After writing about my lockdown purchases I though I would share some things in my flat from pre lockdown that just make sense.
Timer Smart Plugs.
I have a bunch of Kasa Smart Plugs dotted around my flat with all my lamps connected to them. The plugs are great as I can turn these lights on from my phone. Particularly good as some are located in awkward positions! However, the best function is the scheduling that has allowed me to set the lamps to come on and turn off at different times of the day. As I sit here wirting the sun has gone down and three of my lamps have turned on. Later around 10pm they will slowly switch off, a good signal to me to wind down for bed. When I go to my bedroom the light in there will be on welcoming me in. I can easily turn it off as there is a button on the front of the plug. Depending on where you are in the world there might be a better option to these plugs and that smart power points. It is not something readily available in the UK, but having the power point smart enabled reduces plastic waste and is more aesthetically pleasing. This tech is changing fast, so I recommend doing some research first to find the best solution for you.
Even before I was home as much as I am now in lockdown, I realised there were spaces in my flat that I would go into only for a minute or so that required lighting. It was an effort and not always convenient, hello early morning wardrobe searching (!), to be turning on lights. I found some rechargeable motion sensor lights that are perfect for these spaces. Rechargeable is the way to go as I’ve had the battery ones before, and they really don’t last. Plus, the horror of knowing batteries take over 100 years to biodegrade and then they leave behind a waster that we should all be ashamed of. I’ve got a few of these dotted around the flat. In the wardrobe, the laundry as I am often just dropping off something quickly and in my Monica closet that I dump things in for later.
Full disclosure this has been a purchase influenced by the lockdown but has always been in the back of my mind. The cost of robot vacuums has decreased significantly in the past year and their tech abilities have increased. I wasn’t home that much pre lockdown and only had to vacuum maybe once a week, but now times have changed. Living, and I mean properly living, in this space, most of the week sees me vacuum nearly every day. Turns out I hate it. A lot! So, I have used some of my Australia flight money (because who knows when I will go back to visit) and brought myself a robot vacuum. Have a look at them, but keep in mind that they have huge discounts in the sales, and this is when you want to purchase. Some even have a mop function which sounds heavenly.
With the post becoming full of parcels and more delayed as this pandemic continues, I sent off my Christmas wish list last month to the other side of the world. In addition to the beautiful things below I’ve requested a care package of milo, mint slices, strawberries and creams, and dutch cocoa. My favourite food things. This list has gotten shorter as my tastes have changed. I no longer request any chocolates as I don’t like the aussie stuff. I hope this gives you some inspiration. If you need more have a look at my birthday list from this year too!
Earrings moulds from Bob N Frank, an aussie maker, to try and make earrings from jesmonite and resin.
Aesop Reverence Handwash £27. My favourite for the kitchen with all the little bits in it.
Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm £27. I use this on my hands to help refresh them from all the creating I do.
Dremal 3000 £60. This is perfect for my new earring making skills and will save me lots of time sanding.
The Other Side of the Frontier, history of Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander and the British Invasion
Container Store Acrylic Handbag Hook, was the one thing on the Home Edit I really want
Em Rusciano Try Hard Autobiography, one of my fav female comedians
Trevor Noah Born a Crime, looking forward to reading this to understand apartheid better
My entrance hall has been completed in the past month and a half and I am loving it! First and foremost, the functionality of this space means it wins the most improved medal this year. My shoes are all easy to see and I am wearing all the pairs instead of a couple, that would normally fight to be at the front. Everything is tidied away and has its place. Adding the additional power point has meant I am not wasting time and getting frustrated removing plugs. And my coat is hanging beautifully without risk of snagging or creasing. You can read more about the process here and here.
I took a few months after painting to finalise the purchase of the clothing hanger. Summer here was toasty warm and there was no need to wear an outer layer. Not that I was going out much as we were in the lockdown! As the weather has turned and I’ve ventured out a bit more, I did start to pull out some layers. Not having a place to put them restarted the end of this project. I reached out to Kroft about their hanger to see if they would do a smaller custom size for me. Result! They let me know they do custom orders and there is a small wait as these orders build before they are processed.
I had the most fun getting my drill out and finding the right points on the ceiling. Putting the hanger together was simple and it was done within half an hour. I could hang more then one of my coats up but I am loving the look of only having one up. Did you notice the hat? I was going to be fancy and but a special black hook but then I realised the hook would be covered. Command hook to the rescue with a clear hook that is keeping my hat on display and ready to go in sunny months.
What have you been doing in your home these past few months? Hope you have found this inspiring. MsJP x
Full disclosure I have been very active on tictok hence the title of this post! If you aren’t familiar there is a trend to show things in your home that just make sense but today I am going to do my lockdown purchases that just make sense. Prior to lockdown I thought my home was very organised and not really in need of any updates big or small. However, like you being in my home for longer time periods has allowed me to see where small improvements could really change my space for the better.
