A year ago the lives of everyone on this planet brutally and suddenly changed. This has been an awful time for everyone but some important pandemic lessons can be found in all of this and today I thought we could explore a little the lessons that pandemic has taught me about life and decor.
Decor and the Pandemic Lessons
When I started this blog back in January I made a promise to myself that I would write a post a minimum of once a week. This week I almost didn’t keep that promise. I hadn’t planned on writing this particular post. I had planned on posting a Trash to Treasure tutorial on how I transformed an old dresser into an amazing TV stand but a series of pandemic set backs prevented me from completing the project in time for me to post it.
One of those setbacks resulted in my standing in a super long line at Home Depot waiting to get in so that I could buy some much needed supplies. I wracked my brain on what was I going to do. I knew I didn’t want to miss my deadline but I also wasn’t about to post about just anything. Along with my once a week promise I had also promised myself that I would only post quality content. If you are going to spend your precious time reading this then I was going to spend my time making sure I was providing something worth reading.
As I stood there, watching my fellow citizens masked and patiently waiting for their turn, it suddenly hit me. All of these people were standing there to get into a store that centered around DIY decor and home renovations. Much like food and clothing I was among others who saw their home and its contents as essential. That then got me thinking about all of the pandemic lessons I had learned this past year and this led to reflecting on how these pandemic lessons could be applied to the home and DIY home decor.
What I am about to share is certainly not earth shattering. It won’t save lives, it won’t provide care where care is needed. I am hoping though, that it will provide a new perspective and maybe it will help you to look for more lessons that can be learned throughout all of this.
I realize how fortunate I am to live in a part of the world were I can even focus on my home and this blog while in this pandemic. I guess that would actually be:
Pandemic lessons #1: Recognize those things in your life that you can be grateful for
We are blessed in that we have the ability to cover the additional costs required throughout this pandemic and we live in a place where we have access to health care. We are able to make choices that allows us to safely care for our family. We are not living it up big but we have what we need.
The same can be applied to the home. It can be so easy to get caught up in what we don’t have or things that we want. We can compare ourselves to unachievable home goals and strive for that perfect look. I am guilty of this too.
I will likely never stop working on our home and creating decor. I love it. But I will be reminding myself to be grateful even for the ugly bits. I hate my dining room table. It is old and ugly but for now it is providing a place for our family to eat and talk and bond over card games. So for that, I say “thanks” to that old, ugly table.
11 Pandemic Lessons I Learned That Apply to DIY Decor
Pandemic Lessons #2: Patience is the key
As we all stood there in this really long line, sweating behind our masks in the afternoon sun, I was reminded of the importance of patience. I was determined to get these supplies so that I could finish the project and then I could complete my work and then share it with all of you. In order to get those supplies I would have to be patient.
When it comes to DIY decor patience is definitely a virtue. Paint that second coat on too soon and you will get blotchy, rough patches. Remove that stencil too quickly and the paint will smudge. Take those wood clamps off when the glue hasn’t had a chance to completely bond and what a mess.
So leave yourself extra time, let things progress at a natural pace, and try not to rush things. Taking your time and being patient can prevent a disaster from occurring.
Pandemic lessons #3: Work with what you already have
I have lost count of the number of times I wanted to go out and purchase something for a DIY or for a recipe only to realize I couldn’t because of pandemic regulations. Sure, I could go on line and order things but that was also taking more time than usual.
So instead I turned to my already existing stash of food in the pantry or crafts materials in the craft room. I learned to work with what I had and if I didn’t have it, I learned to improvise. It was fun challenging myself to create with what was on hand.
Oh sure, there were a few dinner mishaps and a few DIYs got shelved until I can actually get the supplies I need but for the most part I just found ways to make do. I have to admit, it helped increase my confidence and I plan on continuing to turn to what we already have rather than what I think we need.
Working with what you already have will save you money, expand your creativity, and will make you feel a ton better about using those items that have been in your stash this whole time.
Pandemic lessons #4: Our homes are our palaces
When we all found ourselves stuck in our homes we all became aware of just how important our homes actually are. Those little things we had been ignoring about our home decor or that much needed home renovation were now staring us in the face. Interest in home improvement, home decor, and DIYing became all the rage. If we were going to be in our homes all of the time than we were going to enjoy it.
Home care never stops and at the end of the day it is the one place we always turn to. Keeping our homes organized, beautiful, and cared for means that we will always have a place where we can escape the daily challenges and recharge our batteries.
So it’s important that we take the time to clean, decorate, and maintain our homes. We need to be consistently giving our homes attention so that when we need to turn to our palace it is all gleaming and waiting for us.
Pandemic lessons #5: Nature is essential to one’s well being
Again, we are very fortunate in this regard. We have a large backyard over looking the river. We have a spacious back deck and a lovely front porch.
When the world shut down though so many went without the great outdoors. During the winter months even those lucky enough to have an outdoor space suddenly found ourselves driven back indoors. Nature and how essential that connection between nature and human is became profoundly apparent.
I guess it’s true that we don’t always appreciate something until it’s lost. And because of this we are reminded of the importance of caring for Mother Nature. We are again called to pay attention to our planet. As decorators we can achieve this by trying to decorate green.
Some of the ways we can decorate green is by reducing our decor waste by creating with recycled or reused items, creating outdoor DIYs that encourage nature and pollinators, shopping at thrift stores and garage sales, and finding clever ways to reuse old housing materials.
