Home visit: self-care tips for the new year

A rustic living room with a wood-framed armchair, white floor lamp and stool used as a plant stand for a big leafy plant.

Home visit: self-care tips for the new year

Ease into the new year with new rituals and habits that help you reconnect with yourself and find moments of peace at home. Be inspired by these ideas and find what makes you feel good.

Discover the joy of doing nothing much at all

“Our home overlooks a fjord that runs into the sea and mountains where you can see four seasons in a day,” says Rena. “Being in nature has changed me. Our home has big windows and we’ve created spots where we can sit and watch. That’s something we do a lot – sit. Some days I sit and watch nature, some days I watch the world on Instagram. I miss things off my to-do list but I don’t mind, just being is calming.”

Feel comfortable doing nothing

It’s easier to relax when you feel comfortable. Like Rena, think about what you need to feel at ease. She has used her furniture to create rooms within her open-plan living space. The mix of pieces is the cue to how to enjoy each space. A rug and basket of soft, cozy throws next to a favourite armchair invite you to sit for as long as you please.

“I started making kefir water after I got prescribed heavy antibiotics to fight Lyme disease. My digestive system hasn’t been the same since but the probiotics from kefir really help. Kefir water is super healthy, super easy to make and the bacteria become like my pets.”

Sam
A man picks up a glass Kilner-style jar with muslin cloth lid from a wooden shelf.

Take care of your food

“It’s easy to make your own kefir water,” says Sam, who shared his healthy habit with us. “You just add sugared water to kefir grains. The grains eat the sugar and fill the water with healthy bacteria that’s really good for your stomach. It’s like the probiotic drinks you buy, but free. And the seeds grow, so you get more and more. All you have to do is feed them and keep them healthy.”

Make your own kefir water

Rough measurements are a spoon of sugar for a spoon of kefir grains, and two tablespoons of grains for 500ml water. But this isn’t an exact science, as Sam says: “The only thing you have to do is feed your seeds sugar water. Mix in a glass jar, cover and store in a warm corner. It takes about two days to ferment then you have your probiotics! Strain the water off – that’s your drink.”

Water being poured from a white enamel jug into a glass Kilner-style jar.

Customise to your taste

“The grains are like a sourdough starter. Start feeding them again and you’ll have a new drink in two days. Experiment. Add fruit like dates, sugary things the grains can feed off. They don’t dissolve everything but your water will taste like dates and be super healthy. I often mix my water into a smoothie. It makes a big difference to me yet it’s so easy and fun to do.”

“I always have a lot of plants at home. I grew up in the part of the Netherlands with all the greenhouses and my parents like gardening so I learned respect for plants and how things grow. It feels good to care for a plant.”

Rena

Nurture nature

“I grew this avocado plant from a seed,” says Rena. “It’s five or six years old now. Since we moved here, it’s really grown big even though I worried that it wouldn’t survive in this environment. Plants give you a lot – the feeling you get seeing living things that you care for grow healthy and shiny is kind of special.”

Two avocado seeds placed on a sheet of kitchen paper on a wood chopping board.

Grow an avocado plant from seed

If you’ve ever tried using the “toothpick method” to grow an avocado plant from seed and failed, try this alternative. It’s simple to do and how Rena’s leafy specimen came to life.

The skin being peeled from an avocado seed with the peel on a paper towel next to a kitchen knife with a black handle.

First peel…

Once you’ve popped your seed from the avocado fruit and cleaned it, peel off the layer of skin.

A woman sitting at a kitchen table holding a water spritzer and spraying avocado seeds wrapped in a paper kitchen towel.

Then spritz…

Wrap your peeled seed up in a square of kitchen paper then spritz it with water so it’s damp. Pop your wrapped seed into a sealable plastic food bag and leave it to sprout roots before planting out into potting soil.

We love to see our customers get creative with our products. Go for it! But please note that altering or modifying IKEA products so they can no longer be re-sold or used for their original purpose, means the IKEA commercial guarantees and your right to return the products will be lost.

Made by
Interior designer: Ashlyn Gibson
Photographer: Benjamin Edwards
Art director: Jules Rogers
Writer: Helen Bazuaye
Follow Rena and Sam: @studiohearhear @theendeavorist