A new year means a new start – or at least a few resolutions. Instead of depriving yourself of chips, chocolate or wine, why not focus on your home? A small change can be all that’s needed to create a fresh new look in every room. The added bonus is that while you’re thinking about your interiors, you won’t be focusing on what you’re missing out on – which in our experience makes it all the more tempting. Result all round.
1 Sort out your windows
We would say it – but it’s nevertheless true – swapping to shutters can transform the look of your room. Even better, taking the DIY route means you can have quality and style at an affordable price. We have the information you need so you can do it yourself – including video guides – on the site, and you can give us a call on 0800 012 6009.
2 Think layout
Take a look at how your rooms are arranged. Does any of your seating partially block a doorway? Do you have to squeeze sideways round the end of the sofa? Do you trip on the edge of a rug as you pass through a room? Slight changes to the position of furniture and furnishings can make all the difference, so free up passageways and entrances and exits for rooms that function better.
3 Add depth
You may have said no, a million times no, to the idea of heavy dark wood furniture, but there’s no need to spurn richly coloured tones entirely. Used well, these deeper finishes can bring a sophisticated edge to a room scheme. The easiest way to introduce them? Hang a Venetian blind in a dark stain.
4 Get a change of air
It’s vital to ensure your home is well ventilated as a build-up of condensation isn’t just bad for your decor – it can be bad for your health. Get into good habits for the new year: if you steam up the bathroom, run the extractor or open the window to clear it; use the extractor when you’re cooking; and air your bedroom daily, too.
5 Clear surfaces
Functional rooms – we’re talking kitchens, dining spaces and bathrooms – are filled with essentials you’ll want to hand. Let those essentials cover all the surfaces, though, and suddenly your room isn’t half so functional. The simplest way to make them practical again is to hang shelving so what you need isn’t hard to get at but worktops and tables are free once more.
Gamleby wall shelf, Ikea, www.ikea.com
6 Work your shelves
If your bookshelves are full to bursting, it’s time to give them room to breathe. Try arranging some of your best coffee table volumes in vertical stacks as well as housing books upright, and leave space for decorative accessories. Paperbacks leftover? Maybe a trip to the charity shop is in order.
7 Rehang artwork
Happy with the way your pictures are hung? If they look as if they’re unrelated to your furnishings, it’s time to reposition them. Images hanging above the head of a bed, sofa or a console table shouldn’t be floating far above your furniture, nor squashed uncomfortably close. No need for any complicated rules – judge by eye for a swift reworking.
J by Jasper Conran frames, Debenhams www.debenhams.com
8 Roll, don’t fold
Try storing towels, throws and blankets so they look good on show and you can free up cupboard space as well as making rooms feel more luxurious. In the bathroom, roll up towels and slot them on to a shelf or into open cabinets, and in living rooms and bedrooms, store throws and blankets in a large basket rolled and ready to grab.
9 Try a new hue
Dining chairs on the dull side? Get out your paint brush to revitalise your kitchen-diner. You can go for one shade all over, contrast colour with wood – as shown – or pick a pair of shades for a set to create an on-trend mix and match effect.
Chair painted in St Giles Blue full gloss, Farrow & Ball www.farrow-ball.com
10 Make like a stylist
Putting together great-looking groups of accessories is an easy way to make your interiors pack a chic punch. Interiors stylists often work with different objects and shapes in one material for a display that works without looking overdressed – best of all, you can probably do it with what you already own.
Accessories, House of Fraser www.houseoffraser.co.uk
Get in touch to find out more about our shutters and blinds. Contact us or call 0800 012 6009.
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