xtreme home makeover, quarantine edition: creating a happy space πŸ πŸ›πŸ•―

since we’re all living in captivity confined to our quarters at home, I’ve personally been on an “extreme home makeover: quarantine edition” kick. I don’t know if this is a coping mechanism, an anxiety compulsion, a form of child-free nesting, or simply a desire to create a more comfortable and enjoyable space since we can’t f*cking leave to enhance this time on lockdown β€” whatever the “why” in this case may be, it’s happening, and I’m honestly not mad about it.

and while I’m finding treasures for my little beach cottage and impulse shopping online organizing and reupholstering a vintage chair, I’d like to share some things that are making my space feel more like a retreat so you can capitalize on this, too.

all things cozy: for the home

Candle: you perhaps know from my IG, but my favorite candle of ALL TIME is the Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede… and now it’s on sale (!!). If I had less self control and more disposable income, I’d buy the $500 jumbo size. For me, fragrance is a *huge* factor in making my space feel happy and comfortable, so this plays a pretty significant part in my “sanctuary” construction.

Silk pillowcase: beauty sleep is serious business, and fresh sheets and pillowcases really make a difference. I’ve been using this silk pillowcase from amazon for a couple years; it’s legit and SO cheap compared to what else is out there.

Nice hand soap: of all my absolutely insane whims and obsessions I develop seemingly out of nowhere, I’m so impressed with January 2020 Dominique who decided that “nice hand soap” would make a difference in my life, and subscribed to this Compagnie de Provence exfoliating soap in a ceramic container on amazon. Perfect timing for a bizarre fixation with hand-washing this spring!!! I regret absolutely nothing hahahahahahahaha ok anyway. For a *much* less expensive option, I recommend the peony and rose scents from Mrs. Meyers (currently sold out because … hoarding), which are under $4 a pop at Target (usually). You wash your hands a lot during the day, so find a soap that adds a little pizzazz to your routine namsayin.

Wine: no explanation needed, right? splurge on a good one. you deserve it.

Plants: I’ve been going through the painstakingly infuriating challenging process of trying to revive two fiddle leaf fig plants, but now that my second one is finally *FINALLY* growing some new little bb leaves (aw hell yah), I feel like it’s all been worth it (I spray this little b*tchass plant with EVIAN MIST and have been giving it bottled alkaline water to make this a reality). Greenery in the house makes a different, and brings a little outside in to brighten your spirits while you’re cooped up. Maybe don’t choose a diva tree like the fiddle leaf fig, and you’ll have less stress in your life.

Soft and weighted blankets: I have found that a weighted blanket and lots of soft, plush blankets have helped me feel soothed… it’s always nice to have a cushy, happy-to-the-touch things around you, you know? And filling your living space with softness and warmth definitely helps with stress. This SUPER soft one from Nordstrom is 50% off. I’ve purchased these as gifts before and they’re insane… like softest blanket I’ve ever touched.

all things cozy: for the bod

Slippers: I’ve been wearing two different types of UGG slippers (like these but with pompoms), but there are so many kinds (including these that look like they have hiking tread on the soles lol) β€” some are pricey, but these are somehow $20??? Cozy slippers have made a difference for me, particularly as it’s been cold asf and rainy in San Diego.

Hand masks: my shopper at Nordstrom got me some ultra-moisturizing hand masks to counter all the dryness from the aforementioned obsessive handwashing, and it’s currently on sale at Saks, for under $10. Leave these little mitts on for 10 mins and let the oils and moisturizers soak in. So nice.

Hand cream. I’ve got a thousand hand creams in my house (like I said, whims and obsessions… and hand washing), and most of them are L’Occitane in a floral scent.

Pajamas from Target: I have a bunch of these sets (thank u, bridesmaid career). They’re so soft, inexpensive, and feel so nice on while still giving you a “somewhat coordinated” vibe.

Bath things: Taking candle-lit baths is super f*king clichΓ©d, I get it, but it honestly is one of my favorite things. These epsom salts lasted me a year, and this is the tray I use to hold books/iPad/wine/tea. Try a bath bomb for $5, or my favorite bath oil from Molton Brown (also on sale at Saks).

