This blog came about because of a radio interview I did where I was asked to talk about affordable ways to update our homes during lock-down.
These strange times we’re living in at the moment call for a bit of creative thinking when it comes to keeping our homes feeling fresh and interesting. We’ve all had several months now to sit and look at the four walls and it’s given us time to take stock and reassess what we really need from our living spaces.
Home should be a haven but, if like me, your home has suddenly had to become an office for two adults and a school for rapidly growing children whose motivation is flagging by the day, it can feel more like a pressure cooker about to blow.
So here's some tips for small home updates that can make a big difference - things that don’t cost a lot of money and that can mostly be achieved by using what you already have to hand.
1. Colour Crush
One of the most trans formative things you can do quickly and cheaply to change the look and feel of your home is to introduce some colour:
A word of caution - as we’ve all spent so much time in our homes over the last three months we may find ourselves attracted to colours that we wouldn’t normally entertain.
I’m all for being brave, eschewing trends and choosing whatever colours make you feel happy and uplifted. But I’ve noticed quite a bit of yellow creeping into my home during Lock down and this is not a colour I usually go for. I even got a raised eyebrow from my husband the other day when I suggested painting a large built in cupboard in our hallway a deep mustard shade.
So maybe hang fire on painting a whole room electric blue until you’ve re-entered society more fully. If you still want to do it in a few weeks then brilliant! Go for it! But you might be able to get your hit far more easily by painting a side table or the legs of a chair and seeing how much you love the colour first.
2. Shop Your Own Home
Simply put this means have a bit of a rearrange. Move your pictures on to different walls, swap over lampshades, switch your cushion covers, add in a rug. It’s amazing how this can totally freshen up a room.
I’ve got a cupboard in my cellar crammed with pots and vases that I rotate depending on my mood and the time of year. I’ve also got one drawer in my wardrobe where I store all the bits and pieces I’ve collected over the years that I want to keep but don’t necessarily want out on show. By restricting this ‘overflow’ to certain areas in the house it keeps things organised and allows me to feel that I have my hoarder tendencies under control!
Every now and then I have a switch around with the stuff I’ve had out for awhile. Re-discovering treasured objects that have been stored away feels as good as buying something new.
Image courtesy of Organised Pretty Home
3. Style Your Shelves Like A Pro
Go to town on displaying your books. Every lounge should have books. They make a room feel really homely and lived-in. They don’t all have to be lined up with their spines facing out. You can stack some, break them up with ornaments or plants, turn a few page-side out in between all the colours. If you have too much time on your hands you can always colour code them!
Put things on your shelves that mean something to you but be selective! Think about shape and scale - have a mix of different sized objects rather than lots of tiny dust collectors all at the same level. Include some circular or curved pieces to break up all the straight lines and leave some space around groups of items to give them more impact.
Image courtesy of Buzzfeed.com
4. Make Your Own Unique Art
Framing illustrations out of children's books can look amazing. They’re great to hang in a child’s bedroom but can look equally as good hung in unexpected places like a hallway or downstairs loo.
You could frame maps of your favourite places, sheet music or a beautiful t-towel or scarf. Putting things behind glass always seems to elevate them to something more special.
I’ve been known to frame wallpaper samples, particularly if I’ve fallen in love with a very expensive, designer wallpaper (which happens more times than I care to admit) but can’t justify the price tag. You can often order these samples for free or just a couple of pounds online.
Image courtesy of Oka
5. Cushions, Cushions and More Cushions
Cushions are perfect for introducing some pattern and colour. Contrast is the key to success. Contrasting different textures and elements will give an ordinary space a high end look. Think rough tweed next to soft velvet, shiny silk next to slubby linen. And always mix in some patterns in different scales such as a striking ikat with a tiny floral print or a small stripe with a large check. So long as there is a common colour that links them you can mix as many patterns as you like.
Have fun! It's your home and you make the rules. To listen to my radio interview which inspired this blog click below.
Please note this post isn't sponsored in anyway.
Thanks for reading. If you have any comments or other topics you'd like me to write about please let me know.