Delving deeper than decor to explore the power of home as a path to wellbeing #happyinside

September 1, 2016

Letter: New Season Simplicity

The thing about a passion for design, homes and interiors is it’s addictive. Once you discover that this is where your interests lie, it can never be given up or sidelined. Your home becomes a constant arena for experimentation (new wallpaper inside the cupboards, why not?); you visit furniture stores for fun and, as for interiors programmes on TV, well you can’t get enough of them (ideas! It’s all about ideas!). At least this is the case for #TeamED. We are all self-confessed interiors nuts. Weekend projects are the subject of much discussion, the discovery of a linen-covered light flex or authentic Fornasetti tiles in a charity shop a cause for jubilation, and the launch of the new collection by Swedish supremo Ingegerd Råman at Ikea had us seriously wondering whether we could charge a white van to expenses and make haste for the superstore en masse. (See our new back page for all the other things we’ve been trying and tackling this month.)

But why do our homes exert such power over us? Then again, perhaps it’s not so much an issue of power, but of control. When so much is in turbulence beyond our front doors, there is a sense that only here, at home, can we effect change on our own terms. Outside you may not be able to paint the town red, but inside you can. By rearranging the furniture we can feel more sociable, or cosy. By tidying our closets and investing in new wall-hung storage we can feel more efficient and organised. By painting a room in pale shades of the sea we may feel relaxed and uplifted, as well as flushed with a sense of achievement. Here we did it, all by ourselves. And so it goes on. Within our four walls we can dream, and work towards becoming precisely who we wish to be.

I think this is also why gardening is exerting an ever more powerful pull on our consciousness. Whether taming flowerbeds or nurturing an avocado plant from seed, we toil in service to a greater goal than self-aggrandisement. It literally grounds us. Many would say gardening is by default a very mindful activity as one seldom thinks of much else than the task in hand when weeding. We stay in the moment without effort. And that can only be a good thing.

So, as a new season is on the horizon, here’s to fully embracing the plentiful joys of home and garden. In this month’s magazine there’s loads of great decorating advice, tips and tricks from our in-house experts up front; ideas to steal and inspiration from some of the world’s most beautiful homes in the middle; and exciting places to visit at the back, including a wonderful feature on five glorious walled gardens to visit (bit of a personal obsession of mine). So dive in, we know it can make you happy. And tweet me your home and decorating dilemmas too! #TeamED and I will try and answer as many as we can.

First featured as my Editor’s Letter in the September 2016 edition of ELLE Decoration UK
ELLE Decoration Subscriber cover September 2016

ELLE Decoration Subscriber cover September 2016


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Writer, Author, Brand Consultant & TV Presenter

Michelle Ogundehin is internationally renowned as an authority on interiors, trends and style. She is an influencer with expertise and the multi award-winning former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Decoration UK.