The home is indeed where the heart is, but when you run a busy household, it can be easy to let your interiors fall into the trap of being practical and functional rather than the mecca of style that you once thought that you would have. Yes, you do have to have a home that helps your family life run smoothly, but equally, you do not have to forgo your sense of style. Here are 5 tips to update your home and make it a place that showcases your sense of individuality and flair.
How can you update your home when you have so much clutter? The number of things that we accumulate and don’t use is disguised by our ability to cleverly store things away – out of sight out of mind. So, be brave, and tackle each room one at a time. Have 3 piles: one to keep, one to throw, and one for things you are not quite sure about. Revisit the third pile after a day or two, and your emotional attachment to the objects may have shifted.
You will be very proud of your children’s artwork that they bring back from nursery or school, and you more than likely have examples of their creativity all around the house, but you need to restrict it to a specific area, a pin board in the kitchen for example. You do not need to keep every piece that you are given. Keep the very special ones, but otherwise, operate a strict one in and one out regime.
The kitchen, the heart of the home, and a room that so much time is spent in. Replacing your kitchen units and worktops is one option to update it, but that can be costly. Instead, think about ways that you can update by the clever use of accents of colour and the fittings that you have. You do not need to replace your sink, for example, but you can change the taps to a more modern and sleek design. If you are looking for stylish kitchen lighting, copper pendant lights provide texture and opulence but not at the expense of being functional. Your statement lighting options give you the opportunity to add a new flavour to your kitchen, whether you choose copper pendant lights or a leather hanging light, it will certainly be a talking point.
Introduce colour to the kitchen by the fabrics you choose for blinds or curtains, the tiles of your backsplash, and the accessories that you have on display. By painting the wall hanging plate rack in a statement colour, it immediately gives you style kudos. Play around with colour testers and choose a colour that jumps out at you, but will also complement the colour scheme of the adjoining rooms.
The lounge is a room that fulfils many functions. Your children will more than likely play in it during the day, but once they have gone to bed, it becomes the adult’s room. You need to ensure that your children’s toys are cleared away at the end of the day so that you can reclaim this space. Choose a toy storage solution that complements the décor of the room. Large plastic storage boxes are practical, but they are rather unsightly. Blanket boxes are the ideal; although they are intended for bedrooms, they offer a stylish alternative to a toy store and double up as a coffee table when the children are in bed.
You can transform a room with the soft furnishings you choose. Use different textiles and fabrics in your lounge to give you an immediate update: the cushions on your sofa and a bold rug. When selecting a rug, do not scrimp on the size – the bigger the better! Use painter’s tape to help you visualise the size you need. Generally, for medium to large sized rooms, rugs work best when they accommodate all the legs of your furniture or just the front ones. For smaller rooms, the rug should be proportionate to the size of the room: long thin rooms require longer thinner rugs. Rugs are also a wonderful way to protect your carpet from the mishaps that occur when you have small children!
Your bedroom is the one room that you feel you don’t see enough of! Replacing your bed linen is the obvious way to change the look of your room, but coupled with a complementing throw, it really adds a touch of luxury, especially if you use an opulent fabric: think faux fur or velvet. When was the last time you bought new pillows? We often overlook replacing pillows, but it is recommended that you change them every couple of years, and by doing so, you are not only going to have a more hygienic place to rest your head, but you are going to change and improve the landscape of your bed – which is after all, the main feature of your bedroom.
Another instant way to update your room is by having matching bedside lamps, and if this is beyond your budget, simply swap your lampshades for matching ones to give your room an eclectic but put together look.
What will set your house apart in terms of its interior design is the attention that you pay to the finer details. Have a look at the age of your house, and research the period that it was built in, for example, Victorian houses typically had cornice mouldings, and they are relatively easy to reinstall into a room, but the effect is dramatic. Update your house’s architectural features to provide a subtle nod to its history.
You will also be able to change door knobs and handles to ones that were prevalent at the time that the house was constructed. By making small amendments to the hardware, you will be able to tie in your modern interior design with the age of the building, but in a natural and unassuming way.
Updating your home’s interiors does not have to be a budget-busting experience. You can make changes that will satisfy your creative flair, but not at the expense of being practical and functional. You do not have to do all these things at once, your interiors style will grow organically, but be in control of it: have a clear agenda as to the look you want to achieve, and make key purchases that will excite you for years to come.