Refresh your home for greater happiness
3 minute read
The New Year is a time to liven up our homes, developing our own creative ideas.
Simple things can make a huge difference, without breaking the bank: wallpaper is the latest trend, whether for a single wall or a whole room, but an easier option is to replace bland white or cream with a vibrant new colour for the main living room, hallway or bedrooms. Swapping curtains in favour of blinds or shutters increase light, and upgrading kitchens by changing the doors or giving them a lick of paint, rather than a total refit refreshes at a reasonable cost.
New rugs and cushions, or loose covers on sofas, and exchanging lamps for overhead lighting or candles (which may be a fire risk), can alter the feel of a space, giving it a new personality. Reconfiguring an area by removing or replacing internal doors is another option, whilst replacing external doors also enhances and can improve energy efficiency.
To be effective, consider the age and condition of a property; bold colour schemes suit small, as well as large spaces. TV shows and magazines may help, but there are some simple rules to create attractive, easily maintained interiors:
- Whether you moved recently, or have lived in a property for a few years, analyse how you actually use the space, invite (trusted) friends or family to share their ideas
- Don’t forget the value of artwork to liven up the walls – there is a lot of talent right across the country, with exhibitions in colleges and local galleries, as well as summer shows in community centres and churches;
- House plants add to wellbeing, improving the atmosphere;
- Consult an architect for any major works before employing a builder;
- Remember the outside space: adding window boxes, or putting large flower displays in pots onto a balcony are as important as tailoring a nature-friendly garden to suit all ages;
- Work to a budget!
Affordability can be a problem, and although on-line and High Street sales may be the solution for many items; charity shops have a wide range of things which are worth a look.
Auctions also provide opportunities to get real value for money. Just google to find your nearest and most convenient professional outlet; auctions are usually held weekly or monthly, with specialist events focusing on different items, ranging from antiques to garden furniture and farm machinery.
With recycling and vintage popular, it’s amazing what you can find. Spend a bit of time examining items on viewing days, preferably not on the morning of a sale, and take advice from the auctioneers. Instead of paying premium prices, you can find all types of modern and antique furniture: tables, chairs, bookcases, as well as cutlery, glassware, porcelain, rugs, pictures… a real treasure trove. Some items may need a bit of TLC (e.g. recovering an armchair, or stripping a hardwood table) but these are things to last a lifetime – and well worth the effort to explore.
Planning home improvements, however modest, may require a loan; contacting Just Mortgage Brokers could advise on whether it would be appropriate to increase your mortgage to cover the costs.