In the same way we get bored with the clothes hanging in our wardrobes from time to time, we can also get bored with our rooms at home. We look at them day in, day out after all. But refreshing our homes is not as simple as going out and buying a new outfit. None of us have the budget or inclination to do a major overhaul every year, and nor should we. But there are things that we can do that will make us feel differently about our personal spaces, and it needn’t cost an arm and a leg either. It may only be one room that is getting you down, or the entire house, but your home should be a place you love to be. It should be a calm space where you relax, entertain, re-energise and spend time with the family.
So let’s tackle this now!
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Good storage is the key to a clutter free home. Image: Oak Furnitureland.
Declutter and Organise
I shouldn’t even have to say this. We’re all familiar with Marie Kondo by now and the postitive effects a good clear out can have on our lives. Similarly you won’t feel calm and relaxed at home if you are surrounded by constant clutter. It’s the obvious first place to start. So, be ruthless. Do you really need all of those old magazines? Or those old burnt out candles. Take a good hard look at your possessions lying around and decide whether they can be put away, moved to a better place, or simply thrown away. And I’m not just talking about the things that are on show. We’re all guilty of stuffing things in cupboards when we don’t know what to do with them, when it would just be better to give them away or to charity. And think of all the useful cupboard space you’ll have once it’s done.
A perfect marriage of sofa, rug, footstool and side tabe. Image: Darlings of Chelsea.
Does the Current Layout Work?
It’s amazing how we can get used to a layout that is not working, just because it’s always been that way. The same way familiar things become invisible until you move them to a new spot. You might be restricted on space but there may be some room for a slight improvement. Sometimes just moving an armchair a foot or so will unblock a door. Or try moving a sideboard out of a corner to a new position in the room that allows it room to breath and be appreciated. Or maybe a side table could be moved nearer to the sofa where it is more useful for drinks and books? You’d be amazed at how small changes can make a huge impact.
Allow light to flood in with uncovered windows and then add more lamps. Image: Marks and Spencer.
Add More Light
This is always a game changer for me and there are lots of ways to improve light in a room. It might be that heavy curtains are blocking light from the windows. In which case change them for something lighter, or try living without them for a while and see how you feel. Blinds might be a better solution if privacy is an issue, as you can pull them up during the daylight hours to allow as much light in as possible. I also think you can never have enough lamps. They can change the atmosphere in a room completely by creating small pools of light. Remember also to have at least one good task light for reading, and change your switches for dimmer switches so that you can control the amount of light to suit the situation and the mood.
Painting a wall can have a big impact on a room. Image: DFS.
Change the Wall Colour
This might be a more costly and inconvenient remedy, but honestly, paint doesn’t cost that much! Not in relation to how much impact it can have on a room. Think about how your room makes you feel, and then think about how you’d like to feel and find a paint colour that will make that happen. Don’t follow trends, but choose a shade that you absolutely love. A bit of research might come in handy if you are really at a loss, and if you need a book recommendation, try The Little Book of Colour by Karen Haller. I’m so over grey, using it in my living room made it feel cold and dull and since repainting the room in Sulking Room Pink by Farrow and Ball it is much warmer, cosy and more enveloping.
Teach yourself to style your favourite objects. Image: Dear Designer’s.
Restyle and Repurpose
This is the bit where you stand back and take a good hard look at the room with an objective eye. You may need a friend to help. Is everything serving a useful purpose? Is it being displayed as effectively as it could. As I said above, familiar things become invisible and you might grow to love them again if you move them to another room or rearrange them differently. Try displaying knick knacks like with like. Group similar colours and shapes together. Stand small prints upright at the back of shelves, or lay books down instead of standing them up in rows. Styling is an art in itself but it becomes easier with practice. Look to Pinterest for inspiration and give it a go. You’ll soon know when you have it right, but there’s nothing wrong with changing things frequently, as that’s the way to keep it fresh.
Small luxuries make a big difference. Image: Marks and Spencer.
So now you have done all you can to fall in love with your home again and it’s time to treat yourself. You’ve dealt with the clutter, maybe painted, rearranged, added light and possibly moved things around. And it hasn’t cost you much at all. This is when I go out and buy a new potted plant, a new cushion or maybe a new scented candle. Because I’m worth it.
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