5 Bridgerton-inspired ways to romanticise your life this summer

May 23, 2024by Alice Ojeda
Romanticise your life Bridgerton inspired ways

Dearest gentle reader, it probably comes as no surprise that Netflix's Bridgerton is exemplary on how to romanticise your life. Catching up on Season 3 has been cosy escapism in a world that's more colourful, intense and romantic than, well, life.

The idea of romanticising your life though isn't quite escapism. Rather, I see it as a way to slow down and savour our everyday. I'm writing as a Bridgerton fan and former literature student (if you love to analyse a show, I'm with you there!) I'm also the founder of Authentic House, a Cardiff small business all around slow and sustainable living. So, without further ado, here are my 5 Bridgerton-inspired ways to romanticise your life this summer.

1. Use colour and texture to dress for how you want to feel

Bridgerton Season 3 begins with a transformation. Penelope Featherington invests her pin money in a new look to match her changed perspective this series. The bright yellow dresses and heavy fabrics that aligned her with her family are gone and replaced with shades that are closer to a Bridgerton family blue and soft, gauzy fabrics for romance.

If you think about romanticising your life, a lot of it is being deliberate in how you want to feel and thinking of small details that will nudge you that way. With June coming, there are days when I want to feel summery and feminine. That's when I'll choose long vintage skirts or dresses with light fabric for movement. If I'm going to an event or market, I'll choose my black sequinned cardigan or gingham dress with puff sleeves to help me feel bold and ready to stand out.

This can apply to your home as well. I painted my studio room an Authentic House dark green to make me feel immersed in my small business when I'm working there. We saved up for Secret Linen bedsheets for our bedroom, and I painted the walls a light grey as a restful colour, inspired by Sue Fan and Danielle Quigley's book Do Inhabit.

2. Why romanticising your life means not all wandering is time lost

If you've read Jane Austen, or seen Penelope looking out of the window for hours at a time in Bridgerton, you'll know it's the slowness of ordinary life for Regency women that makes the moments of romance all the more intense.

Over the channel in Paris, an idea was developing around that time of the 'flâneur' or wanderer. This was a person with no intention other than to experience and be caught up in the flow of society and their surroundings. If you think of Penelope and Colin Bridgerton, that's something they both have in common. They're observers. Penelope's at the periphery of the room, while Colin likes to travel to cities he's unknown in.

Thinking of our own lives, maybe the closest we get to boredom and aimless time is when we're children. As adults, it can feel like every moment has a purpose and, in living like that, we can miss out on the small details that romanticise life.

Something I try to do when is have an intuitive day once a week. It's a day without plans, usually on the weekend, when I'll do the next thing that feels most right to me. Last Saturday it was a little gardening, baking coconut bites and catching up on Bridgerton on the sofa, cuddled up with Freya the dog!

3. Write your thoughts in a journal

Writing by hand is a good way to get to know yourself, and even have a conversation with your thoughts. A lot of this season of Bridgerton is around writing and how Penelope and Colin use it to express intense thoughts they wouldn't share with anyone else... except perhaps in a notorious gossip paper.

I've said how, for me, romanticising your life is about being intentional around how you want to feel. Free-flowing writing in a journal helps you look back and see patterns in how you think. It's also a way to create habits in the way you think that help you notice the good in your everyday.

I love this episode of Feel Better Live More, where Dr Rangan Chatterjee shares his prompts for journaling. I use them every day now, adding one of my own too.

In the morning:

  •  5 minutes of free-flowing writing (especially good if you've just meditated)
  • 1 thing you're grateful for
  • The most important thing today
  • A quality you'd like to embody

In the evening:

  • What went well?
  • What would I do differently?
  • Who did I help?

 4. Learn to decorate to romanticise your life

I say learn because it's a skill. While we might not all have legions of servants or be hosting the next society ball, you can't underestimate the power of thoughtful details to transform your home and how you feel about it.

One of my favourite people in interior design is Ingrid Fetell Lee. She wrote the wonderful book Joyful all about the colours, shapes and qualities that spark joy in our everyday. As you'll learn with her, decorating is a skill and can be done on a budget too (she suggests you start with the biggest surfaces).

As a student, I imagined my home would eventually look like the pages of an interiors magazine. The truth is, balancing living and having a home that brings joy is just that - a continual balance. Life is messy.

That's why I think a good way to romanticise your life is to start with a small area of your home that you love to spend time in. For me, it's my desk where I'm writing now. I've brought together some of my favourite objects: a 'The Grapes of Roath' mug from I Loves The 'Diff, an Emma Giacalone 'Boss Lady' badge, a watercolour I painted in the Amazon, a photo of my happy place - the garden, and a honeysuckle and jasmine candle.

By choosing one small place that matters to me, it's allowed me to gather meaningful belongings to decorate and make it a space where I can feel creative. I say just one space because it's not overwhelming. Start in your favourite corner and then you can branch out, one at a time.

And always have a flower...

I'll add just one more tip here from Liz. She shared with me on Instagram how romanticising her life is 'always having flowers around the house, sometimes a single bud or wildflowers.' It's worth keeping a few vases around from local makers or second-hand shops. That way, it's easier in the moment to bring in snapped buds or gather flowers you've grown to enjoy indoors. 

 5. Taking care of your relationships

I couldn't not share this when thinking of Bridgerton because, after all, it's all about relationships. And not just romantic love, but friendship too.

One of the easiest ways to romanticise your life is to share it with people you love. Think back to some of your happiest memories. They're probably meaningful because you were with someone you cared about.

These days it can often feel like we're working all the time and, with that, it's easy to let relationships slip. I love this conversation with the therapist Esther Perel. Speaking with Neil Patrick Harris, she shares how taking care of a relationship needs to involve a catch up conversation. It can be in real life or on the phone, but messaging isn't enough.

I was inspired by her idea to get in touch with one friend a week, or realistically a fortnight. There was one friend in particular who I'd regretted losing touch with. We spoke and, as happens so often with old friends, we quickly remembered why we'd loved each other's company in the first place.

And, when we have more friends, just like the ton, we feel held in our community. Hopefully minus the gossip!

 

And there you have my 5 Bridgerton-inspired ways to romanticise your life this summer. I wish I could include wearing floaty Regency dresses, but ball invites are few and far between these days! What does romanticising your life mean to you? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed reading my post, please do share it with another Bridgerton-loving friend. For more content like this and my favourite finds around living sustainably, make sure to subscribe to my Ideas Book newsletter.


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