Skip to main content

We're Here For You

We hope this post finds you and your families safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. While everyone is trying to figure out how to navigate the current situation (including us), we wanted to let you know that we are here for you when you are ready.

Quick Business Update

Due to Santa Clara County's and California's shelter in place orders, OVOLO can not attend any in-person meetings, including the taking measurements for projects. We want to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of our company, clients, and community at large so we are following the letter and spirit of these orders.

With that being said, we wanted to let you know that we are here as a resource if you want to connect via phone, videoconference, or email to talk about DIY projects, future projects, design ideas, etc. We can also still send you design documents, perform space planning analyses, hold design consultations, and so much more during this time. Please don't hesitate to reach out to learn more about how we can help, what can be accomplished now online virtually, and what may need to wait until later. Best wishes to you and your family; stay healthy and stay well!

Tips for Improving Well-Being

Below are some tips for managing your and your family's well-being during this time and into the future as life eventually returns to normal.
  1. Bring in Some Nature. Greenery and flowers are a sure-fire way to lift the spirits. We always advocate for adding greenery to any home decorating project. But do you have a black thumb? Perhaps some good quality artificial greens might work for you. Fresh-cut flowers from the grocery store as part of your weekly groceries also work. Luckily, there are many online stores that sell real and artificial greenery so consider getting some today.
  2. Get Outside. Although you may be ordered to shelter in place, you are also allowed for some outdoor activity. Given this, moderate activity in the fresh air is a great way to improve your well-being. Take a walk, go on a bike ride, do yoga, or several other activities. Just be sure to socially distance yourself (at least 6 feet away) from others that are not in your household or living with you. It's also advised that you do these things as close to home as possible and do not travel since many national, state, county, and city parks are being closed due to over-use and lack of social distancing at this time.
  3. Create a Sanctuary Space. Dedicate a space in your house to meditate, pray, and/or relax. It doesn't have to be very large. Perhaps it can be a chair and side table in your living room, perhaps it can be a corner of your kitchen island, or perhaps it can be a stool placed near your bedroom dresser. The goal is to only use this space for clearing the mind, the two tips below, and other similar practices. While almost everything needs to be multi-functional during this time, it's more important than ever to set aside a small sanctuary space. And if you really don't have room, consider changing the furniture orientation so that if a chair is oriented one way, it's meant for sanctuary and if it's oriented another, it's meant for everyday activities in the home.
  4. Draw or Color. This is a way to slow down the mind and relax; all you need is some paper and writing/ coloring instruments. If you would rather color in an image that's pre-drawn, that's totally fine and there are many coloring books out there for all ages. Kids to adults can all benefit from this practice. Plus, we can even get you started with some coloring sheets you can print out and begin coloring today. Click here to download the coloring sheets. They are meant for all ages with some being more simple and others being more intricate. Feel free to think of these sheets as guidelines; color outside the lines and make your very own masterpiece!
  5. Practice Gratitude. It's easy to get lost in worry, anxiety, and fear with everything that is going on in the world. So to re-focus your energy, practice being grateful for what you have in your life. Perhaps it's the home you live in. Perhaps it's the job you have. Perhaps it's your family. Perhaps it's any number of other things, people around you, or things around you. Make a daily list of 5 to 10 things that you are grateful for and don't forget to savor the moments when you are filled with gratitude. These are moments when you would say to yourself, "Oh, wow, this is amazing!" or "How great is this!" If that happens, pause, notice, and absorb that feeling of true, genuine gratitude. Let it sink in, soak up the moment, and savor your life.

