Marimekko, the Finnish design house, is normally known for it’s bold prints and blooming patterns. I’ve often admired them from afar but felt shy about introducing them into my own home. They are just a bit too bold for me, the colours too bright, and I’ve always felt they suited the light, white Scandinavian homes better. But then I saw these images using products from their new Spring and Summer collections. The blue and white did it for me (although they do have a lot of yellow too), especially in this setting. I love how it brings these rather sombre rooms to life. The new fabrics and stunning new porcelain refreshes the period features, the dark wood and the plain white walls. It got me thinking about the things we can do at home when we need a quick update, without going to all the trouble of redecorating or without spending a fortune. I’m not saying do all of these. Some of the suggestions won’t be practical for some, but it doesn’t hurt occasionally to think outside of the box.
Introduce a New Accent Colour into the Home
Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. The same as when we go clothes shopping and keep instinctively going for colours and styles we already have. We need to branch out more if we expect changes to transform our home, or at least make it feel refreshed. If you have decorated predominately in neutral colours try introducing a new primary colour into the mix. Just a touch or two. If you already have a varied colour scheme going on, try swapping out some of the accessories for a colour you haven’t used before. It certainly won’t break the bank and you can always come back to your initial choices in the future.
Change the Furniture Around
This might be a bit radical but does your home really make the most of the space it has? Is there a chair you have to constantly walk around or a table you keep bumping in to? Often when I walk into the house of a new client, the first suggestion I make is to do with layout. They are usually amazed that they hadn’t thought of my suggestion themselves. It might be something as simple as moving an armchair nearer the window so that it immediately becomes a bright spot in which to read a book. Or changing the position of the bed so that the view from the window can be better enjoyed. The changes don’t have to be big ones, but they can make a big impact on the way the house works for you, and how it looks.
Explore the Possibility of Using Pattern
A lot of people can be afraid of pattern. They often fear that they will tire of it quickly. But pattern doesn’t have to be big and bold and colourful. It can be soft stripes or subtle leaves on a muted background. Introducing pattern can enliven a space and draw the eye. It’s much like putting a large vase of flowers into a room. You immediately notice it and forget that maybe the rest of the room hasn’t changed much.
Delve Deep into Cupboards and Up in the Loft for Forgotten Treasures
We all have them. Things at the back of the cupboard that were buried years ago and long forgotten. Fashions do come around again so it might be worth seeing if there is something in the loft or behind the junk in the garage that you could love again. I’m forever finding old vases (the result of clearing out my parents home sadly) that can be used once more. I’ve recently rehung some old oil paintings too after removing the dated frames. Have a look. Who knows what you’ll find.
Mix Up Your Tableware
Matching tableware is sometimes a bit dull. Just one or two new pieces can add interest to your settings and easily work with what you already have. Maybe your found some bits in the loft (see above!) or in the second hand shop round the corner that are just the right shapes or colour. It doesn’t always have to be brand new. Keeping to a theme will ensure it all works together. So whether your choice is vintage, retro or contemporary, let’s ring the changes.
Invest in Some New Houseplants
This is something I’m definitely going to do in the months ahead. Even those of us who don’t have much luck keeping real plants alive, can usually do so during the spring and summer months. They do make such a difference to the feel of a home. They introduce a touch of nature and freshness that will banish the winter blues. And even if they do die eventually, I always remind myself that they last longer than a bunch of flowers for about the same price. Usually.
All images show the Spring, Summer collections at Marimekko.
Styling by Sami Ruotsalainen and Kati Lyytikäinen
Image credits: Riikka Kantinkoski