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  • Writer's pictureSerena Chan

5 Spaces At Home You Should To Spruce Up

Regardless of your age, gender, or background, we can all agree on one thing — that it’s a messy, messy world out there. No matter where you look, things can feel terribly busy, with jam-packed schedules, people incessantly talking over each other, not to mention the millions of things constantly vying for our attention every day.

That being said, it’s thriving in a setting like this that shows how truly extraordinary the human spirit is. We face crazy challenges every single day, and yet somehow we always manage to find ways to cope and get the strength we need.

Part of that self-care process is taking care of our space, and that reality rings truer now than ever. From conglomerate-backed sprucing (think: IKEA) to the rise of lifestyle personalities-slash-gurus (think: Marie Kondo), the concept of making your home your own has gained immeasurable popularity in recent years.

In light of that, here are some spaces you should set up to make your home a safe haven, and some tips on how to make them work for you. (Hint: They definitely will spark joy!)

1. The Living Room

Game night. Television dinners. Couch snuggles. True to its name, the living room is where you live, breathe, and spend precious time with your family and friends.

On any given night, I'll find my Spouse sitting on the couch, watching old Kungfu movies on Netflix. My son would be right next to him, snacking on day-old potato chips, while my Mother would be in her favourite armchair, reading. Like many other families, the living room is the centre of our home and family life.

More often than not, the living room is also the place that takes up the most space in any home. As such, it beckons to be filled with the furniture you love and pieces that reflect your personality. Make the area cosy by adding music, mood lighting, and family pictures. To keep things practical, consider the placement of the television set (if you have one) and a designated place to keep the newspapers, remote controls or magazines to avoid clutter.

2. The Study

A mistake many people tend to make is to see the office as solely as workspace. Reflecting that, many home offices have only the bare minimum in terms of design — a table, a couple of chairs, shelves, and maybe a trash can.

Yes, functionality is important, but why not go a few steps further to spruce up the study? Add a couple of playful touches by adding a textured rug, hanging up family pictures, or if you have the time, a mural on the wall. Even a small plant can be a sight for sore eyes, especially if you’re working in the study for long hours.

At home, I’m the biggest user of the study, and I appreciate many of the little things that make it a joy to work in. All the books and stationery are arranged in ways that make sense to me, and the desk is tidy and neat, although my Mother often professes otherwise. One thing’s for sure, though, space matters, be it for work or play.

3. The Kitchen

No matter what you love doing, your home should reflect your passions and interests by simply making it effortless to access the tools you need. Some of us love painting, others love sports, but what most, if not all, of us enjoy is food.

The kitchen is where the food’s at, so naturally, it’s also where family and friends tend to gravitate towards. Whether it’s a simple weekday home cooked meal or a weekend dinner party with friends, the kitchen is full of life and precious moments to share. It’s certainly true for my family. You’ll often find my Spouse experimenting with new recipes, or my Mother cooking her renowned fish head curry.

It’s important for a kitchen to stay functional and organised, but also beautiful. Bright walls and lighting are important to get that vibrant energy… and also to see what’s going into your food. The more you cook, the more moisture and oil accumulates, so make sure your kitchen is easy to clean and scrub. If it doubles up as an eating space, opt for hideaway furniture to minimise obstructions. Things like roll-out kitchen cabinets or shorter bar stools that you can hide away make for great kitchen design, and also tend to be a pleasant surprise for your guests when they come over.

4. The Bathroom

Not every house has a study or a large kitchen, but almost every house has a bathroom. Compared to the rest of the house, it’s a relatively small space, but it’s critical to our daily needs. Because of its size, bathrooms can easily get cluttered, and that’s the biggest pitfall. Ideally, a bathroom should be a clean and uncluttered place for some, ahem, peaceful and private relaxation.

Needless to say, my entire family uses the bathrooms in our home, and that can be tricky because of how many different supplies we need to store in each. Well, to take care of that, we make sure to keep supplies out of sight by arranging them in bathroom shelves or baskets. With infusers and fresheners, the bathrooms are perpetually scented with my favourite floral scent of the season.

If you don’t have space for a bathroom closet, a tip is to think of ways to use any available wall space. High hanging shelves, for instance, are perfect for natural and lightweight decorations like botanicals and picture frames. The bathroom is a space you’ll use every single day, so it definitely deserves to be elevated.

5. The Bedroom

Last but not least, we come to the most personal and intimate space of the house — your bedroom. We all share the incredible feeling of sliding into your own soft sheets after a long day, and that’s a feeling to pursue in designing and decorating a bedroom space.

The bedroom is a place to rest and sleep, so anything that helps you to relax can be added to it, be it scents, childhood items, plants, music or pictures. If anything, go for soft, ambient lighting and black-out curtains to create the best sleeping environment. Keep the floor clean and clear from things you might trip over in the dark.

Let’s not forget bed itself! Aim for blankets and sheets that are comfortable to the touch, and wash them often. Personally, I chose a duvet and a quilt that are both thick yet cooling enough to use in hot weather. As a taller person, I also raised the bed a little to match my height and chose a thick mattress for it. The space of a bedroom is entirely yours, so customise your entire bedroom to suit your preferences and needs. You won’t regret it!

With all the hustle and bustle, designing your very own living space has become one of society’s obsessions, and for good reason too. At first glance, it might seem like a new age coping mechanism, like following new meditation podcasts or buying ten-dollar coffees (guilty as charged!). However, the fact is that, from caves to castles, taking a space and making it home is a concept that has existed for humans all throughout history.

With all that time to practice, our understanding of what a home is has evolved dramatically. From just being a place to survive, a home is now a sanctuary, a peaceful place to return to after fighting a day’s worth of monsters. Designing your home can make a huge difference, so get started today! We’d love to hear about how you’ve been creative with making your space your own.

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