Made in our homes for your home, this issue saw the homestyle team working together apart. It’s been an interesting experience communicating virtually through emails, calls, FaceTime and Zoom meetings, while sliding into each other’s DMs with of-the-moment memes to lighten the mood.
Fortuitously, we wrapped our last shoot for this issue just days before New Zealand went into Level 4 lockdown. Pre-COVID almost feels like another lifetime, but the stories we’re sharing here feel no less relevant — in fact, our take on home as a place to take refuge resonates more deeply now than ever. Of course, real life has its less serene moments, and somewhere between the third failed loaf of sourdough and attempting to craft papier-mâché maracas with my son Ted, I hit the wall. But it wasn’t all bad, because what this time has taught me is to shed my aspirations of getting everything right and relearn how to make the best of things. (Having a good laugh about the absurdity of the situation helps too; thanks, comedian Chris Parker, for the wholly relatable Instagram posts parodying who we all are in isolation.)
The same analogy could apply to your place: it’s okay to forget about having your spaces entirely sorted and embrace the undone. Though if you do feel like refreshing your rooms, a little interior styling can go a long way towards helping you feel on top of things. Sure, it may seem frivolous, but you can’t underestimate the feel-good factor of taking the time to improve your surroundings; #stayhomestilllife, #oneminutesculpture and #isolationchair are just some of the ways I’ve enjoyed seeing people around the world getting creative in isolation.
On walks around my Auckland neighbourhood, I keep an eye out for overhanging branches within easy reach of a little snip and the twiggy remains of overzealous pruning sessions left abandoned on the curb. This means that in our spare bedroom/home office, there’s always a vase filled with something autumnal beside the computer to distract from the jumble of cables and paperwork essentials in the corner of the room. Making these dried decorations reminds me that changing things up at home doesn’t have to revolve around the new. Rearranging sentimental objects, repositioning the art that’s already on your walls and making the most of what you’ve got can be satisfying enough.
If you do have the means, desire and need to spend money on something special for your home in the coming weeks and months, please consider supporting our creative community by shopping local. Doing so will help ensure New Zealand businesses, retailers, artists, designers and makers get back on their feet. We all need each other to get through this. Stay safe, stay positive, take care,
Alice Lines, editor