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Life Indoors: How to survive working from home

By March 20, 2020 INSPIRATION
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We are living through strange times at the moment. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the vast majority of us will be staying indoors for the next few weeks.  It is clear that now more than ever before, the importance of focusing on our shared humanity and community is integral and  at Les 100 Ciels, we are committed to continue to engage and support you, our community.

With this in mind, from today we will start a blog series titled Life Indoors. Each week we will be writing blogposts to inspire you as you carry on your life from indoors, with topics ranging from how to tackle boredom, to home study,  self care and ideas on meals with limited ingredients.

In today’s post, we’re looking at an issue which will affect a large proportion of us: how to work from home.

If you are feeling demotivated and anxious about how you can continue to work from home, we’ve got a range of tips on how you can tackle this. We hope these tools will help you maintain your  productivity and perhaps welcome new skills and creativity.

1.

If you have the space, set aside a designated area to work from home. This works two-fold to get you into the frame of mind to come into the space and tune your mind to work. It will also mean you have an area where you can spread out, take work calls with privacy and hopefully not have as many distractions from children.

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Schedule in video or phone calls with your colleagues to discuss work matters through tools such as Skype or Zoom. Although many topics are easy to be discussed by email, sometimes having a friendly call with your colleagues is just the thing to help feel really engaged and connected to your work life.  The interaction will also do wonders to boost morale and keep you motivated to complete work projects.

3.

Struggling to feel motivated? Why not try a Productivity tool such as the Pomodoro technique. This technique is based on setting a timer to do 25 minute stints of work called a Pomodoro followed by a 5 minute break. After completing four pomodoros, you take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. The idea is based on working for short stretches of time that are much easier to commit to especially in a home environment where you lose a lot of your normal structure to your day. We recommend the Flora app that follows the Pomodoro technique but rewards you with a virtual garden as you successfully complete blocks of concentration.

4.

Take regular breaks for exercise- it is very important for your physical and mental well being.  There are thousands of exercise routines to follow on YouTube ranging from relaxing yoga sessions to heart racing HITT activities. Whatever your preference, there is sure to be something for all tastes.

5.

Get some fresh air. Yes you may not be able to leave the house, but perhaps you can stroll around your garden or at the very least,  open a window, stick your head out and take  slow, deep breaths of fresh air. It really helps with resetting your mood and brain if you are feeling a bit sleepy or restless.

6.

Make use of that commute time. We’ve all wished at one point or another that we had a few extra hours in the day as we rush to get off to work. Re-purpose that commuting time for creating a relaxing ritual to mark the hours before and after your start work from home. Perhaps you could use it to write in a journal or meditate. It is an excellent way to separate periods of work from leisure and try to have more balance at home. You could also use the time for things you wish you had more time to do, for example a DIY project or reading.

7.

A note on working from home with kids. For many stuck indoors, the biggest challenge will be how to juggle childcare and home study with the demands of work.. There is enough to cover on this topic alone for an entire blog post, but here’s our top tips to making this work taking into consideration that all situations are a little different. First things first, give yourself a break. This is an adjustment for everyone and it won’t all fall into place from day one. Be ready to amend your plan and be flexible with yourself and your family until you find a rhythm that works for your particular family circumstances. Secondly, try to find a routine that suita your family. Children respond well to having structure, so organise your day into chunks of time where you can work while they have screen time or do a physical play activity when they are most full of energy. Lastly, be upfront with colleagues about the struggles you are facing at home with juggling the kids with work. Being real and honest, instead of trying to create an air of having it all under control will gain you more understanding and support and make life easier all around.

How are you handling working from home? Perhaps you love it and are thinking of making it a permanent change. Or maybe you can’t bear it. We’d love to hear how you are doing and what are some of your tips to working from home?

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Caring for cashmere and wool

By August 30, 2019 Uncategorized
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It’s that time of year again when the days grow shorter and the nights cooler. We start thinking about pulling out the woolies from storage and giving them a clean before wearing them. If you’ve ever wondered how to care for cashmere and wool fibres, we’ve gathered some information to give you some of our best tips to make cleaning your woolies easy and simple!

