Enhance happiness and calm at home by styling with soul

“A home does not need to be planned down to the smallest detail or contrived; it should be an amalgamation of the things that its owner loves and feels at home with.”  Josef Frank, twentieth century architect and designer.

Home is the place where every aspect of life happens.  It’s where many of us work (this has increased dramatically for some during current world circumstances), eat, rest, sleep and socialise, albeit virtually for now.  Our homes account for 15% of our overall happiness according to the Good Home Report, a major new international study which has been undertaken by the Happiness Research Institute and Kingfisher.  This is much more than our income or employment status, and in fact 73% of people who are happy at home are also happy in life according to the report.

For me, home is a small thatched cottage in the Wiltshire countryside that I share with my young daughter and husband.  It’s my haven and has become even more so recently, my retreat from the world.  We are lucky enough to have a garden too, and although it’s a large enough abode for the three of us, it can feel cluttered.

I’ve always been interested in how our homes contribute to our well-being and so surround myself with items that bring me joy.  I’m partial to a mid-century chair, furnished with blanket and plenty of cushions to snuggle up with.  Beautiful illustrations and prints, treasured finds from nature, vases of flowers, both dried and fresh.  I have a fetish for baskets and an obsession with books.  Scandi style, to me, is sublime and I love natural materials, especially wood. I’m a fan of cosy not cold and like our home to feel snug and lived in, authentic and welcoming.

My inspiration comes from many places, including designers, stylists, creatives and bloggers I follow on Instagram and Pinterest.  I’m also Psychologies Magazine’s Living Editor, so get ideas from the books I feature.  However, one person that I’ve followed for several years is Hannah Bullivant.  Hannah is a UK based stylist, writer, mum and nature lover, and has been helping clients style their homes, events and products for the last 8 years. She lives in Kent with her husband and two children and her simple home style with an emphasis on nature and the seasons has always resonated with me.  So, when Hannah launched her Fresh Nest e-course, I jumped at the chance to take part.

The Fresh Nest e-course is a 4-week online course that helps to transform the look and feel of your home.  From exploring your style and the needs of your household, clearing the clutter, and defining an approach and colour palette for your home to design and styling principals and room by room styling tips.  As Hannah herself says “it’s a sum of all of my experience and expertise”, and she’s generous with all that she shares through workbooks, weekly tasks, a private podcast, Facebook group and a live weekly Q&A session.

But, more than that, it’s a course about slow seasonal living, self-care and creating a sanctuary at home, and that is where it appeals to me most; “I don’t teach trends, I teach you to drill down into who you are instead.”   Hannah cites the Good Home Report findings in her introduction, highlighting the importance of our homes for happiness and well-being, which forms the foundation for all that we are to learn over the coming weeks.  Read more here.

Hannah kindly gifted me this course in exchange for an honest review.

Photographs: Prudence Earl and Hannah Busing

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