By Rachel Garvey
Lockdown has taught us that we need to find happiness in the little things, no matter how small they are. A lot of students have gotten to the stage where they have watched everything on Netflix or they’ve read every book in their collection and they are now running out of things to do. They can only walk around their house so many times before they start to feel their sanity slipping. However, the fact that we are encouraged to stay home and within a five-kilometre radius of our dwelling means we eventually start to get tired of our surroundings. The solution? Change things up a bit. Start your own little house makeover! Shops may be closed until further notice, but that doesn’t mean that online shopping has been disrupted around Galway.
Your bedroom is your own safe space, your hide-out where you can be you and do whatever you want in the comfiness and privacy of your own four walls. Change the furniture around in whatever way you wish. Different coloured frames that hold memories of your friends and family can be placed around near your window or on your dresser; TK Maxx, Penney’s and Tiger all have a great selection of such frames for a very good price, don’t worry, it’s nothing too expensive. Making a collage on your bedroom wall of printed pictures with a final touch of a string of fairy lights is a great way to bring colour and a sense of warmth to your room, especially on those cold dark days. All that is needed is some blue-tack and imagination.
I consider the bathroom to be the coldest room in the house, but that’s only an excuse to make it warmer. Penney’s has a nice range of bathroom mats that’ll be sure to warm your feet once you step out of your shower. Your boring plastic soap bottle can be replaced with a decorative soap dispenser which can be bought from every store mentioned previously. One final touch; candles! Just do not forget to keep an eye on them and blow them out before you leave the house or go to bed.
If you are sharing a house with other people, it’s sometimes hard to decorate the place to your liking because you want to respect other’s choices in how the place should be decorated, but there is nothing stopping you from co-ordinating a plan to decorate the place together. It does not have to be decorated to the point where you all spend a fortune, that is not what makes it a home. Living in a pandemic has taught us that little things hold greater meaning to us than we ever gave them credit for and what I have realised is books and a few cosy blankets can have a big impact in freshening up your sitting room. There is nothing wrong with displaying a few books in the sitting room, you would be surprised at how interested people will be in them. The same is true for throws and blankets, tucking some soft blankets into your couches or draping them over the back of your couch is a great way to add a more homely and cosy feeling to your dwelling. It also means you do not have to go searching for a blanket if you’re lazing on the sofa!
Perhaps a small potted plant on the kitchen sink. Plants bring a whole new world of colour into your kitchen and help make the room brighter. A mug tree is also a great investment with Dunnes Stores and HomeStore & More having them in stock. Personally, I prefer to keep my mugs out of the kitchen presses to prevent them from getting a musty smell and it is so much nicer having all your different mugs on display. Having one mug per branch is the way to go, everything is balanced, too many mugs hanging from the branches and the tree will look out of sorts. As my own personal touch, I added a miniature toy trolley, bought in Tiger, to my kitchen countertop where I keep receipts or vouchers from supermarkets. Do not be afraid to get creative! Lockdown may mean we have to stay home but staying home does not have to be a bad thing, so keep yourself busy with a little redecorating during these seemingly endless periods of restrictions. Make it your own little lockdown project.