. I believe the reason this space feels inviting and serene is because it represents an emotional connection to the stories of those I hold dear – in short, it represents love.
Now more than ever, I feel incredibly lucky to be in this space. The experience of downsizing and working from home has brought clarity. There is now time to meditate, to sit and do a crossword with my son, to cook unhurried, to read a book. I might even treat myself to a bread maker.
An oversized painting from the days my father traded antiques from Rajasthani sits next to an 70s emerald green clock he found at a car boot sale – both reminders of his passion for honouring artisan made things. A dainty, carved dressing table my mother found in Whitley’s of London. A sheer embellished sari designed by my sister, draped over my bathroom window, paintings and poems from my children, pictures of 30 wonderful years with my husband, cards from friends, the Paul Smith needlepoint I treated myself to when my first book was published.