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  • April 22, 2020 7 min read

    Let’s face it. This Safer-At-Home era of self-quarantining while we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic is something we may only have seen in sci-fi movies.

    NEVER, EVER did we imagine this would happen to us!

    We are all having to face new challenges, be it changes in our daily routines to entertain and educate our children while we adapt to working remotely in the next room, or keeping our distance from family and friends to “flatten the curve,” or for some, being directly affected by this terrible disease. The one challenge we all share is facing uncertainty.

    The uncertainty of when will this be over, when will my company be hiring me back, when will there be a cure. Facing uncertainty really can be a bit overwhelming at times. Especially, this time.

    So how do we as an individual, a family, a community, deal with that? We look for bits of normalcy, something that is familiar and that we understand. Something that we can control. We look for things that give us comfort.

    The place that provides that comfort for most of us and which we can control is our home. Large or small, owned or rented, home is where we land at the end of a long day to seek refuge, to rest and recharge, to gather as a family or find solitude. It is our nest.

    Even small additions will lift spirits”

    We have to make, and take, positive experiences from these challenges. Many of us are having the opportunity to spend more time in our home. A lot more. And in that time many of us are feeling the itch to do something different with our living spaces, but what? It may be anything from a simple tchotchke to a whole house makeover. What we want to do right now is tempered by what we feel is safe to do, given the impact of the pandemic on the overall economy and our own personal situation.

    On a recent e-commerce industry podcast, the guest spoke of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs and how we are progressing through the levels. First, as the effects of the pandemic roll through our macro community, we are taking care of the Physiological and Safety needs by securing food and, yes, lots of toilet paper, and taking the safety precautions of social distancing, being Safer-At-Home, and wearing face coverings when we do venture away from the homebase. Now that we have been at this for a few weeks, many are moving up the pyramid to Belonging and Esteem. We are buying things for ourselves that are wants rather than needs because it makes us feel better about ourselves and our current situation.

    He went on to describe the findings of a survey conducted by his company that we are buying things to make our homes more comfortable, whether for a newly formed home office or because we are spending 16-hours per day at home instead of four and that sofa just has to go! And with so many brick-and-mortar stores closed, more and more of us are reaching out to online retailers, more so than we have before. We are looking for new shopping experiences and trying new merchants, going beyond the mega-behemoth-online stores. We are finding connection with them. We are finding belonging and normalcy.

    We just want, need, to break the monotony with a positive distraction. Even small additions around the house will lift spirits and give your eye something new to enjoy when we are all looking back on how we got through this unprecedented time.

    Where do you start?

    But what do you do? Where do you start?

    Sometimes, just getting started is the hardest part. What room? Something utilitarian or a statement piece? With not a lot of entertaining going on right now, do you get something for your quiet space, or anticipate the shindig you plan to host when this is all over? Then there are the questions of “does this match the rest of the house,” or “is it too modern, or not modern enough,” or the tried and true “what if the colors don’t match?”

    Take, or make, the time to think how to make your living space enjoyable, the new-found home office more comfortable and efficient, rearrange the family room to accommodate a learning center for your school-at-home-now children, and get started on your Spring cleaning and refreshing your nest.

    Remember, we are looking for normalcy. A new normal. That may look like continuing to work from home after the Safer-At-Home restrictions are lifted, so anticipate not continuing to commandeer the kitchen table as your office. Maybe having the kids at home and finding you really like teaching them leads you to choose home-schooling instead of sending them out the door to catch the bus. You need to strike a balance between work, learning, and family space.

    Harley Butler is here to help.

    You are not alone. We are all in this together.

    When shopping online, there is a lot to choose from, and not just when shopping with Harley Butler. You have the freedom to bounce from one online store to the other and shopping styles and prices at your convenience. But what if you have a question about where to start, or does something go with everything else? Maybe you found an item with a good price at one online store and another item at another online store, but will everything look like you want when it comes together?

    Ask us. Boutique personal service is the Harley Butler Trading Company difference.

