This week on The Wind Down, Phil James, the Founder and Creative Director of vintage-style clothing company &SONS, opens the doors to his home and shares the small joys and silver linings he’s found with his family during lockdown.
Phil James at his home in Gloucestershire
Home has never been more important, and whilst we can't visit in person, we'd love you to describe what we'd be seeing if we were visiting.
I live in a 1930’s bungalow with my wife Kelly and sons Cooper and Jackson (aged 12 and 14). We bought it seven years ago in a very rundown and damp condition, so we needed to radically rebuild before moving in.
It’s very simple in design with a mix of Mid-Century and evolved furniture, and items we have collected over the years. It’s a real home; very lived-in and comfortable for our lifestyle.
Jackson having a snooze in Bedfolk's Linen in Ink
Have you found any small joys or silver linings in staying at home?
Yes – spending time at home with my family! We are all very busy, normally rushing to and from work and school, clubs and activities and trying to relax on the weekend (whilst pretending not to work). It leaves little time to actually slow down and spend time together
Through this situation we have decided to teach the boys the life lessons of cooking and household chores (they are loving it – haha!). We take it in turns with each son cooking and talking together in the evenings and it’s priceless.
We have been playing badminton in the garden whilst enjoying the evening sunshine and watching box sets together.
The small joys and silver linings have been finding time for each other.
How are you finding winding down in the same space you've spent your day working?
This is tricky. It was difficult switching off in the evenings beforehand as being self-employed our business continues in the evenings with laptops and phones.
We have created a schedule for all four of us to help differentiate each day and evening by allocating work/school work in blocks of time, as well as when to exercise each day.
We like to stop work and enjoy a relaxing drink in the garden to unwind, before cooking with either Coop or Jax and let the evening commence.
The drink is the switching point. We may occasionally have two!
Linen in Ink looking effortlessly stylish in Phil's home
Are there any products you've really found have helped during this period?
Not so much one product, but online apps such as Zoom and Peloton have kept us active and connecting with friends and hobbies.
We’ve been seeing our friends on group fitness sessions and chatting over coffee which has been great to stay visually connected.
Sleep has become very important and it was hard to relax at the start of lockdown, so our memory foam mattress and super comfortable linen bedding, (Phil and Kelly sleep in Bedfolk Linen in Ink), has been a real dream saver.
Our lockdown products have been Reiki Vodka and Toni’s Chocolate – and our Bedfolk bedding, obviously!
Your favourite words of wisdom for this enforced downtime…
Be calm, slow down and breathe!
The Sanctuary album by Gengahr
Bacon sarnie on sourdough bread with chilli jam and peanut butter
The Institute by Stephen King
'I am the Night' on Sky
Stay home, stay safe, stay comfortable. Love team Bedfolk x
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