Helpful Features in a Home for Hunkering Down
Last week, I wrote about the little things in my house driving me nuts now that I spend all my time at home while we all work on flattening the curve of this pandemic. It’s natural to analyze and find fault in things, but there are also so many things that I am currently grateful for in my house, like these.
April 16, 2020
Last week’s tongue-in-cheek blog post about the things in my house I regret about our remodel brought a little levity in a stressful time. What also occurred to me, however, is that (more than those small things) there are so many things I am especially grateful for in our house right now. And, I think it is an important reminder for all of us to take stock of the things we love and appreciate, not just the things making us crazy.
It goes without saying, the thing I am most grateful for is actually having a house. Housing, and having a larger home, is a privilege that many of us take for granted. Thinking of the millions of people who are in slums or tight quarters right now is a good reminder to check our privilege and put things in perspective. So, while I am grateful for these things, I’m also aware that they’re privileges.
All that said, here are the features in my home that are keeping me sane and grateful in these insane times.
A Covered Porch
Hands down, the most helpful spot for reducing stress right now is our front porch. We can sit up there rain or shine under the covered outdoor space and people passing by. We have basically moved out there, eating meals in our coats and sitting out there at night with a glass of wine. It has been our favorite thing and a reminder of just how important a good front porch is to a home.
A Quiet Place to Work
I have a spot to work, even if it hasn’t been used as a home office in a while. It has low ceilings, ghastly yellow paint, and is filled with overflow kids’ toys, but is still a spot to work. I can keep my kids downstairs and that separation allows me to focus and keep going. It has also given me some time to reminisce on starting my company up in the attic in the first place.
An Extra Freezer
I have a giant freezer in the basement and, wow, that has been so useful. Allowing me to head to the store less frequently is a great thing right now. A second freezer or refrigerator is a good thing to plan for in any remodel or new construction project. You'll be glad you have it when you need it, quarantine or not.
A Home Bar
I’m a parent of two young kids and I own a small business during a pandemic. Board & Vellum was already well set up to work remotely (even in normal times, a large portion of the team works remotely one day a week), and we’ve been staying productive, very busy, and continuing to land new projects, but really, there’s no avoiding the stress that comes with owning a small business in a crazy time of uncertainty. Needless to say, I am grateful for that bar. Very grateful.
A Space to Workout
I also have a storage room that is set up to also function as a home gym. When I’m not sitting at the bar, I’m trying to find time to workout, which is a far healthier and better way to deal with stress. It has been helpful when we’ve had cold and rainy weather and I can’t go outside.
A Functional Kitchen
Finally, I’m grateful to have a functional kitchen. I love to cook. I read cookbooks for fun, and spend a good chunk of every day dreaming of recipes and creations. Had I not remodeled my home, I would have dealt with everything, of course, but it would have made cooking far less enjoyable. It is a reminder that if you can, remodel sooner than later as you’ll have that much longer to enjoy the space you get to create.
Staying at home creates all sorts of challenges and unique situations that you have to deal with. While it is human nature to just focus on the things that aren’t working, it is helpful to think about the things that do work well, and remind yourself of how fortunate you might be. This pandemic is frightening and humbling all at once and is making me grateful for the decisions I’ve been able to make to help our home keep a family of four sane in a time of stress.