As we near the one-year anniversary (sarcasm intended) of community quarantine, we also look back on the most notable trends so far. While some like Dalgona coffee and Instagram story templates were short-lived, others remain alive and kickin’. Perhaps a good example of a long-running quarantine trend — or quaran-trend, if you will — would be redecorating our homes. And from the looks of it, it’s here to stay.
After all, as we spend more time at home and less with others outside, it’s no surprise that many have gravitated towards sprucing up their spaces. Some go for things as simple as indoor plants and eye-catching ceramics, while others go all out with travel-themed décor and other ‘extra’ elements. At this point, it’s no longer a question of why you should redecorate, or even how you should. But rather: why do we do it? Is there a sort of ‘deeper meaning’ to it, or is it just us overthinking?
Luckily for y’all, I wrote this piece in an attempt to make sense of this whole redecorating craze. (Although, not to toot my own horn or anything…)
Redecorating is both self-expression and reinvention
Before the pandemic, we had a lot of things going on for us, like hobbies that entail leaving the house or even simply our social lives. So, it’s quite understandable how most of us felt (or maybe even continue to feel) lost at sea when lockdown began. And for those who got into redecorating their own space, it became this new way of representing their identity — whether it’s one that they already have or something they hope to emulate. I like to think of it as an evolved form of ‘self-curation,’ rather than simply relying on how one presents themselves in public.
For some, it’s about putting together semblances of their pre-pandemic lives
Case in point: I’ve bought several artworks online to put up in my room. Because hey, if I can’t go to a gallery or museum IRL anytime soon, then this is clearly the next best thing. Also, I’ve noticed that I tend to gravitate towards landscape works that showcase my favourite destinations; obviously, an aspect that speaks to my travel nostalgia.
It’s no secret that we live in anxiety-ridden times, and having something that reminds us of our ‘previous lives’ is nothing short of comforting — even for just a bit. If anything, it’s an interesting way of living vicariously through our pre-pandemic selves. You know, the version of us that didn’t have to be so paranoid about going out. Or the version that isn’t afraid of venturing out to see the world, as long as they had time and savings. Or simply the version that is more optimistic, because there’s a lot to look forward to.
It’s reverting to making a house (or apartment) a home…
The more time we spend at home, the more we start to notice even the minute details in our limited surroundings. And as someone who used to not give much thought on what goes in my own space — whether it’s the flat back in Metro Manila or my childhood bedroom — I can certainly attest to this. Back then, my mindset used to be like, “Why bother when I barely spend time here anyway?” But now, with very minimal opportunities to go out and roam freely, I’ve been more observant of the objects and elements around me.
Suffice to say, the act of redecorating towards your ideal space has become synonymous to returning it to its original role: a home, a sanctuary… or whatever term you prefer. Back then, we had a lot of options of places we could consider our safe haven; be it a coffee shop, a bookstore, or some neighbourhood joint. One’s private space merely served as a pit stop, more or less. But the pandemic has reminded us that our homes are the most reliable option (for now) — so, it’s about time we start treating these as such.
… And therefore, a sort of homecoming that we didn’t expect
Okay, to recap my previous point: this nearly year-long quarantine has shown us that home is really where the heart is and should be. And since we’re going back to the mindset that one’s ideal space should also serve as their sanctuary — then shouldn’t home also be where our truest selves are?
Of course, the definition of one’s ‘truest self’ is quite subjective. But the way I see it, it’s that sweet middle ground (or meeting point, if you will) between one’s ideal self and no-pretences self. Who are you when no one else is around, when you don’t have to prove anything to anyone? Whatever the answer is, I hope you strive towards redecorating your home to reflect this most fascinating side of you. After all, everyone deserves their own space where they feel most calm yet also in control.
As kids, we were constantly told that “No man is an island,” but I beg to differ. At the end of the day, everyone needs their own ‘island.’ That is, a space where they can live in peace, call their own, and without the disruption of people — even for just a short while.
In a nutshell — if there’s anything that the past year has shown me, it’s that the act of redecorating often serves as its own reward. That said, is this also something that you’ve been doing a lot lately? Or is it something you’re still on the fence about? Well, if it’s the latter, I’ll just end this piece by saying that it’s never too late!
Featured image credit: Amr Taha™ | Unsplash