New year and new beginnings, who else over the festive period cleaned out a cupboard or a room? It felt like all I did was clean and edit rooms! However, there is definitely something satisfying about organising your belongings before you start a new year. Your home always looks and feels more inviting over the festive period, as you add more decoration and lighting, and tends to look a bit sad once all the decorations are back in storage and forgotten about until next year. It doesn’t have to be this way, you can recreate this look minus the festive theme. Why was it your home looked better? Without a doubt it was because of 3 things: Lighting, Colour and finally Texture/pattern.
Lighting: You would have had extra light sources over the festive period in form of fairy lights on the tree(s), round banisters, basically if you are anything like me they would have been anywhere where you had a power source and could be hung from. Also you would have used candles on your dinner table and dotted around the house, possibly even at your front door in lanterns? Lighting has such a positive effect, it creates an instant mood. It can highlight areas, at Christmas time it is the tree, but when it is not you can make a focal point of something else – like a display cabinet, bookcase or shelf. So my advice would be to add more lighting than you have at the moment. I use fairy lights all year round, in my flat they are on top of wardrobes and kitchen cabinets, inside glass cabinets and on my bar trolley (see below). If you are not fussed about fairy lights, you can layer the lights with another light source. Floor standing, table, or wall – I am not a fan of pendant lights! Well I like them to finish a room but I never put lamps in mine as hate the harsh light if gives off. If you can, install a dimmer that makes the light bearable (in my opinion.) Wall lights are great, but they need to be considered before you decorate a room and is a more costly exercise to conceal the wires. Fear not I have a solution! What about attaching them to a headboard or a ladder like the image below. I love this idea and you can pick up really smart industrial lights like this easily.
Colour: this is by far the easiest way to change a room quickly, by simply painting a wall. My advice would be to choose a more dramatic colour, why not it is only a tin of paint. No one will notice if you paint a wall white or a beige colour. Trust me it will make everything look more expensive and is a great backdrop for your furniture, lighting and art work. My lounge is a dark grey (down pipe by Farrow and Ball) this picture is taken during the day and it feels a bit light for me when I look at this image. It is such a warm colour and it takes on such a different feel in the evening. People always comment how different it is when the visit at different times of the day. If you are not confident to use a strong colour on all the walls, start with one wall. You might not like the idea of a ‘feature wall’ but there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Feature walls get bad press for some reason? If you need to take it in stages in order to gain confidence I would rather you did that, than not try something different at all.
Texture & Pattern: By now you will have painted a wall or walls and have added more sources of light! So final step would be to introduce or add pattern and texture. This is where you showcase your personality and is a great way to introduce other colours. Look at items such as cushions, rugs, and throws, they vary in price, so it is what you can afford. The high street have great home ware lines, BHS is brilliant for lighting, so is sainsburys (online) I spotted a few really nice lights recently. So there is no excuse, have a look at online stores and see what is available. My tip would be to mix up the textures if you want to go for same colour palette – combine wool, fur, linen, and velvet. If they are the same colour it will look much more interesting. Also vary the size of the cushions, my heart sinks when I see all the same matching cushions that are all identical in size. Sorry that is maybe a bit harsh, but there is so much choice, so there is no need. The way to avoid this is to not buy all your cushions from the same shop.
Wallpaper is also another great way to add some pattern, I am a fan of putting detailed patterns in small room. It is a myth that you will make a room bigger by painting it white! The image below is my little cloakroom in my hallway, I have all manner of things in that cloakroom, coats, bags, art work, mirrors, old suitcase and so on. It is a handy wee space, but it shouldn’t be forgotten about and it is a cheap area to decorate. Everyone comments on this space as it is a bit of fun.
I feel quite exhausted after writing this post, there is a lot of information and suggestions. I don’t want to put anyone off, believe me I have only focused on the 3 main elements which I think are the game changers for any room/space. It might be you don’t need to do all 3 areas, in that case you will be able to transform you room in a weekend.