Tag Archives: interiors

10-minute Updates to Give Your Home a Freshen Up

We know what it’s like around the home – you envision a perfect home that is perfectly tidy and in order, but then life gets in the way and it looks much less than perfect! When we read this blog on Houzz about giving your home a freshen up, we had to share it with our readers. Check out their great tips on what you can do to make your place look GREAT! It just shows that even the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.

Styling: 10-minute Updates to Give Your Home a Freshen Up

You spend time poring over the gorgeous interiors on Houzz, but then life gets in the way of you making your own place look perfect. Sound familiar? Lack of money, energy and time can mean you never quite get around to your spruce-up paint job, that new flooring gets put on hold, you’re still lounging on that unloved old sofa… I could go on. However, while you wait, there are small things you can do to cheer up your space, and that don’t require entire weekends spent constructing flat-packs or prowling the DIY store. Whether it’s a messy desk or a grubby hall, take 10 minutes out to subtly improve them and you’ll feel much better.

Reboot your coffee table

Much of the art of creating a stylish home is about stopping to consider what you already have and how best to display it. So don’t leave your most beautiful books tucked away on high shelves. The pile of arty hardbacks on a coffee table might feel something of a homes cliché, but it can actually be a rather effective way of adding personality to a living space.

Here, the owners have created a selection of mini book towers – on the main table, on a side table and, unusually, on the floor. The interesting ceramics, meanwhile, add another point of interest. This trick only takes minutes and can be changed whenever you fancy a new selection of books to peruse.

Try the power of three

Three objects arranged in a small cluster are instantly interpreted by the eye as a carefully edited group display, rather than a random concoction – be they on a mantelpiece or a table. These two ceramic containers teamed with a simple glass bottle vase are a case in point. Try objects of subtly different lengths or widths for maximum effect.

Tip Some blowsy white blooms in a glass vase is another instant update that works pretty much anywhere. Hit your local florist’s or get busy with your secateurs in the garden.


Space out your shelf display

It may be tempting to stuff your shelves full of books so you utilise every storage inch. But by reserving part of a shelf to display interesting objects, you not only create a sense of space in a room, you also turn what could be a workaday piece of furniture into an eclectic style statement.

This brilliant blue unit has been used for books as well as a variety of objects, including a teapot, retro radio and jewel-like wine glasses. Try restyling your shelves for a similar effect: the impact on a room can be astounding. These owners have also loosely colour-coded the spines of the books to further ‘tidy up’ the look.


Frame your kids’ drawings

If you have a wall that’s looking dull or bare and you have young children, there’s really no need to spend a fortune on limited editions. Kids’ drawings are colourful and characterful, and can look lovely displayed en masse, as this gallery wall proves.

Mix tacked-up sketches with a few of your children’s favourite compositions in simple white frames. You’ll cherish them for years to come.


Declutter your study

Is your home office a mess of torn envelopes, half-forgotten bills and old supermarket discount vouchers? Take a few minutes out to tidy, clean and polish your desk. If you don’t have a system, create one, assigning different drawers and in-trays for urgent and non-urgent paperwork. Gather stray pens together: recycle an old tin or use a favourite mug as a holder if nothing else is at hand.

Finally, if you have more time, you could copy the above trick and hang clipboards on a wall for a low-cost, utilitarian display, then use different clips for different to-do lists. The result: clearer desk, clearer mind.


Rearrange your cushions

Few things change the look of a living room so easily as a variety of interesting cushions. A tired sofa can be revived, a neglected armchair brought back into use or a plain bed given the hotel factor.

Take a look at the cushions you already own: could they be combined in a more interesting arrangement, as seen here? Experiment with them on different chairs in different rooms, to see whether they’d work better elsewhere.

If you don’t have cushions you love to hand, treat yourself to some new ones: many high street stores sell great designs for reasonable prices these days.


Display a bright tea towel

Tea towels have become the cushions of the kitchen. Easily changed around, a bright design can instantly lift a plain white room and, left on display, as here, cheer you up on gloomy mornings.

Build up a collection of pretty designs – there are gazillions around – so that when one is in the wash, you have another on standby. Hang one over the back of a cupboard door or oven handle to lift a run of boring units. And if you find one you really love, then why not frame it?


Style your coat peg

If your hallway coat pegs are a monstrous tangle of hats, scarves, coats and tatty cloth bags, take 10 minutes to strip back to basics. Pack away (or give away) anything that’s out of season or out of fashion, leaving just a few lovely things on display. The result will vastly improve the look of your hallway.

If you want to go further, treat yourself to a stylish coat hook, such as this design classic Eames Hang-it-all rack, or one of the many other quirky, cool designs around nowadays.


Mix up your ceramics

Lovely things are meant to be enjoyed – and can distract the eye from an otherwise unspectacular space. If you have a collection of colourful ceramics, don’t hide them away. Instead, create an eclectic display on an open shelf in a kitchen or on a sideboard. Here jars, cups and coffee sets have been lined up in groups. The colourful, interesting result successfully lifts the eye from the plain white units and tiles.


