Dokania’s first mural took her about three-and-a-half hours and is an abstract design. She then decided to mimic the outdoors, in a bid to compensate for her daily walks with her dog that have now become very limited. “I created a garden-themed design with bright green leaves. I intend to paint on the other walls as well, with different colours and shapes,” she says. For those eager to create their own wall murals, her advice is to conceptualise the pattern you want to create on paper first, before getting started on the wall. Begin with a small patch to understand how steadily your hand is moving. Don’t worry too much about patterns and themes, she adds, explaining that you don’t need specialised equipment – regular acrylic paints and brushes will do the job quite well. Alternatively, hang up colourful pictures and other decorations that are typically reserved for festivals or memorabilia from your travels.
Bajaria says, “Using warm colours that mimic daylight can induce warmth in the space, while adding hues of green can bring about some semblance of the outdoors, an important sentiment given the current restrictions in movement.”
If there’s ever a time when you needed to Mari Kondo your home, that time is now. Bajaria explains, “Clutter reduces our ability to focus on tasks, a skill that you don’t want depleted when you have to juggle home and work demands in the same space. A ‘full’ house can also increase the likelihood of increases in the level of the stress hormone cortisol produced by your brain. This, in turn, affects your sleep cycle. Decluttering your space can improve your mood because it increases the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is your brain’s ‘pleasure chemical’. Finally, a logical outcome of decluttering your space is that it makes it easy for you to find things, taking away the additional frustration from daily tasks.”
Aahana Miller, an associate architect at ABM Architects says that she did away with everything that did not improve comfort and was distracting rather than stimulating. “I have accumulated so much over the years that trying to maintain non-essential items often stresses me out. So, I am making use of this time to figure out what I really need and what I do not. Now that I have only the essentials, I do feel more weightless,” she says.
Bring the outdoors in
If you’re fortunate to have a home with a balcony or large windows, it’s relatively easy to recreate an outdoor camping experience. “Ever since we bought our current home in 2006, I had wanted to transform a little space that we have outside the window into a corner that we could unwind in. During the early days of the lockdown, I found that we were using air-conditioning nearly all the time to beat the oppressive heat. My daughter and I decided to do something with our space as well. Although a lot of videos and photos we referenced used plants, we didn’t have any. So, we decided to use the supplies we did have at hand, including festive trimming, drapes and cushions. It is our favourite spot in the house and a great way for us to get some much-needed sunlight,” says producer Shabia Walia.