Out with the old, in with the new: give your house a spring-clean look
No matter how many different designer websites and magazines you visit, you will find that all of them return to the same basic principles concerning ideas to help you turf out the old look and create an entirely new one without the cost of calling in a professional. With minor variations, here’s what your “spring clean” should focus on when deciding what must OUT and what must IN.
A change of colour
Start with your entryway. After all, this is the first part of your home that gives you a greeting embrace as you open your front door. Consider how colours affect your mood and what mood you’d like homecoming to evoke. Most designers suggest opting forthree colours or shades for different sections of the house: one for the walls, one for couches, chairs and other furniture, and one that dominates in accessories. Of course, you need not follow this rule at all, but it is a useful guide to ending up with an aesthetically pleasing end result.
There is no need to change the colour of all the walls, either. Simply one of the walls in a room can be in a daringly different colour or shade to match the furniture that dominates the room, whether this be your entryway, living room, dining room, or bedroom. You can even opt for wallpaper in a new shade just for certain sections of walls. Changing the colour on picture frames is an equally simple manner of introducing a fresh feel into a room. For the bathroom your IN with new colour can simply be a new shower curtain, a row of colourful tiles, or a splash of paint on that old bathroom cabinet. Just remember: if you want a gentle, calming effect, select softer hues; for a vibrant, energizing effect, bolder colours are best. Select colours that stir the required emotion in you.
Here we are talking linen, velvet, silk, cotton, brushed suede, leather, mohair, the weave on cushion covers, faux fur blankets, rattan chairs and woven baskets, differing grains of wood, and even of introducing hints of new texture into artwork frames, flower vases or place mats. Texture adds so much character to any room and encourages the creative artist in you to emerge as you play with varying combinations and arrange them in corners of rooms or on a table, as shown in the photograph below.
The kinds of OUT and IN here will depend on how much you want to spend, but every little change will be refreshing. Decide on what suits your pocket and your needs. Go big, and opt for texture change in curtains or upholstery? Go small, but with equal pleasure, and simply splash out on new cushion covers, new throws or blankets, new lamp shades, a sculpture or two, or interesting texture additions to picture or photo frames? Further ideas for texture effects will follow in the accessories section below.
New lighting effects
Overhead lighting is functional, but, let’s be frank, it is hardly ever flattering or interesting. If your budget allows it, invest in pendant lights. These are extremely effective when illuminating work spaces in kitchens, but are equally useful for creating special softening effects in a bedroom, dining room or living room. Also, adding them to your bathroom, near the sink, will provide the necessary, focused light for those who need to apply make-up or shave.
Other lighting changes can be reassuringly inexpensive. Bringing in a new table lamp or two, or simply replacing the old lampshades on existing ones, will “throw a different light” on almost any living space! The best idea by far is to install dimmers; the flexibility these afford, in terms of altering the mood or look in any room at any given moment, is worth the relatively tiny cost.
Naturally, new window treatments can also produce surprising changes to the light in every room. Decide to add or remove panes of frosted glass, or replace outdated blinds and heavy old curtains with linen or bamboo shades.
Additional Ins and Outs
A good choice of mirrors will enhance any room. For a small dining or living room, replacing your existing mirror with a large one will add depth and dimension. Smaller ones you already own can merely be framed differently to refresh that spot, or you can visit secondhand shops for inimitably lovely antique finds. The same applies to the enriching effect of rugs. These are available in so many different sizes, colours and immeasurably lovely designs. And for that overdue and vital spring-clean of messy clutter, there is an absurdly simple designer solution: containers. Any decorative bowls or woven baskets to your liking should suffice. For loose items like soaps and bath salts in the bathroom, or your dressing table items, placing them on a beautiful tray, or adding a small bowl of coloured stones to such surfaces, can prettify the space.
As reflected in this photograph illustrating the use of varying textures, relatively inexpensive IN-items like candle holders, bowls, trays, flowers, books, pine cones, frosted glass ornaments, an antique, enamel-coated jug or kettle and the always enlivening addition of a pot plant can turn the old into the new. Nature offers an astonishing array of choices here: twigs or feathers, shells or rocks, or your own imaginative use of dried or pressed flowers, can turn into pieces of timeless creative expression. Better still, for when you feel the need for the next uplifting spring clean, these can simply be rearranged or shifted to a new part of the room or house.
And you will have proved that you yourself can turn your home into a constantly evolving work of art.
Udumo Designs deliver interior décor and design services by empowering unemployed people with skills development initiatives. We believe in investing in the individual, nurturing inherent skills, and uplifting communities. We hold as our mission making the future sustainable by mentoring meaningful change in the wider environment. Our interior design philosophy is to design beautiful spaces that are both functional and timelessly pleasing. We have proved that promoting the values of creative excellence, discipline and commitment can bring forth the beauty within each person and reflect it in both private and public living spaces around them.
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