Lay your table

Nothing says ‘home’ like a dining table laid out for a meal. So clear away the toast crumbs and the pile of junk mail and use what you have to hand. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a plain white tablecloth, that rustic breadboard you use every day, your much-loved battered Italian coffee pot. Finish off with some flowers in a vase. Doesn’t that look better?


Clean your hall

Is your hallway a riot of muddy skirting boards and grubby fingermarks on walls and banisters? Hallways get more of a battering than nearly anywhere in the house, especially if you have bikes, buggies or children, and can often be neglected. However, a few minutes with some all-purpose cleaner, a duster and some serious elbow grease can make a difference.

Scrub grimy woodwork, mop every corner of the floor and take time to tackle oft-neglected areas, such as in-between balusters on the staircase. If you have spare paint, get a small brush and touch up chipped boards and dirty marks, too.

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Images via Houzz
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An Exciting Project: The Livingston Living Room

For the Livingston Living Room project, the home owners wanted a whole new look and design for their living area. Before their living area lacked a color or design scheme, and needed a little more warmth and personality from the home owners bringing to it. The home owners wanted something new and different, and a room they’d be able to enjoy and use more every day.

We gave them a new neutral wall color and custom drapery, which made the room incredibly stylish and unique and brought new life into the room. We removed the floral theme that had featured in the previous room and replaced it with much more neutral drapes and fresh modern art work. We installed a custom built fireplace mantel which included a place for their television above the fire, allowing for a whole new entertainment side to the room. A new complementary elegant lighting fixture was included in the decor which was certainly a key feature in the room and brought out all of the new colors in the living area. A new rug was also laid down which went very well with the new color scheme.

We also added decorative accents and several new pieces of furniture including new seating and a wardrobe for much needed storage. The room on completion delighted the owners.

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The Somerset Living Room – A Modern Tranformation

In the Somerset Living Room, the room before lacked color and personality, so we injected new style and life in to it. The home owners wanted something completely new and different and to bring new life into the space they used so frequently.

The windows had previously been bare and unused, so we added a new neutral wall color around them and custom drapery, removing the floral patterns from the living area. A custom built fireplace mantel was installed which allowed the TV to be fitted into the surround and gave the room a great entertainment feel. We also installed 3/4″ hardwood flooring which added a modern day twist to this stunning room and made it feel cozy and very inviting. Warmth was created with a new area rug, and decorative accents were added as well as several new furniture pieces to bring the entire room together. Colorful accents were added in the form of new art work and floral arrangements, proving that it is the little touches that can really make a difference in a home.

The new owners loved the new look and are looking forward to spending many evenings in their new living room, as well as bringing friends and family around to show off their new room.

How to Have a Little More Fun With Your Decor

It’s easy to go for tried and tested decor, but giving your home an offbeat twist can be more fun. If you’re new to adventurous interiors, you can dip a toe in the water by focusing on little details that pack a punch.

Play with scale.

We get so used to seeing neat arrangements of accessories — a tasteful trio of table lamps or a midsize vase and a smaller votive candle — that we think that’s how it must be done. Play around with pieces in an unexpected scale — such as this oversize flower arrangement on a small side table — and you will find yourself with all sorts of new possibilities. You can take this playfulness onto other surfaces, such as mantelpieces, shelving and dining tables too.

Go for quirky shelving.

Who says shelving has to be horizontal? These unusual box shelves are designed to be mounted at an angle. There are many offbeat and beautiful designs available these days as an alternative to the standard bookcase — so dare to be different.

Mount your favorite pieces.

A feature wall doesn’t have to be just about wallpaper. This homeowner has gone one step further by mounting a collection of vintage radios on the wall. Create your own 3D feature wall from old cameras, musical instruments, hats — just make it something you’re committed to collecting and that you will actually enjoy looking at day after day.

Turn clothing into art.

A beautiful vintage tea dress, a pretty kimono or a tailored suit can be turned into art. It’s a wonderful way to add interest to an alcove.

Choose cheeky wallpaper.

Add some fun to your hallway and set the tone with some Bond Girls wallpaper, or pick a risqué burlesque design. Alternatively, wallpaper designed for kids can look effective in a grown-up context. Fancy hot-air balloons or foxes in the hallway? Why not?

Mix traditional and retro.

Playful design is often about an unexpected juxtaposition. Disco balls are not, of course, authentic decor for a medieval priory with a beamed ceiling, but quirky finishing touches like this will set your home apart. When you’re tired of them, just take them down.

Carry it through to artwork.

Urban art looks great in a traditional period home, particularly above an elegant fireplace like this, which accentuates its subversive edge. Likewise, mixing traditional oil paintings or old masters into an ultracontemporary scheme will make them stand out.

Banish the white ceiling.

Many homes have white ceilings to keep from overpowering the flooring, walls and accessories. But what if you decide to make the ceiling the star of the show? Ornate tiles offer a big dose of the unexpected when paired with a plain white floor and walls.

Get nostalgic with Legos.

Bring a bit of your childhood back through Lego bricks. Here they jazz up a dividing wall. Surely incorporating toys into your interior is the ultimate in playfulness?

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