It’s winter in the northern hemisphere and we’re all hunkering down for a long one. But even though this can be a difficult time of year for many folks, we were recently inspired by a piece in the New York Times about “What Scandinavians Can Teach Us About Embracing Winter”. This piece spoke directly to us when considering how our team at KIM+ONO can stay intentional throughout the season and keep using our kimono styles to bring a little extra beauty into our lives and the lives of our customers.
The article encourages adopting a “positive winter mind-set” and leaning into the fact that winter and the current isolation isn’t going anywhere for awhile. But it also notes that, “for inspiration, we can look to Scandinavia, where people live with some of the darkest, longest winters and yet are consistently ranked as the happiest people in the world. How do they do it, and what can we learn from them?” The article goes onto list some amazing ideas and at the end, encourages the reader to find their own way of making the winter a little easier. “Try starting with whatever strategy feels easiest or most appealing to you. If you’re having a hard time motivating yourself to get outside, focus first on making it special inside.” We took this to heart of course and realized that one way that we love to make our indoor space feel good is to bring more beauty into it. Each of our kimono patterns is infused with that intention — to make life just a touch more beautiful with the inspiration from tradition and the designs of botanicals. So this week in the journal, we’re sharing five ways to bring more beauty into your every day. You may not be ready to head out into the winter cold, but hopefully one of these five suggestions can inspire you to make your indoors feel like a wonderful winter haven in which you’ll be happy to hunker down.
We have always been a proponent of choosing quality over quantity. One of the reasons we put intention behind the handcrafted kimono styles we make and the handcrafted artisan goods we carry in our brick and mortar store in Chinatown, San Francisco, is because we truly believe there is something beautiful about handcrafted quality. And we believe that kind of handcrafted beauty can elevate your everyday. Whether you’re buying a set of sheets that makes you feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud, or using your plus size kimono robe as both a dressing gown and a piece of art to hang on your wall, simplifying your surroundings with handcrafted goods that make you feel amazing can make a world of difference in your home. Be picky and find pieces that are high quality, will last a lifetime, and offer your senses a little self care by adding beauty to your surroundings.
One way to make home feel a little more wonderful this winter and bring a little beauty to your everyday is by adding it to your daily routines. Add little moments of beauty throughout. Perhaps that means slipping into your blue kimono robe before making the coffee in the morning. Perhaps that means you set up a schedule to give yourself a little extra time at the end of the day to wind down without a screen. Making these daily routines a place to add beauty means you ensure each and every day will be elevated because it’ll be integrated into your routines.
Stress is a sneaky, insidious thing. You get into a roll with a certain way of doing things: working in bed, not getting enough sleep, ordering out every night instead of making healthy meals at home. In one off moments, those things are not so bad, but over time, unintentional habits can turn into routines and those routines can turn into stress. So this winter, bring a little more beauty to your surroundings by adding intention to your days. It could just be the intention of wearing something that makes you feel beautiful uplevels your whole mood for the day. If you intentionally slip into your kimono style first thing in the morning, it can mark the beginning of your day. As we stay in and keep isolating ourselves, intentionally beginning and ending our days can give us a sense of normalcy and help reduce the stress we feel from isolation. Your intention may just be to drink hot water with lemon first thing in the morning instead of coffee. These small acts give us a sense of control and security, and can help us feel good one day at a time.
One thing we loved from the New York Times article was the quote, “Welcoming the shifts in seasons, instead of regretting them, puts you in contact with the rhythms of life and death, with nature, which might also help us put things in our life into perspective.” Leaning into winter, cold, and the sleepiness of the season isn’t a bad thing and it’s not “giving up” — rather, it’s a harmonization with what is. So how can you bring a little beauty into the cold, sleepy winter? We love finding cooler tones and kimono patterns to celebrate the winter season. We love burning candles that make our homes feel cozy and bright. Find some things you love and help you lean into the coziness of home and winter and bring them into your everyday.
At the end of the day, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. We crafted each kimono style to be a beautiful expression of the wearer. And one thing that brings us joy is seeing how you express yourself in each different kimono pattern you choose. This winter, even during the dark, cold days, surround yourself with things that bring you joy. It could be as simple as your favorite chocolate. Joy doesn’t have to be extravagant, it just has to be true to you. So don’t shy away from adding into your everyday the things that feel joyful for you.