Simple changes you can make to ‘spruce up’ the look and feel of your home…
Let there be light – From a glittering chandelier and modern track lighting, to a vintage standing lamp or sculptural pendant light, adding new lighting around your home will instantly change the atmosphere. Natural light is also the simplest lift you can give to any room, so consider a skylight to filter light into darker areas. A stained glass window is a wonderful way to filter in light while also adding colour (and privacy) to a room. You don’t have to break the bank either – there are plenty of window ‘film’ options available nowadays with assorted patterns and colours.
Paint something – Nothing transforms a space like a splash of colour. Be it the ceiling, a chest of drawers, side table, front door, an accent wall or an entire room, etc, a fresh coat of paint is like a breath of fresh air. Wallpaper is another solution if you don’t want to commit to a paint job. The options here are endless; anything from delicate floral or damask prints to faux linen and other textured finishes, reflective designs, bold blocks of colour, stripes or dots. Wallpaper a whole wall or a section of one for a quick change of scenery.
Accessorize, accessorize – Small additions here and there are perfect for a mini makeover. From urns and bowls, to lamps and candleholders; a stripy runner on the stairs or running down the passage, to a colourful patterned rug in the entrance hall or a plush carpet in the living room; new scatters and throws in the TV room, a bold tablecloth on the dining-room table (with matching placemats and napkins), to new hand towels in the bathrooms and a classic reading lamp in the study.
Bring the outdoors in – Add touches of living things such as some potted plants or fresh-cut flowers. Turn a blank wall into a ‘living wall’ with a grouping of several plants in interesting containers. Or use a number of identical containers in a crisscross, triangular, square or circular arrangement for added interest. Incorporate other natural materials, like wood and stone, into your space for their grounding energy.
Swop out and/or rearrange – Replace a coffee table with an upholstered ottoman to soften a furniture arrangement. Or simply ‘style up’ your coffee table by stacking it with books, magazines, a pretty bowl, fragrant candle, incense holder, reed diffuser and/or a terrarium or bonsai. There’s no right or wrong. The trick is simply to make it look different from before.
Install new knobs and handles – Do this in the kitchen, where the selection is endless, from chrome and stainless steel, to bronze, polished brass and even twisted wrought iron. Most also come in different finishes, from glossy or satin types to dark antique finishes.
Make the most of decorative storage and multi-functional furniture – From woven grass, wicker and white cane baskets to sturdy canvas ‘bins’, pull-out baskets and baskets with lids, a cosy collection of baskets at the end of a bed can transform a room and be functional at the same time. As can vintage chests or weathered trunks and suitcases, for a bit of charm. Choose multifunctional furniture that can be folded up, stacked or wheeled away to other parts of the house for a quick change. A large, framed, upright floor mirror leaned against a wall will give the illusion of extra floor space, as will glass tables and other transparent furniture if you want to makeover a small room and help it appear bigger at the same time.
Be art smart – Art, just like a coat of paint and wallpaper, can really bring a space to life. Create one themed gallery wall for your art collection by clustering them all together. Or simply relocate your art (we often stop noticing things that have been in the same place for a long time). A row of black art frames with vibrant images can bring life to a blank wall, or paint a whole wall with chalkboard paint and get creative. Cover an assortment of blank canvases in pretty fabrics and hang them on an accent wall, update and refresh the photos in your current frames, or get clever with your collectables and decorate a dining-room wall with a mix of vintage plates or old serving trays.
Have you embarked on a mini home makeover recently? Tell us what you did…