Lessons from lockdown: Lifestyle experts share their big learnings

If we’ve learnt anything during these past few months in lockdown, it’s that there truly is no place like home.

From shifting priorities, embracing new perspectives, and getting creative within (literally) their own backyard, lifestyle experts share the lessons they have learnt during lockdown, with the hope that perhaps others can learn from them, too.

1. Don’t wait for the old, start anew

For an individual who wears many hats as an interior stylist, creative director, author, and designer, it’s no surprise that Jason Grant leads a very busy lifestyle. But during lockdown, Grant has come to grasp the benefits of slowing things down.

“We were all in such a rush, constantly busy, stressed out and tired, but time in lockdown has made me realise that this was not sustainable,” says Grant.

“I really feel that we can’t just wait for a return to normal, instead, we need to think about building something new and different. Like gaining a new awareness of the need to take time for ourselves, time to muster renewed energy, and time to finish projects that we previously have lacked the time to complete. Focusing on these things are what has kept me optimistic.”

Lesson learnt: “Take this as a chance to learn and grow personally and creatively.”

 2. Home is more than a pitstop

Even as a health professional who teaches many others how to create healthy habits, Dr Gina Cleo discovered that lockdown had lessons in store for her, like the realisation that she had been using her home as merely a “quick pitstop” between long working hours.

“I’ve often stated that my home is my sanctuary but actually, before lockdown, I viewed it as more of a convenience – close to work, near the park, plenty of space for the doggo to run around; it fulfilled a list of criteria,” she says. “But since lockdown, I’ve come to appreciate the true pleasures and comfort of my home.

“It’s now the place where I work, rest, enjoy leisure time, not to mention discover the love of baking. Home has truly become my sanctuary.”

Lesson learnt: “Break a few sneaky habits that blur the lines between work and leisure time at home – like checking emails on your phone as you cook.”

3. Style with intention

Being an interior designer, Emma Blomfield has always taken a lot of pride in the appearance of her home, but with lockdown bringing about a new perspective, she has noticed a significant change in her views.

“Since lockdown, I’ve been thinking more consciously about how I spend my money on certain things in the house,” says Blomfield.

“Now more than ever, I truly believe there’s no need to have big budgets in order to create beautiful spaces, instead focus should be placed on carefully selecting items that help create an environment which is reflective of who you are.

“Taking the time to do this will certainly have a huge impact on how we feel when we spend time at home.”

Lesson learnt: “Before you purchase anything new, do as Marie Kondo says, ask yourself, ‘does it bring me joy?’”

4. View home in a different light

After many years spent building her new house in Venice, California, co-founder of Armadillo & Co Jodie Fried has found some silver linings with her time in lockdown, including finally getting to thoroughly enjoy her home as a family.

“Being stuck indoors has been a blessing in surprising ways,” says Fried. “I now have the time to observe the way the light falls at different hours of the day, times when I otherwise wouldn’t be at home.

“I also find myself using spaces that I don’t usually have time to stop and utterly appreciate, including our garden, which is just now starting to bloom. I have become so grateful for the chance to slow down and be mindful of our family, as well as our home.”

Lesson learnt: “Soak up the simple pleasures that our home brings, those that our fast-paced life was previously not allowing us to do.”

5. Home can be a playground

Even with a home that’s as beautiful as that of Kate Heppell, co-founder of Kip & Co, having her young “and wild” boys at home during the lockdown has challenged her family to get creative and innovative with “every corner of their block”.

“Our backyard has been turned into a total adventure playground for the family, we’ve stepped up our veggie gardens, added a hot tub, incubated chickens, and still found space for some crash mats and a circus set-up,” says Heppell.

“So often we all look outward for entertainment when it comes to the little ones, but we’ve come to learn that life can feel just as fun and fulfilling in our own home – that’s why it’s so important to make it a space that you feel really comfortable, energised and happy in.”

Lesson learnt: “No room should have a single purpose. Where possible, they should be multi-functional and packed to the rafters with plenty of colour, creativity and fun.”

6. The missing piece is family and friends

After spending an extended period at home over the past few months, creative couple Brooke Nash and Gareth Davies used this opportunity to renovate unfinished areas in their Bondi home. But while they are proud of their accomplishments, they claim it won’t truly feel finished until they are able to share it with loved ones.

“No matter how amazing you get your home looking, you never truly enjoy it until the people you love the most come around to visit,” says Nash.

“Time in lockdown has reinforced to us that home is a place that should be shared among family and friends, and we are really looking forward to the day a large group of them can all come to visit.”

Lesson learnt: Don’t take for granted cherished time spent at home, gathered with your loved ones.”

PAULINE MORRISSEY MAY 25, 2020

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