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Solitude and the art of quiet splashes

In the midst of pandemic and work, the bathroom is an escape, and rituals are meant to bring calm to a chaotic world

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he old adage goes: Home is where the heart is.

During these trying times home has also become where work is, where school is, where the daily unease and uncertainty we live with hums like an undercurrent of low-grade anxiety.

Pre-pandemic, entertaining at home was one of my favorite things to do.

Always small groups of good friends passing the evening exchanging stories and — of course — drinking and eating massive amounts of wine and food. I’ve put together New Year’s Eve pajama parties, Indian-themed birthday dinners, child-friendly Halloweens and dinners for no other reason than we miss each other.

I am very, very lucky that I can ride out this pandemic in comfort and relative ease.

The lockdown measures are not mentally affecting me as much as it does others since my idea of a good time is to be home, enjoying its comforts while reading or binge-watching. But the isolation we are all experiencing eventually gets even to most introverted of people.

I miss being able to get my best girls together even if it is just to hang out in my bedroom.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID JOHN CUBANGBANG FOR DAILY TRIBUNE
Textures add contrast to Patricia’s calming and relaxing space.

But my bedroom has stopped being the relaxing, quiet space that it used to be. The balance between work and life has definitely been disturbed. For many, work and home have blended together to the point where we don’t know when to stop working and start relaxing (or vice versa). While I have that ever-important nook for Zoom meetings, the rest of my workspace is scattered all over my bedroom.

Essential skincare products.

I used to look around my room with a languid, contented ease.

Now I see pockets of disharmony everywhere: The unfinished essay on my computer in the corner, papers that need to be filed away are still on top of the printer. A giant calendar listing my schedule has been (reluctantly) placed on a wall since the days have begun melding together.

The bathroom’s soothing colors allow Patricia to breathe a little easier.

Relaxing sanctuary
My escape from work and pandemic anxieties has become my bathroom.

There is a ritual to bathing that I truly enjoy.

Lighting enhances its spa-like mood.

I will opt for the luxury of Le Labo scented soap or consider prettying up the space with (very hardy) fresh plants in lovely vases. Each element in my bathroom was thought out and adds another layer of enjoying the space and ritual that accompanies it.

I’ve been a lifestyle writer and editor for so long that the style and grace I’ve been exposed to by fashion desi

gners, interior decorators, artists (the list goes on) have given me quite definite views in what I wanted for my own home.

My intention in creating my bathroom oasis was to achieve a calming, relaxing space that married style with functionality.

It is a tiny spa that eases me into my day. Even the light fixtures are designed to wake me gently.

My intention in creating my bathroom oasis was to achieve a calming, relaxing space that marries style with functionality. It is a tiny spa that eases me into my day. Even the light fixtures are designed to wake me gently.

It has also turned into a very odd place that I hang out with friends who want to sneak a smoke.

Thank god for super powered exhaust fans I eventually

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