Photo courtesy of Chiara Perano

At the beginning of lockdown, we fought hard to stay motivated and the sudden change in our circumstances, although daunting, brought an unparalleled sense of optimism and community. Some took up new hobbies, some slowed down and some returned to enjoy what they've always loved.
At Because, we want to keep that spirit alive this winter season and our new comfort series will focus on the more subtle and easily achieved ways of keeping our spirits up amidst the cold and confusion each day brings.

For the second instalment, we look at the power of homeware and how we might harness it to bring us a sense of calm. 

On Because, we've revelled in the blurred lines between homeware and art - like the highly Instagrammable Anissa Kermiche Vase and more recently, Lætitia Jacquetton's glass vessels. So to dig deeper into our love of beautiful objects, we asked English-Italian artist and illustrator, Chiara Perano, how to use homeware and art to keep our spirits high this winter: "I think colour can have a huge effect on our state of mind, so to refresh your home you could invest in some colourful or cheerful pieces, whether cosy blankets or prints, a painted vase - perhaps a design related to a special place. Colours and patterns really remind me of countries I’ve visited, so I think it’s now more poignant than ever to cherish those travel memories." And indeed, while our travel opportunities seem to be diminishing, our memories don't have to.

                              Shop Chiara Perano x Liberty London Prints

For those new to buying artwork and who feel somewhat trepidatious, remember that art can be deeply personal and subjective. On the differences between peoples tastes, Perano says, "I think it's a purely personal decision. For example, you might find an abundant garden painting relaxing to look at, whilst another person might find calm in a minimal line drawing of the human body. I think the style and a personal connection to a subject is key here, and I like the idea of figuring out what that means to you." If you're looking for a source of positivity this season, look to Perano's serene  Oro painting or her personal recommendation of LRNCE's playful and fun pieces ranging from ceramics to textiles and more. 

Chiara Perano's "Oro" Print

LRNCE ceramic

Another uplifting addition to our homes is something found all around us and right outside of our windows – that's right, mother nature. And with the leaves on the streets rather than trees, there's no better time than now to bring the green indoors. Numerous studies have shown that seeing and being around plants can help us feel more relaxed, calm, and decrease levels of anxiety, which is especially needed in this time. Whitney Hawkings, the founder of specialist flower delivery service, Flowerbx, comments, "As we have been starved of sensory experiences over the past year, flowers and plants provide that burst of beauty in an environment and are scientifically proven to lift one’s mood and provide a greater sense of well-being; not to mention the air-purifying qualities of plants."

Now, if you're a bit of a novice when it comes to plants and the thought of keeping flowers in the wintertime does not compute, fear not because you can always start out small: "Our smaller plants like ferns and peace lilies breathe immediate life into an interior," Whitney advises. If, like us, you enjoy low-maintenance upkeep then go for a waxy succulent; and for those seeking seasonal colours, "Amaryllis are beautiful and a glorious nod to the holidays as well as all berries in different colours which seem especially cheery now." So, whether you go for a big indoor plant or a smaller bunch of flowers, both are sure to bring a sense of quiet joy to your home. 

Shop Flowerbx flowers here.

For more mood-improving homeware, shop below: