I was asked by Carolina Thorpe of the London Financial Times on how to improve your home during a lockdown for an article she was writing. My quote was the lede in the story found here. My complete response to her is below.

To deal with the anxiety caused by COVID-19 and the isolation we feel from social distancing, it’s more important than ever to make sure our living quarters are healthy both physically and mentally. Protecting health starts at the front door. The recommendation I received from an infectious disease specialist is to create a transition zone at the entrance to your abode where you can remove your outer clothing and shoes and disinfect anything you are bringing inside, including yourself. This transition zone should be easily cleaned.

For our mental health we can follow the advice of Ray Davies of The Kinks, A change is as good as a rest. It is almost impossible to start home improvement projects without any supplies, but you can assess how you use the spaces. While you’re stuck inside, document your daily routine and consider how the activity can be enhanced. Does your reading chair need to be moved by the window for great natural light? Can you set up an eating space outdoors to enjoy the beautiful spring weather? Do you need to carve out a small space for some time alone for exercising, yoga or meditating? This may be more of a challenge in small spaces, but don’t underestimate the impact of minor adjustments.

Another way to freshen your space is to move your furniture and decorative items around. Redo your tabletops, bookcases, and – if you have one, mantel. Moving art brings a whole new appreciation of the work.

Finally, this is the perfect time to plan your home renovation. Spend some time on Houzz.com to create idea books to share with us. Our team is working from home and are available for a virtual consultation. If nothing else, visualizing a positive future can be a comfort in these tough days.