10 Simple Steps to Overhauling Your Decor
New Year – New Home.
Hmm…easier said than done, especially with our property prices. You can’t get that fancy new pad you long for, so how about injecting a new lease of life into the one you already have instead? A few surprisingly simple steps can have you falling in love with your home all over again, so start the year right and have a read.
1. Rethink Your Layout
I have fond memories of helping my mum shift the furniture around in my bedroom as a child. We would spend hours moving the bed, wardrobe, dresser, toy storage etc around and, by the end of it, it was like I had a brand new bedroom. I would get ridiculously excited to go to bed, or do my homework, or play with my toys; those simple, mundane tasks became new for me, all because of a few modest furniture changes.
The same applies to me now, as an adult. If I’m getting bored of my living space but don’t have the budget to satisfy my shopping sprees, I simply shift the furniture or certain objects around. Consider selling or exchanging items you have fallen out of love with to be a bit more purse friendly – Guernsey has some great websites for this, so it doesn’t have to be costly.
2. Paper, Paper, On the Wall
Yikes, wallpaper. For many, wallpapering a room is a scary thought – can anyone recall the 70’s? Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to wallpaper each and every wall in your room. Almost every room, any shape or size, has just that one (or more) wall that would make the perfect feature. How you do it really depends on your personal style.
Go bold with a bright, solid colour and let the accents around it do the talking. I’ve heard on the grapevine that bold blues and oranges are going to be big for interiors in 2018, so if you want to stay on trend, start here. Likewise, intense patterns with neutral metallic features are destined to be big and can breathe a modern life into an outdated room. Keep surrounding furnishings and accents neutral, though – you can have too much of a good thing.
If you are scared off by the very thought of wallpaper, I suggest starting small. Keep colours muted, and highlight feature walls with a grey or taupe with maybe a gentle pattern in there somewhere. It won’t necessarily get your guests talking, but it can lay subtle groundwork for building up your décor with more eccentric, boastful objects.
3. Forget Calories, Count Your Colours
This time of year always brings the pesky calorie counters amongst us out of hiding. Forget the holiday indulgences, however, this year it is all about counting colours. I like to stick to the rule of three when it comes to redecorating, and here is how you can too.
Sit back and look at your room. Does one colour seem to dominate? It is all too easy to go crazy on lime green because it is your favourite colour, or to buy everything in dark brown so those stains from the children’s sticky fingers are easier to hide. Don’t fall into the trap. Find the colour that is swamping your room, count the three most important objects in that colour and keep them. As for the others? Don’t throw them away. Paint, reupholster, move to another room or sell to pocket some money.
4. Out of Date Dining
The dining table is a place of social gathering; your family get together around it after a long day of work and school, your friends gather around at a formal dinner party and, when not in use, it is a focal point of any dining room. But when you have a perfectly functional – yet ageing – dining set, how can you revamp it on a budget?
I am of the ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’ mentality, so it would take a lot for me to bin a dining set just because it no longer fits the trend. The right paint can work wonders for an outdated table, so consider rolling up your sleeves (or getting in a professional) and setting aside a little time to DIY. Or is it the case that the chairs are the ones making your once beautiful table look a little lacklustre and in desperate need of a new look? If this is the case, replace only the chairs (if you are feeling outrageous, just the two at either end – a very modern approach) or, if you aren’t afraid to get crafty, reupholster them. If you don’t know where to start, a quick google search will fix that.
5. Saying Something Simple
So you don’t fancy a major overhaul of your home, but still want it to look fresh and new for the New Year without breaking the bank? Then don’t make the mistake of overlooking the small things that are incredibly easy to replace, but are so often ignored.
One of my absolute favourite ways to update a room is to replace the handles on my chest of drawers, dressers or wardrobes. How about extending it to the kitchen, and replacing cupboard and drawer handles, or simply giving your interior door handles a revamp? There are a plethora of options out there for you to achieve the look you desire; do you want the oh so chic French country look? Try an antique effect brass. Or are you more of a modernist? Go for some sleek aluminium. Shop around and experiment.
If you are creatively inclined, consider looking beyond the store stock of handles available. Almost anything can be transformed into a handle with a little crafting; consider old brooches, ribbons or large, decorative pins.
6. Spring Clean
A deep clean of your home doesn’t have to be strictly limited to Spring – a common misconception for those of us who put off the cleaning for as long as possible. Agreed, it is not the most exciting task to undertake, but if you set aside a few hours (less, if you enlist someone to help) you can find yourself looking at a completely different home.
Not only this, but it will greatly enhance your mood which, as we all know, makes life a little bit easier. Pack yourself a little picnic of cleaning goodies and take it with you into each room, working from the top of your house down. You will find yourself running around less and staying motivated for longer.
Remember to open the windows, let the fresh air circulate, and play your favourite music…loud.
7. Mirror, Mirror
Mirrors are beautiful, to the point where I have an obsession with them. They not only help to enhance a rooms size when placed correctly, but with the huge selection of beautiful, ornate frames available on the market they can really help to set the mood you want, too. There is no shame in purchasing a cheap mirror and making your own bespoke frame, if you are that way inclined, or giving an existing mirror a makeover with a lick of paint to the frame, or some ornate detailing.
If you want to create the illusion of space in a small room, place them opposite windows – the light reflects off of the mirror and floods the room. Or blend the use of a mirror and your wall décor into one – an entire wall of mirrors exudes opulence.
8. Say it with Flower
It is surprising how just a plant, or a strategically placed vase with a few flowers in, can transform a room. Flowers can help bring a room together and make it look finished and put together. That doesn’t mean, however, that you have to go and buy yourself an elaborate bouquet of flowers every week. Try your hand at flower arranging and mix two or three small bunches from a local hedge stall with some foliage from your garden to create that perfect, non-uniform look.
9. Embrace Your Inner Bob (the Builder)
One of the most satisfying ways to transform your home is to make something yourself. So could 2018 be your year to get crafty? This could be as small as giving an old piece of furniture a new lease of life with a coat of paint, or you could go bigger and try your hand at building your own furniture. Not handy with a saw? Then ask a family member or friend who is to lend a hand. Building your own furniture is not only rewarding, but it enables you to make full use of each unique nook and cranny your home has to offer. It is space efficient, and you avoid those awkward and difficult to clean gaps.
10. Paint Your Units
It is no secret that kitchens are expensive to replace but, frustratingly, are also one of the main aspects of your home. They are the social hub where people tend to congregate at gatherings, whether intended by the host or not! So they need to look the part. But when your kitchen style is getting you down, and you don’t want to splurge thousands on something brand new, you don’t have to look further than your existing kitchen cupboards. If they are in a good state of repair, consider repainting the doors (and plinths etc.) in a colour of your choice, and purchasing some new handles to replace your existing.
The information in this Coffee Break article is intended for guidance only. The authors cannot accept any liability for any loss or damage which may result from the use of this article.