Many of us also started to crave having nature close to us. Decorating with natural materials, house plants, and the colours often found in nature has become front and center. Rising food prices had aspiring gardeners popping up everywhere. Camping became the holiday of choice.
There is just so much inspiration to be found in nature and thanks to the pandemic forcing many of us to slow down and stay put we are rediscovering her beauty and I hope we will continue to bring this into our life styles and decor.
Pandemic lessons #6: Small daily comforts makes all the difference
Boy! Did we ever learn this one. The pandemic took away so many of the things we had become accustomed to. Many of the things we turned to for entertainment, relaxation, physical release, and daily pleasure was suddenly just gone.
We were forced to find ways to keep ourselves healthy, happy, and sane. Bedrooms became home gyms, master chefs were born in the kitchen, family dens were now movie theaters, and the small comforts became all that much more appreciated.
This holds true in DIYing. Not just in creating comfort in our homes and with our decor but also in making sure that as we create we have the things we need to be comfortable and the tools that will make our work easier and faster. So invest in that tool you have been eyeing or that plushy crafting chair that will save your back. Or create those gorgeous scented candles or hang that hammock in the backyard. Pay attention to the little comfort details and you will always feel cared for.
Even when things return to the days before the pandemic, when all is big again, try and embrace the little pleasures. Always remember that when the covid hit the fan, it was the little things that got us through.
Pandemic lessons #7: Outdoor spaces are our oasis
I will never forget having a pandemic friendly, socially distanced double date with our neighbours in the rain. Hubby and I sat on our front porch while they sat in the back cab of their car. We snacked on cheese and sipped on wine and chatted for hours. It was the most fun we had all had in over a year. We felt human again and hopeful.
This year we are decking out the back deck. Sure, we are likely going to be able to go back out into the big world but this past year has taught many of us to appreciate our yards and outdoor spaces. If you have an outdoor space what could be better than turning it into an extension of your home.
There are so many ways to decorate the great outdoors. Heating lamps, umbrellas, furniture, balconies hammocks, accessories, dining areas, cabins, docks, tree house, campers… the list goes on and on… all benefit from our attention, a little bit of TLC, and some gorgeous decor goes a long way.
Pandemic lessons #8: Home is where the heart is
While all of this was going on, all across the globe we were driven into our homes. Never before had we appreciated our homes quite so much and neither have we ever had more reason to be sick of our homes.
Although I know that once we can leave our four walls it is very likely that we will all be running out of our homes, clutching a roll of toilet paper, and screaming for joy but in the end we will all eventually again return home. And it is for that reason that I believe that we should never forget how much we appreciate our home or or how thankful we are for how safe it kept us.
Decor is the best way to show yourself and others that you care about your home. Taking care that it displays your personal tastes, reflects your style, and caters to your current family needs. So even when we can go back outside I think it’s important that we remember our homes and how great it feels when we have it looking it’s best.
Pandemic lessons #9: Family and loved ones are what matters
I think this is probably the biggest lesson many of us learnt during these trying times. All of us have missed those that we care about. Some of us have lost those we love and care about. Family and loved ones are what makes life worth living. I mean, yeah there are plenty of other things that make life amazing but our loved ones are by far the most important.
Our home is the place where we can create comfort for those that we love. Movie nights in the family den, delicious dinners around the dining table, BBQ in the back yard, and milestone celebrations in the living room. No matter the room you are in, taking the time to care about the ambience through amazing decor is the answer to making all of those around you feel welcome and cared for.
Pandemic lessons #10: It’s all in the preparation
Every time we step out the door there is a list of things we need to remember now. As the front door slams we frantically yell at our children, “Remember your face mask and do you have hand sanitizer?” And as whispers of a new, looming lock down emerges out we went, stocking up on grocery supplies, medication, and toilet paper.
We learnt the importance of being prepared. If we were going out we needed the proper safety equipment, if there was an appointment to attend we had to fill out a health questionnaire before hand, and if a lock down was coming and we didn’t want to stand out in a long line we needed to pay attention to the numbers and shop before crisis hit.
The same can be said for home decorating. We need to take the time to properly prepare for a project. We need to make sure that we have the proper supplies, that we have the space to create, and that we have all the safety equipment we need for the project.
Preparing ahead of time means that things will likely go smoothly. It means that our vision will become reality. We will be safe, we will be prepared, and we will be successful.
Pandemic lessons #11: We can do this!
We can do this! We can find a way to get through this pandemic. We will heal and grow and learn. We will get past this.
And in decorating it is the same. We can get through it. Whether we have taken on a tiny decor DIY or a massive renovation or redecoration overhaul we will get through it. If we remember to focus on what is important, we prepare, we focus on the small comforts, and we work with patience and deliberateness we will eventaully create the home we love.
Jenny’s FinishingThoughts on Pandemic Lessons and Decor
This has unquestionably been a difficult time for all of us. We have all had to cope with some form of loss and make sacrifices that we never wanted. We’ve also all turned to our homes. Home and pandemic definitely go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. However, when we stop to reflect on this past year there is no question that there were pandemic lessons to be learned. Pandemic lessons about ourselves, the life we lead, and maybe even a little bit about how we can apply some of that to our home decor.
What pandemic lessons did you learn this past year? And do you think any of them a relevant in the DIY world?