One of the silver linings of this strange moment in history has been the opportunity to sit still for a second and think critically about our homes and the way we live. Here at ELLE DECOR, many of us undertook an interior overhaul this last year, analyzing and reconfiguring our spaces to better suit a myriad of needs—working, relaxing, or (for some!) hiding from roommates. Now that the U.S. is beginning to emerge again, we found that some of these routines made the time pass by a little easier and actually made our home lives—dare we say?—a little more pleasant. Here are some of the habits that we will be keeping for good.
Much like touching our faces with our hands, wearing outside shoes inside was a behavior we had to quickly unlearn early on in the pandemic (though now, of course, we know viral transmission is largely airborne). Swapping sneakers for a pair of slippers made us feel like we were setting intentions for our spaces, manifesting a clean, comfortable home—and elevating the trek from the sofa to the fridge.
Few things assuaged our anxiety during lockdown like the PhoneSoap, a sleek device that emits UV light to sanitize not just your phone but your wallet and keys as well. Other tech essentials included Roku TV, which easily connects to Wi-Fi and hosts all of your favorite streamers; and a Kohler showerhead with a built-in Harmon Kardon speaker. The Steamery electric sweater de-piller was another staff favorite for expediting an otherwise mundane task.
Fragrance took on a whole new meaning during lockdown. It demarcated not just the hours but also the days and even the seasons. And while we vanquished countless wicks in quarantine, some of us found we reacted differently to the ritual of lighting a stick of incense versus passing a whole day with a favorite candle burning; almost like a luxe version of the Pomodoro technique—can I finish this assignment in the time it takes to burn a stick of Astier de Villatte?
And the scent extravaganza didn’t stop with candles: We scented our drawers and sheets with Papier d’Arménie and spritzed our bedrooms and bathroom linens with Coqui Coqui’s room spray for an instant refresh.
Having a bathtub in lockdown became crucial, as if all of the “wellness” discourse of the past few years had been waiting for this exact moment, when a bath really could be meditative—or at least transport you out of your head for an hour. We hacked our baths with Noto’s body oil, which leaves skin soft and smelling like Palo Santo, or would level up with soaks and purifying face masks.
Buying a bar cart in lockdown made a world of difference for not just homebound happy hours but for kitchen storage as well. Decanters, trays, cocktail glasses, and other accoutrements helped formalize the act of imbibing.
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