Spice Rack Clips On The Pantry Door.
I purchased this spice rack from ebay and waited the customary billion weeks! If lock down has taught us anything I have def learnt patience. They arrived and I promptly stuck them on my pantry door with the thick tape adhesive they came with. In the middle of the heat wave. Not sure if it was the heat or just this tape ain’t that great but I woke in the middle of the night to loud banging and realised my spices were falling inside my cupboard! Disappointed but not discouraged I pulled out my £20 drill, charged her up and screwed those racks into the door. Solved and now I have plenty of space in my cupboard when I am trying to find something.
I saw a fancy version of this tube squeezer at Liberty’s. I asked them how much and they told me they didn’t sell them but were always asked about it. What followed was my business head having a conversation with the assistant about lost sales opportunities! Later I ordered this one from Amazon. Yes yes we aren’t meant to shop there anymore but this was beginning of lock down and I was stressed. There are cheaper plastic versions but darling for for this cause she is beautiful and you know it will last. Perfect to get every last drop out of your Aesop hand cream tube!
Well that was an unexpected step change to exercise. The minute it became obvious Boris was going to announce a lock down I stress searched the Internets for a mini trampoline. Did you know 10 minutes on a mini tramp is the same as a 30 minute job? But better for your joints. It’s the only thing I remember from that horrendous show ‘You are what you eat’. Remember the poo samples?! If you are too young then thank your lucky stars cause we saw it all! Anyway, digression, the mini tramp. She was cheap and cheerful purchase from Argos and I exercised three times a week for three months on her before she started to break. Not terribly just a seam came undone which meant a spring dropped mid jump! I sewed her back up because by then all the mint tramps were sold out, even the £400 plus ones. Now that the gyms are back open her and I have a session once a week. She is a fragile but I am also determined to get the most out of her before she becomes landfill. Note if you want one to do serious exercise on I recommend a tramp that has elastic where the springs are. These are the professionals pieces that gyms use and more expensive but much better long term for the earth.
This year I decided to focus on making over my entrance hall that really wasn’t functioning its best. It’s a small corner of my entrance that allows me to hide a bundle of shoes and a group of coats. There is a powerpoint that I use for my hairdryer because I can squish the cord under the bathroom door and do my hair in there. I still don’t understand why in the UK they don’t trust us with power in the bathroom! The lockdown has allowed me to think through what I want and this is the entrance hall progress.
I’ve chosen my paint shapes and used two beautiful blue based colours to create the artwork. To start with I painted the teal circle using a string/pencil combo to make the perfect shape. The arch was a little bit harder to work out as it is off centre. I started with the string/pencil combo but it didn’t feel right, slightly lopsided (as above). Creating a template with cardboard from a delivery I copied the left curve and used this to finesse the right curve (below). Perfect! The arch was so big I used a small roller which meant only one paint coat required.
After much searching for a shoe rack, it had to be black and small as the space is not as big as standard sizes, I ended up making the purchase from the Conran store. Originally I had found the Japanese brand on Amazon but at the beginning of lockdown my attitude towards Amazon changed and it being out of stock made me go elsewhere. Instead of a shelf for my hair tools I got a black wire basket from John Lewis. The tools are much bigger then I realised and the though of trying to balance them on a shelf gave me stress! Initially I thought I would hang the basket on the wall but it is very heavy with the tools. The shoe rack isn’t as full as I thought it would be and the black wire of the basket blends in seamlessly.
Next step is to remove the remaining items from the old coat rack. I still put it back in the space but need to move forward! I’ll pop it out in the communal area of my flat and someone is bound to take it. Then when lockdown is over a friends husband is coming to add a second powerpoint and I’ll sort out the fairy light cord situation. I think some command stripes and hooks will help. The final piece, the hanging coat rack, needs to be ordered. I’ve decided to wait until the end of this month to make sure I have the money set aside. One good thing about lockdown is it is easier to save money!
Whilst it is a few months off until my birthday, my family are already asking for my birthday wish list! They recently sent a package from Australia that took six weeks to get here. Normally it takes two, maximum three weeks. With these uncertain times I’m trying to stick to items from the EU. However, there are a couple from Canada and Australia in there.
In the last couple of years since leaving advertising agency crazy life I have taken my birthday off to celebrate. This year’s day is loosely planned out. A sleep in and I’ll make myself a hot breakfast. I’ve bought a ticket to Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Rooms at the Tate Modern. Not sure if that will still happen! A late lunch at a Wahaca and its delicious Mexican food. Previously I would have then gone to a theatre show but I think this time I will head home and watch a movie. Splurge, and pay for a latest release!