|How to make your Home Look Stylish... and spend practially NOTHING!
Especially during the credit crunch it's easy to think we are stuck with what we have in our homes when we can easily change our rooms for little or no money. Why go out and buy all new items when you could move your furniture and ornaments around and create a totally new fresh look?
Has one or more of your rooms been stuck in a rut, why not empty the room and move things around for a virtually free makeover?
Most of us have colour co-ordinated ornaments, throws etc, that we've put in the back of a cupboard, in the loft, or are using in another room. If you’re feeling adventurous do more that one room at once. Most of our ideas will cost you nothing at all and others are very cheap to implement.
So why not have a go, it's cheap, it's easy and it's great fun too!
EMBRACE YOUR COLLECTIONS
Create spots in your home to feature your collections or special ornaments. Sometimes when you have similar items, like teapots; rocks and fossils or teddy's for example, it's best to keep them in once place to really show off your treasures. Go around your house and gather them all up and find a suitable place to make them a feature for you and others to marvel at and enjoy.
SYMMETRY CAN BE BORING
Although we all love to be symmetrical and create order amongst our possessions sometimes it can flatten a space, even moving all of your ornaments or candles to one side of the mantelpiece can really make a difference and add some movement to your room.
Take broadsheet newspapers with their regimented columns of text in comparison to tabloids with random images and headlines - aren't they more exciting to look at? Why not hang paintings in a random pattern OR creat a line of your artwork (at eye level of course), move your furniture around the room or just change the angle or your sofas. You'll be surprised what a little time it takes and what an impact it can have.
Update your pictures and prints by changing the frames or even painting them. You can make such a difference by adding coloured borders to help smaller images pop out in a bigger frame, or even collage multiple smaller images together in a large frame either in a uniform or a freeform way. Hang them in groups of varying sized frames for a "shabby chic" look.
If you don't have any pictures or prints why not use clippings from magazines or newspapers - you can find lots of beautiful images, especially from high-end perfume or clothing adverts.
Or try painting plain wood or MDF boards in different tones to compliment your colour scheme and hang close together. You can even use old LP covers for a stylish alternative to traditional art.
You don't even need to hang your new artwork up, lean them in groups against a wall or on a shelf or mantelpiece, display them on an artists easel - the only limit is your imagination.
DONT BE STUCK IN A CORNER
If you have any empty corners your eye is instantly drawn to them, and they look a lot larger than they actually are. Why not add a feature plant, lamp or hang a picture or some wall art to visually fill them up.
ADD SOME LIFE
Brighten and liven up any space by bringing the outside in. If your lucky enough to have a garden, or access to one, cut some flowers or nice foliage, leafy twigs or maybe grasses or bare branches and arrange simply in a vase, bowl or even a large drinking glass or jug.
It really doesn't need to be expensive to add an explosion of colour or texture and add an extra bit of oomph to your rooms.
When using rugs try to tie them into another piece of furniture. Rugs shouldn't just float on your floor like a desert island, tuck them up to your sofas or fireplaces, ground them with a coffee table, ottoman or pouffe.
Make sure they are big enough proportionally to your room aswell, too large and you should have bought a carpet, too small and it'll look like a stepping stone and may as well not be there at all.
Lighting is one of the most important aspects to any room, you can create a cosy romantic room by just dimming your main light or using lamps instead.
There are three main types of lighting: Functional, Accent and Task.
Functional lighting is usually the main room light situated in your ceiling, adding a dimmer to this can help you change the mood of your room instantly and at very little cost too.
Accent lighting can be anything from table and floor lamps or picture lights to small spotlights in your potted plants, they should show off and light up the rooms best features.
Task lighting is the day to day lighting such as reading lamps or under cabinet lighting in the kitchen, this can be concealed if you wish or made into a feature by purchasing contemporary lamps which resemble sculpture or ornaments when not lit.
GO WITH THE FLOW
Are your kids / husband / pets always getting in the way when you’re watching TV?
Do you trip over a potted plant, a heap of shoes or bump into "that" table every time you go to the kitchen?
Do you have to move the ironing board or washing basket every time you need to go in a certain cupboard?
Creating alternative routes around your home, for example behind the sofa not in front if it can really make a difference. Change the way the traffic flows in your house and your daily life flows more easily.
DEFINE, DEFINE, DEFINEEven if you choose to only do one room it'll mentally brighten and rejuvenate your home making it a fresher and nicer place to live.
Have you always wanted to read in natural light? Move an armchair near a window and add a table for your mid-morning cuppa.
It's all about simplifying your life.
Would you keep your jumpers more accessible than your sandals in summer? See what we mean?
Work out how you use your house, and then work out how to use it better. Make a list of things you've always wanted, a stool near your wardrobe for when you put your shoes on, a shelf near the door for important bits and bobs your have to take out every day.
It’s up to you - define your space for YOU.
And let's face it, what have you got to lose, most of our ideas are free and all you need spend is a little time.