One of the most important things to remember is that cashmere and wool are natural hair fibres. This is often what makes them so luxurious and enjoyable to wear, but conversely as with any natural fibre, they are more susceptible to the elements and a little extra attention is needed in their care. Cashmere particularly, is delicate and many people simply dry clean these items. However, our cashmere and wool can be handwashed gently using a dedicated wool and cashmere wash such as this one from the Laundress. If you don’t want to purchase a special product, a normal hair conditioner that you would find in any chemist can also be used.

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Immerse your cashmere or wool in lukewarm water with a small splash of the wool wash or conditioner, squeezing gently to saturate the material. Avoid rubbing abrasively or wringing the item. Rinse in clean water until the water runs clear and then to dry your wooly, first lay it out flat on a large bath towel and then roll up the towel squeezing to allow the water to be soaked up. Lay your cashmere or wool flat on another dry towel to air dry. Do not wring it or lay it directly on a heat source.

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To store your cashmere or wool, fold it and place inside a garment bag or alternatively a pillow case will do. This allows the fibres to be more protected and away from moisture. Natural fibres are attractive to insects such as moths so placing cedar wood like this or lavender sachets inside the folds of your wooly will work to deter them.

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And that’s it. A little bit of care along the way is all it needs! While some might feel the above is a lot of bother for one item of clothing,  there is something to be said about having clothes that you know are high quality and deserving of the effort and care for the pleasure of wearing and treasuring something for years to come. We hope this has been helpful. Let us know how you get on!

 

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Your Fashion & Interiors Style

By July 19, 2019 FASHION, Uncategorized
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There is so much inspiration to be found for home decoration when browsing online.  The problem is, how do you decide what style to go with for your home?  To make the process of beautifying home interiors in a style reflective of who we are and what we want to express, we’ve turned to fashion. Style is such a personal thing. It doesn’t always follow trends (although it can definitely be influenced by it) and it doesn’t always make sense to others. There are many parallels between how one’s sense of fashion can inform choices for interior design. Both are hugely influenced by what you are drawn to in daily life and both take on board the function, mood, colour and a balance of proportion and details. So whether you’re a home decor veteran or someone just starting on an exploration of taste and style, here are our 3 tips on how to draw from your fashion style to truly express yourself at home.

 

1. Think about your lifestyle and personality

Do you prefer to be dressed in a comfortable and relaxed way or do you usually prefer to dress up and be more pulled together? Are you an extrovert – happy to be the centre of attention in a flowing red dress or are you an introvert or somewhere in between? What kind of activities do you enjoy in your leisure time? These are just a few of the questions you can ask yourself to discover more about what fills you up and makes you feel like yourself. Use this information, when thinking about your home decor. The mood of a home can be a direct reflection of your personality and your typical fashion tastes.

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2. Your existing wardrobe gives hints to your interior design style

Take a look at your wardrobe. What sorts of colours are more prevalent? Are there lots of florals, geometric patterns or perhaps it’s a monochrome palette with solid, clean lines. Preferences in your clothing can provide a lot of information about where your tastes lie and what you might be more predisposed to in your home decor.

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3. Take note of other elements in your wardrobe

Jewellery is another important indicator of style and taste that can be woven into interiors. Do you lean towards silver or are you more of a gold and brass person. These tones can directly translate into finishings in interior design for example light fixtures or door handles. Also not to be overlooked are other accessories such as shoes and handbags. Do you love leather or natural fibres like rattan for your handbags? All of these elements are possibilities for the home- from leather pouffs to rattan and wicker furniture. Fashion broadens your horizon to the multitude of options that exist for the home.

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With these tips in mind, explore your style and feel free to draw from fashion and interior design styles interchangeably- this is one of the best parts of working with the two design forms. If you love the colour orange but just can’t bring yourself to wear it.. add orange as a pillow, a throw or an accent wall in your home. Or if you love a bold geometric print, but don’t want to commit to it in your home for the long term.. you can add this print into your wardrobe! The great thing about fashion is that it allows you to indulge in bold tastes in a temporary and transient way that sits very well with changes in your mood and tastes.

As a final note, sometimes a firm fashion style can spark a desire to explore its opposite. Your fashion style might be very clean and minimalistic but you feel drawn to bold colours and lush textures for the home. This is ok too. Go with it! Your home is a very personal and private space. Fashion has always been about encouraging experimentation and going with what feels good.  The same is true for interiors. Have fun and create the perfect space for you!

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