Face cream: I recently picked up a jar of Comfort Zone Hydramemory Cream after a facial, and I can’t say enough good things about it. Zero irritation, no clogged pores, no breakouts, deeply hydrating, feels fresh, not sticky, and true to its name, it feels comforting. If you’re at all like me, when you’re skin feels good, everything feels right.

at-home sanctuary: entertainment

Some things that have been bringing me comfort: coloring books (mindless and nostalgic), jigsaw puzzles (I got one made on Shutterfly!), the series Dix Pour Cent on Netflix (it’s in French but has subtitles and is HILARIOUS), and lots of books. Adding puzzles, games, and other comforting activities into your space can add more joy and coziness and help you feel a little more excited about being at home.

at home sanctuary: organization + cleaning

I’ve taken to reorganizing different parts of my house bit by bit, day by day. Chunking it up into smaller projects has made it wayyyy more doable.

For instance, project one (which actually started pre-quarantine) was my fridge; I spent almost a month organizing my refrigerator little by little. Then it was coffee mugs and the cupboards over my sink in the kitchen. Next up is the pantry, and eventually I’ll move out of the kitchen and into the living room.

I experience a night-and-day difference with a clean space versus a cluttered one. Not only is taking time to clean a de-stressing experience for me, but the end result is incredibly uplifting. Marie Kondo doesn’t lie, this cleaning sh*t is like a drug.

at home sanctuary: decor

this is such a subjective category based on your own space and design preferences, and I’m 100% not an interior designer (but my best friend is!), so I don’t want to give specific product recommendations. howeeeever, I have some general ideas for you!

I’m adding little bits here and there that have been missing or in need of a refresh since I moved to my new house at the end of last year. Some broad themes… (because adding new bits you’re excited about will help you be a little happier indoors!)

  • Knick knacks that “spark joy” β€” for me, this is in the form of vintage books, a miniature alabaster bust from Greece, a Chinese guardian lion lamp β€” choose your adventure.
  • Fresh flowers β€” if you’re able to pick some or grab a bunch while you’re making a masked grocery store trip, or even have some delivered!
  • Color β€” whether it’s a blanket, new drapes, a floor cushion, a piece of art, or new throw pillows, adding a splash of color could add some sunshine indoors… got this tip from Kelly Wearstler’s masterclass.

at-home sanctuary: wellness

Tea: making a cup of tea has been bringing me a nice little respite of coziness and calm at home. I have SO MANY types of tea β€” I love my LadurΓ©e tea, David’s Tea (particularly the vanilla orchid), TWG birthday tea, anything from Angelina (the montblanc is surreal), get relaxed tea (you can find this at CVS), and Sakara tea.

Yoga mat: a bright and beautiful yoga mat (this one’s under $25, and this one is apparently extra padded to help with pressure issues, idk) will help you create your own little wellness retreat at home. roll it out each morning (or whatever time of day floats your boat) and do some flows, meditate, and find your zen. I personally use one from lululemon and one from manduka. I love them both.

Massage balls: my favorite thing lately has been my friend Liz’s class The Release, where we use trigger point massage balls to help your body and brain come down from that ledge it was about to jump off. Basically the self-massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the “off button” for the sympathetic nervous system β€” aka your fight-flight-freeze response. Get a set of these balls (lol I’m 13) and sign up for a class to learn how to treat ur body right @ home.

Oil diffuser: try some aromatherapy! again, I’m a big proponent of using fragrance to set the mood of a space β€” get yourself a diffuser and some uplifting oils (citrus is always a good bet!) and breathe in the good vibes.

Crystals: whether you appreciate the energy shift from bringing these natural treasures from the earth into your home, or you simply enjoy their gorgeous aesthetic, adding crystals into your space adds an extra element of comfort and beauty.

That was a lot (shocking). Hopefully you’re inspired to spruce your space and make it your own personal happiest place on earth. Sending you lots of love while you shelter in place.


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