Things to Do While Sheltering In Place

After your well-being has improved from the tips above, perhaps you are ready to tackle a few small projects or find an activity to enjoy your time while sheltering in place and practicing social distancing.
  1. Clean Out the Junk Drawer. This would be a good project to tackle while you are inside. Once you are done, you can be grateful that you accomplished this project.
  2. Prevent Mosquitoes. In recent years, we've become more aware of the potential danger mosquitoes can pose to our health, including spreading the West Nile and Zika viruses. The best way to prevent mosquitoes around your home is simply to get rid of any standing water. Walk around and if you see any standing water, go ahead and fix it, tip it, get rid of it, or maintain it regularly to prevent these winged pests.
  3. Play a Board Game. Spend some time with your family or anyone else that you live with and have a game night or two. Live alone? No problem. You can sign up for some free video-conferencing and play against friends and family who have the same game from far away. Don't forget that many of our favorite board games come as software or are completely online too!
  4. Go on a Wine or Beer Tour. If you have been saving a special bottle of wine, consider opening it for a special wine tour around your home. Of course, any bottle of wine or beer will do. Visit a plant that sparks joy (make sure you have a plant from the first "tips for improving your well-being"). Look at your favorite painting or piece of art. Take a look a family photo or a photo from a vacation and remember that day. Go to your favorite window and enjoy the view. Don't forget to sip and savor your drink of choice along the journey!
  5. Tour the World (virtually). Museums, aquariums, and zoos are all opening their virtual doors for anyone to enjoy while they are closed to the public and we are sheltering in place. And Google street view and user-uploaded imagery allows you to visit all over the world. Try visiting the Louvre, the Guggenheim, Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, and so many more. There are stunning sights to see all over the world from Kuang Si Waterfalls, Laos to Half Dome, Yosemite to Saguaro National Park, Arizona to Uyuni, Bolivia to Whitehaven Beach, Australia to the Swiss Alps to the Serengeti to so much more. Go out (virtually) and explore a new place each day; plus, consider making a bucket list of places to visit in person later.
Can you guess where the photo above was taken? 


Popular posts from this blog

Modern Remodeled Bathroom

The only full bathroom in a Sunnyvale, CA condo was brought from the 70's with it's linoleum floors to the present with modern touches, a high end marble look with low budget porcelain tile, and some glam. Inspiration The homeowner wanted her remodeled bathroom to look modern and luxurious as well as feel more open than the current bathroom. She liked clean lines and soothing earth tones. The remodel would also have to fit within her small budget. Existing Bathroom Conditions The bathroom was original to the condo built in the 1970's. It had linoleum floors, standard cabinets, off-white walls, a fluorescent bar vanity light, and a solid surface counter and sink combo. A large, frameless mirror above the sink also had two sliding mirrored doors which the homeowner did not like. Looking in at the old bathroom from the hallway. The solid surface counter and sink combo was made to look like marble  but didn't actually look like marble in

How is Your Zoom Background?

There was an article on NPR that discussed a Twitter account that has been rating celebrity and politician room backgrounds on Zoom and other videoconferencing services.  So what does it take to be highly rated? See if you can spot some common themes in these highly rated rooms below (and the one above) which scored at least 7 out of 10 points. Did you spot some common themes? Here are our thoughts on those themes for a great background:  Good forward facing lighting so the person isn't in shadow. Artwork on the walls Greenery such as plants, flowers, etc Relative simplicity without too many distractions Cabinetry and/or bookshelves Some of these rooms could still be improved by turning on the accent lighting in the backgrounds of the rooms but overall, these are very pleasant backgrounds and great looking rooms. Well done! Now it's your turn: how is your Zoom background and is there anything you can do to make it a 10/10?

Space Planning Principles for your Entryway

Photo by Douglas Sheppard on Unsplash See these principles in action on our Houzz ideabook. Planning a new entryway or planning to redecorate/redesign your existing entryway? Below are some space planning principles to keep in mind for the entryways. In terms of rooms, the entryway, or foyer, gets easily overlooked, but it should be one of your first considerations. It’s needs to be both functional and fashionable: a place to enter the home from the outside on a day to day basis, a place to direct people to other areas of the home, and a place to give a first impression to guests. The front entry is where your front door is located and the back entry could be directly from a garage or could open onto a driveway (this entry could be the primary day to day entry of the home, depending upon it’s use). The back entry does not usually include sliding doors or french doors from a bedroom, living room, dining room, or kitchen; however, it may typically be included within a laun