Winter-time tends to make us close the curtains, keep cosy and just enjoy being indoors, but Springtime is all about renewal – and our homes are at the front-line of these plans. We all need some interior design ideas from time to time.
This may be the year, for example, when you finally add that much-needed EXTENSION, SUNROOM or ORANGERIE to your home. Or you can make your living room and kitchen into a major open-plan space that could quickly become the heart of family living.
You may want to add the light and space of a CONSERVATORY. The key here is to ensure that it doesn’t look “tacked on” to your property. It’s important to give the appearance of flowing from the main house with the same flooring and décor.
Be careful not to over-extend your property, though, at the expense of your garden. Most of us value that bit of green space especially in the Spring and, if you’ve got the time and the interest, your garden can become a pleasing feature of both your home and your lifestyle.
Converting your garage into an extra bedroom or a kitchen extension works well in many homes. Most of us don’t use our garages properly anyway. They can easily become cluttered and many are never employed for their prime use as somewhere to keep the car, so using what your property already has available makes sense.
Changing your old FRONT-DOOR to a more modern design, preferably with glass to allow in plenty of light, is a simple way to freshen up both the outside and the inside of your home.
This can help update the HALLWAY which, after all, is the first opportunity you have to make an impression on any visitor. Bold wallpaper in bright colours on a white background is a great modernising option here. Hallways need light so look at your lighting and consider updating and add a mirror or two to maximise this.
Before you start buying items or investing in paint and wallpaper, a simple way to brighten up your home and give it a fresh feel is to undertake some serious de-cluttering.
Take an honest look at every room and see what you can take out to allow clearer surfaces, cleaner lines and a general feeling of space. It can be hard breaking the emotional link to many of the items we insist on hoarding but try to be objective about possessions.
Most of us happily take the same items through each house move as though they had a right to be in the new place when, in fact, they’re of no real use to daily life.
Chuck out what you can’t give to the local charity shops. The same applies to dated pieces of furniture – especially those surplus to requirements. Some charities, like the British Heart Foundation and homeless charity Emmaus, sell second-hand furniture to boost their funds and are often glad to collect saleable items in good condition.
Changing your home doesn’t need to be all about costly major changes, though. Going for a new COLOUR SCHEME or using WALLPAPER cleverly on a feature wall in an otherwise plain room can transform your property.
Steam-clean your KITCHEN area – you’ll be amazed how this lightens the place and update white electrical sockets with chrome. Kitchens are a central area in most homes these days so it’s worth investing in new cupboard doors or work surfaces for a more modern look.
Go for inexpensive plain tiles in toning colours to highlight smart units and one of the new textured floor coverings or rustic tiles. Even treating yourself to a set of brightly coloured kettle, toaster and coffee-maker can make your kitchen look chic.
Your DINING ROOM or dining area needs to be a place where you enjoy spending time so, even if this is a small space, create something special here. Buy a lovely chandelier and choose cool light greys and other pleasing shades so that you can eat in a pretty area that makes the whole experience a pleasure.
You don’t need to change everything in your BATHROOM – although if you’ve still got an avocado suite that might prove the exception! The most enduring contemporary look for bathrooms these days is still a white suite.
SHOWERS are quite futuristic now, as well as being very lifestyle-friendly, so changing your old shower is a practical improvement that won’t break the family budget. Going for natural colours on the walls, whether in tiles or emulsion, can be off-set by jewel-coloured towels and other accessories that can be picked up relatively cheaply.
If you’re wanting a major change here and want to invest in your home, having a WET ROOM has become popular. Even smaller bathrooms can be adjusted with concealed shower trays that give the appearance of a wet room which can prove very practical.
Get clever with STORAGE in the bathroom in particular. Ditch the laundry basket for a start – you really don’t need to keep laundry here. Replace it instead with a pop-up laundry caddy for each bedroom.
Invest in an over-door towel rail, which is great for hanging up your damp towels. And go through all those lotions and potions that everyone has in their bathroom. They take up a lot of space and it’s a safe bet that you’ll never use most of them!
New BEDDING can alter a tired-looking bedroom, especially if you complement the shades in the rest of the décor. Jarring colours don’t work well here as this room is all about relaxing and winding down, so go for soothing neutrals with restrained colours.
Now so many people work from home, many of us have a HOME OFFICE but the temptation is just to hive off a space and stick a fitted desk in there. Instead, how about creating a work area that really does promote positive thinking with a fresh lick of white paint and a feature blind on the window with a splash of colour?
Don’t forget the WALLS throughout your home, either. An eye-catching painting, much-loved family photo or just a print that you like can come to life with a beautiful frame that adds interest to your home, and helps promotes the feelgood factor of Spring.
By Angela Kelly