DIY-Not or DIY? Lockdown Landscapes

It’s a natural progression for us to want to make our surroundings much more comfortable now that we’re all in lockdown. There’s something about being stuck within the same walls that amplifies all of the little flaws and annoyances you have been able to ignore on your way out the door to brunch or to the mall! When there are no more distractions or places to hurry to, suddenly those paint choices become boring or tired, maybe the room layout needs switched up a bit or you need a new colour introduced by way of new cushions or curtains. Whatever it may be we can at least acknowledge the shared DIY and ‘Home Improvement’ mania that is sweeping the globe right now.

There could be some pretty interesting homes once we are all invited round to other people’s houses after this lockdown is over. I mean some of us are great at DIY-ing and others not so much.

mud cloth wall
I love this Ethnic Mud Cloth wall! It’s free-style hand-painted on a terracotta background by Mr Kate! If I’m locked up much longer I might try it!

But the biggest trend I have seen is everyone celebrating even the tiniest outdoor space or access to outdoors by getting creative and utilizing it to the max. When you can’t head out for a day on the beach or to the park even a tiny Juliet balcony is appreciated.

The outdoors definitely has healing properties on your psyche. I have a friend who has an amazingly huge window that gets direct sunlight in the afternoons. She has popped a little garden style chair and table in front of it and loves to sit eating, reading or working there as well as enjoying a little G&T of an early evening. There she sits basking under the rays of the rare Edinburgh Sun before it slides up over the roof tops and heads off in search of another time zone and another window to illuminate.

The Boxtones have been jumping on the bandwagon too, so I thought I’d ask them what they’ve been improving, changing, adding etc to their homes to keep them busy and happy in their surroundings.

So get creative people because living in a happy space really does help you find your daily joy!


Louise and Gary;

Well talking of the great outdoors Gary and I have been maximizing our lovely big balconies since this all began too. Luckily I had the foresight on my last trip to the mall to pick up an inflatable sofa bed for the balcony. Yup classy as hell but in my defense at that time we had no inkling that the impending lockdown would last so long. I was still hoping that I would be able to catch my flight home three weeks down the line. Sadly, that was not to be.

However, my little inflatable sofa has been a total God send. We always get the direct sun from 8am to 11.30am so I pop on a bikini, grab a book and some breakfast and plonk myself on the sofa bed of dreams and I have to say I haven’t been this brown in a long time. It’s just a shame I have nowhere to go with this nice tan but the livingroom.

reading nook balcony

I have been watching a lot of Chip and Joanna Gaines home improvement show on YouTube; “Fixer + Upper” and it has me making a mental list of all the things I want to change around our flat. But until I can get out and buy things in person I have grabbed bits and pieces from around the house to make my own little relaxation spot.

We then like to mix it up by having dinner out on the lounge balcony too. Candles, twinkly lights, music and chat every evening has been sanity saving! Gary described it as feeling like being on a wee holiday!

night balcony

We all need a break from each other too whilst living on top of one another, so whilst I have my balcony space Gary has also totally turned his office/studio around reorganizing the entire room, shifting furniture around and putting up sound proofing panels. He now has it just the way he wants it. This is his sanity and it’s been his version of my ‘private little balcony retreat’. A place where he can just shut the door and escape for a few hours.

Garys office



“Well I’m sure like many, I started taking on projects around the house that were held off for a little while, like mounting a TV to the wall, cleaning out clutter, you know general organizing.

Though, since we all have had some time on our hands, as I mentioned in a previous blog, I started looking into podcasting. What sprung this thought was that while nerding out and playing Dungeons & Dragons, everytime I wanted to say something over the group chat, nobody really could hear me, so I scoured the internet, looking at reviews of cheap condenser mics that I could pick up off Amazon.


Well, I found one for a really good price, add some compression, take out some highs, and the mic is pretty decent. I didn’t really have a permanent/semi-permanent space for working on anything such as recording, etc. before the mic arrived. Once it arrived, I spent a little bit of time organizing a workspace and setting the mic up. It’s pretty cool, now I’m all set up!”


Good one Jean. I think that will be my next project. Organising and setting up a little work station too, as sitting on my sofa to work is too distracting and really just whispers “naptime” gently in to my ear canal. It’s a losing game people, a losing game!


“I don’t think much has changed in our home aside from getting Gill’s drum equipment and my plethora of keyboards back when Jean moved and we closed down our old studio flat!

Because we’re actively writing and filming music for upcoming projects, my office (shared with my Star Wars collection and my cats stuff) has become my home studio!


To my left I have my Roland Juno-Stage and my Alesis QS7.1 synthesizer this is my original workstation from 10 years ago when I first came to the Middle East. On my right is a Nord Electro 5D and Korg X50 synthesizer (a sweet pairing). And lastly, right in front of me at my desk is a full 88 Nord Stage 2 piano and Roli Seaboard Grand! Oh yeah, and if you look behind me, there’s my rockin’ Roland Ax-Synth (KEYTAR) and a pair of Fender electric guitars. Pretty safe to say I have a decent set of options for writing, recording and jamming around at home!”



“We are very fortunate to have a large apartment on the top floor and a balcony with a great view. At times like these that small outdoor space is a welcome escape and we can close our eyes in the sunshine and pretend for half an hour that we are on our holidays (although I’m pretty sure it was just snowing in Winnipeg).


As far as our indoor space goes (which is slowly being taken over by our one-year-old) the latest addition to our house during this period of self-isolation is my Roland TD-30KV electronic drum kit in the corner of our bedroom. It sits right next to that cross-trainer I keep promising myself I’m going to find time to get on! Luckily drumming is a good form of exercise and also Luke is now almost walking, so we never really sit still and he keeps us moving on a daily basis. You’ll be able to see us all playing our instruments at home in our upcoming isolation videos coming soon.”


Nice posters Gill!

So that’s it from us, but if you are bitten with the deco bug then here are some great places I love to follow for interior inspiration;

Style ME Interiors Dubai– on Facebook where designers give great advice on how to dress your home, where to find specific items you are hunting for and just for some drool-worthy pictures.

Escape-home on Instagram where Interior stylist Lily Engelbrecht shares inspo from her ridiculously stunning home and from clients she has worked with.

fixer upper

Also check out Chip and Joanna Gaines HGTV show ‘Fixer + Upper’ on YouTube for some stunning interiors with bags of character.

Or for a wackier more artsy DIY type home improvement show I love to follow Mr Kate on YouTube and her ‘OMG We’re Coming Over’,  ‘OMG We Bought A House’ or ‘Breaking Beige‘!

mr kate

So let us know what you’ve been dreaming of fixing up in your living space. Any new additions or rejigging going on in your home? Is there anyone we should be following or watching when it comes to home inspiration? Let us know below.


Happy Home-ing Guys!


Stay Safe


The Boxtones




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