From ongoing pandemics to heart-breaking conflicts and rising heating costs, it has been yet another shaky start to everyone's year. But we're now nestled in the warmest month of spring, and hopefully many of us can look forward to brighter days to come.
Joyfully, May kicks off with the feel-good observances of Global Love Day and World Laughter Day; both falling on the first day of the month.
With so much uncertainty and division, what the world certainly needs now is 'love'. Global Love Day was started by non-profit organization the Love Foundation, founded by humanitarian Harold W Becker in 1985 with the aim to bring about a common global perception of unconditional love, and a positive perspective on what is happening in the world around us.
Laughter Day began in Los Angeles in 2005 and has since become a global celebration to help raise awareness of the beneficial effects of laughter on our well-being. It is said that laughter can help lower anxiety by releasing endorphins (the body's stress relieving hormone) and boost the immune system by activating T-cells (important white blood cells) – no wonder they say it's the best medicine!
The end of the month (20th May) also acknowledges World Meditation Day, which will help remind us to take a breath and practice some mindful exercises if we lose a bit of our love and laughter as the month progresses!
Here in the UK, May is National Pet Month, which is sure to fuel the hugely popular trend for 'Barkitecture', which Pets at Home call a “home decor trend focused on making your home the most fashionable and enjoyable place for both yourself and your beloved four-legged companion.”
Yes, our display of affection for our furry companions has now extended to our interior styling and home renovations, prompting us to design areas and rooms luxuriously kitted-out purely to accommodate our pets.
Pinterest have even reported a 115% increase in searches for 'luxury dog rooms', and searches for 'luxury cat rooms' has almost triple the amount. Director of Marketing, Louise Richardson, loves the trend and says, “it's all about embracing and elevating the pet toys, beds and baskets, rather than hiding them away when people come to visit.”
And why not? After the unconditional companionship they have always given us, especially so during the pandemic, they deserve a bit of pampering.
We all know that a great piece of wall art can add the final flourish to any room, so head over to our online gallery to find beautiful art prints which embrace and reflect our love for our animal friends.
Check out art prints by Guy Allen, featuring his gorgeous wire-haired Dachshund; Anthony Dobson's collection of hounds, labs, spaniels and terriers; a collection of scruffy pups and preened pooches from Nicky Litchfield, and some fabulous feline depictions from Aaminah Snowdon and Sam Toft.
Another trend gathering steam and tipped by Pinterest Predicts to be huge this year is 'celestial celebrations', with a 140% increase in searches for 'moon party decorations' already seen so far.
If you, like many others, are drawn to the lunar look, check out the latest series of hand finished original prints, like ‘Full Moon’, from the talented print maker Guy Allen; or gaze at Rosa Sepple's atmospheric and ethereal ‘Coastal Village’, and get starry eyed over Gary Walton's ‘Milky Way I’ and ‘Milky Way II’.