This week guest blogger Charlotte Argyrou a Botanical Illustrator talks us through how to bring creativity into the home at any time of the year.
As technology blurs the divide between work and life, our working lives can so easily invade our homes. With emails, spreadsheets and social media in our hands from the moment we open our eyes until the final seconds before bed, it’s no surprise we feel perpetually on-call. It has never been more important to consciously curate our homes as a sanctuary of wellness and inspiration to counteract any impending sense of stress or anxiety.
I am a botanical illustrator, so by day, I’m immersed in a world of foliage and florals hidden away in my home studio. Full of plants and heavily-scented, the studio is the epicentre of my personal creativity. But now I’m applying the same principles to the rest of my home -colouring, scenting and styling each room to encourage creativity in myself and my children.
Here’s my shortlist of three areas to focus on to inspire creativity within your home.
BRING THE OUTDOORS IN
It’s no surprise to any VOYA fan than connecting with nature is great for our wellbeing. Feeling rested and relaxed gives creativity the best chance to show up in abundance. Embracing the seasons through our diet and home décor syncs us with nature’s cycle. And by bringing the outdoors in, we can trigger productivity through reducing pollutants, increasing oxygen levels and upping our happy hormones. Why not experiment with the following?
1. Foraged foliage, to reconnect with greenery.
2. Cut flowers in your favourite energising colours. For me, that’s inherently seasonal and includes easily accessible species:
Spring: Canary yellow (Mimosa, Daffodils and Tulips)
Summer: Magenta pink (Roses and Dahlias)
Autumn: a rich and muted palette of dried flowers and grasses with a burst of colours – try Chinese Lanterns [Physalis Alkekengi]
Winter: Deepest green foliage punctuated with Mistletoe or Scarlet Red Berries
CREATIVE RITUALS WITH HOME FRAGRANCING
I’m a big believer that we can engineer our home environment to support our creativity and wellness. Sometimes, it takes a mighty dose of organisation, but there are other little tricks that can be simply applied with a fleeting mindful moment, remembering to think about how we actually want to feel. One technique I use to instantly change my mood is creating positive associations through home-fragrancing. Scent is so evocative or memories and emotions, so it’s natural that a note of lavender can signal relaxation time, or heady eucalyptus can instantly reinvigorate.
With small children under my feet, I steer away from candles in the daytime but love a quick spritz from VOYA’s Oh So Scented room spray range. Cedarwood & Bergamot appeals to my love for rich oaky aromas. Conversely, safe in the knowledge that my daughters are tucked up in bed, lighting a match to burn a favourite candle sign-posts it is time unwind for the day. Try Lavender, Rose & Camomile for a therapeutic and sensual experience.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR ARTISTIC SELF
For my daughters and I, drawing and painting is our daily expression of creativity. We all find it instantly calming, so it’s imperative that our house is organised to make it easy and accessible activity. We have a dedicated crafts table in our living room, separate from the dining table. While it can be a battle to keep the table-top clear, we’ve found that keeping craft materials such as paper, pencils and crayons always available, my kids can enjoy quiet time drawing at their leisure. (I keep glue and messy items away in drawers so that I can oversee their use).
Is there an art form that you really enjoy and would love to dedicate more time to? Are there ways you can make tiny adjustments to the layout of your furniture, dedicate a specific area, or even download a new app in order to support your goal?
For instance, if you’d love to listen to music, podcasts or audiobooks rather than default to television, is tech working on your side? Could a mini Bluetooth speaker be a useful purchase? Can you create a cosy corner in a room without a television, to encourage you to shake off your standard habit?
Always remembering that making friends with your artistic self doesn’t need to be a performance. In fact, I think the more intimately a craft is practised the more beneficial its impact can be. So, just because you paint watercolours doesn’t mean your goal should be to exhibit your work. Your singing or needlepoint can be practised entirely alone, even for ten minutes a week to begin with. Whatever feels good, is the game plan here.
You can find Charlotte in the following places:
Home Studio shoot by Donna Ford Photography https://www.skirtingboardsandchandeliers.com/photography
Location shoot by Nicole Howe Photography http://nicolehowephoto.com/
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