In tough times, brightening your home could brighten your life
Home owners feeling blue at all the dreary economic and climate change news could lift their moods with a change of home scenery.
Rearranging or redecorating a room is generally a cheaper way for people to banish the blues than retail therapy or an impulsive trip away, says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.
“Taking the time to re-arrange or redecorate your home is really worthwhile as it will not only make you feel more in control, but also more energised as you’ve had a chance to express your creativity. It may also increase the value of the property, which will make you feel even better.”
To start with, take a look at how much furniture or other items you have in the rooms you want to revamp as overfilled spaces will be an irritation. Maybe remove one or two pieces of furniture, banish clutter, and remove any dark window coverings that are blocking the light. You should then take a good look around to see if the room needs cleaning and possibly repainting.
“If you are going to repaint, consider doing one wall in your favourite colour, or creating a feature wall with some beautiful wallpaper,” Everitt says.
“Colour can play a big role in making you feel happier, so top designers advise that you should start adding small amounts of your favourite colour to the neutral interiors that have become standard – in the form of cushions, throws, art and flowers.”
A dining area and chairs with bright, cheerful upholstery are an invitation to relax and not hurry through a meal.
“In the sitting room area, you might consider angling some furniture to avoid a boxy look and investing in some couch slip covers in different shades. If you need more storage, decorate an old trunk and convert it into a coffee table.”
Home owners should not, however, get caught up in “mood” lighting to create ambience, because if a space is too dark it will strain your eyes and won’t be popular with your family or guests either.
“On the other hand when it comes to art, it’s fun to experiment with presentation: Place a picture on a stand or table instead of on the wall; create a shadow-box full of small collectibles or holiday memorabilia; frame some of your children’s favourite drawings – it will give your home a unique signature.”
In bedrooms, do not abandon style for comfort, Everitt says. An inherited armchair may be a beauty but might also need a makeover.
Similarly, lumpy beds make for sagging spirits and elderly carpets are not enticing.
“To improve your mood, it’s worth making your bedroom into a bright, clean and attractive space with modern flooring, lighting and window treatments. You can add texture with bedding, throws, curtains, wicker items and wood furniture.”
If the kitchen needs redecorating, he says it is always best to go for the most modern look and keep it light.
“White or stainless-steel cabinets are the most popular right now, while glass-top cabinet doors instead of solid wood can really open up a smaller space. Stone countertops are the easiest to clean and colour can be added in the form of door hardware, cookware or even blinds.”