    Working with our customers is one of our main strengths. With nearly three decades in the home furnishings and décor accessories industry (not to show our age, of course…), we have the experience and trade resources with our suppliers and designers to answer your questions. Our design team is ready to help you, from choosing a throw pillow or table lamp to bringing all your desires and ideas together for a room or entire home makeover. We can help you make sense of your new home-space dynamic and provide direction.

    We listen to our customers to understand your vision for the look you want to achieve within your budget. We work with you to find the right balance between the quality of a furniture piece and the price you are willing to pay (we’ll save that discussion for another blog post…). Sometimes, just talking about it out loud with us will help you to clarify your own ideas.

    Our mission is to collaborate with you to achieve your home or office space design vision. Not just to sell. It’s your home, your office, your space, your decision. Harley Butler is here to help you, whether a simple purchase today or plotting a path and making a plan to achieving the whole home makeover.

    So what do we suggest?

     Not every shopper needs or wants our help. That’s fine. We invite you to browse and shop our online store to your hearts content, knowing that if you do have a question, we are a chat, email, or phone call away from helping.

     Maybe a nudge or an idea to spark your creativity is all you need. Here are some ideas to take what you already have and make small décor additions -

    • Color and texture are quick changes to the visual and tactile senses. A throw pillow for your sofa, reading nook, or favorite chair in the den is always a good start.
    • Bring some light to a dark room or space with a new table lamp. With so many styles from which to choose, a change in the color or texture of the lamp body can make a dramatic change.
    • Repositioning even a few pieces of furniture will give you the sense of a new space. Move pieces from one room to another, maybe even finding you open up a spot for a new accent table.
    • Refresh your space by painting a room or a single wall and make a big impact on your daily outlook. Lighter shades will not only brighten the room, but give the perception of more space. Plus, like the upbeat feeling we get with the “new car smell” when we buy a new vehicle, there is the smell of fresh paint and the feeling of newness.
    • Scent. A variety of scented candles will not only freshen up a space, but mixing up different scents over time will make for new sensory experiences.
    • Safer-At-Home does not have to mean being cooped up indoors all the time. Take your home outdoors to the patio or backyard. Practice social distancing while still being social with the neighbors and have a comfy chair or two on the front porch or the lawn.
    • Working remotely may become the new normal, and video conferencing will be integral to that. Day pajamas may work for some, but dressing as you normally would helps to separate work from home. Accessorize yourself  with jewelry and scarves for the gals and pocket squares and ties for the guys. If not for you, then for everyone else on the video conference :-).
    • Art work is a quick fix for a drab home office. Have a few pieces of wall art to add interest. Even swap out the pieces in the background of your video conferences and see if your colleagues notice.

     Where we go from here.

     With all of the uncertainty we are facing, there is one thing that is certain. We will get through it. We will adapt. How we live and do business may look different on the other side, and perhaps that will be a good thing. Many of us are finding that working from home is not so bad, in fact, it can be pretty nice to get out for a walk in the middle of the day, throw in a load of laundry between video conferences, not have that hour-and-a-half commute five days a week.

     Even while we are observing Safer-At-Home guidelines and restrictions we can make the best of it and make this a time of being Nicer-At-Home. We can take the challenges and make them opportunities to freshen our living spaces, do things a little different with our daily routines, and engage with online merchants for the items we otherwise shop for in a brick-and-mortar store. We can keep the economic engine running by working from home, and maybe finding that to be the new normal. We can look forward to being past this worldwide crisis and realizing there are ways to cope, even if cooped up with the family for longer than the normal vacation. We can await our favorite restaurants to reopen for sit-down dining or head back to the malls to try on clothes and window shop and go to the movies.

     We can find comfort in knowing we are not, and were not, in this alone. We can know that regardless of the uncertainty, there are new friends just a chat, email, or phone call away who are ready to help.


    Have a question or would like advice about a furniture or home décor purchase or idea? Start a chat on our website, email Sales@HarleyButler.com, or call us at (469)629-8014 at any time. We look forward to helping.




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