Friday, 4 May 2012



Simple Ways To Style Your Home

So be honest with me, have you decorated a room and been 100% happy with it every time? Really? Well done you. Or have you been like me and learned the hard way? Have you spent a lot of time and energy with your decorating only to discover the end result did not quite match up to what you had in mind?

Over many years and many 'learning experiences' I think I have finally found the way to decorate with relative ease and to get the look I had envisaged.

I have also found a way to make it relative fun as previously I had found the whole experience rather stressful. It would start out with an air of excitement but would deteriorate rapidly when the paint colour did not quite match up to expectations and those curtains did not look quite so elegant in my room setting as they did in the brochure.

Simple Ways To Decorate On A Budget

Transform your home without breaking the bank                               

Decorating on a budget.

As household incomes continue to be stretched, many families spend more time in their homes as going out becomes a luxury.

So how about giving your home a fresh look to make it a new pleasure to relax in without breaking the purse strings.

Here are some ideas that you can use to create a new look for rooms in your home at minimal expense.

1 Move the furniture around

This can be done with no expense whatsoever and can give a room a completely different feel.

Firstly, take all the furniture out of the room and give the room a good clean. Wash down skirting boards, door frames and windows.

Now consider exactly what the room is to be used for and how many people use it.

If it the living room, make sure you have enough seats for the family to sit comfortably. How about bringing down the bean bag that is your son’s bedroom for an extra seat?

Have a play around with different seating arrangements.

Now think about lighting. Try taking a lamp from a different room and utilising in another for a different feel.

Try taking the rug off the floor or adding one that you have somewhere else in the home.

Do you need that bookcase in the room or you could you move it to another?

Get creative and try different arrangements. You might be pleasantly surprised at how different and fresh a room feels with just a few simple adjustments.

2 Accessorise

Different accessories can bring a new lease of life to a room.

Move around what you already have and see what the room likes like.

If you want to buy new, there are some very inexpensive ways of creating a completely new look.

Buy or make some new cushion covers. Try a different colour scheme. Mix and match different shapes and patterns. Fresh zingy lime greens and fuschia pinks will give a modern, lively feel whereas coffee and cream colours give a more classic, traditional feel.

Pick a colour out from one of your cushions and buy an accessory in this colour. This could be a single red vase to make a simple, yet effective statement. It could be a cluster of candles in your chosen colour.

By choosing an accessory in a matching colour, it helps tie the colour scheme together and will help balance the room.

Use artwork to create a new feel for your room. Move around existing pictures that you have or consider buying some new. New pictures do not have to be expensive. Buy a calendar and cut out the pictures you like on it and simply frame. You can buy inexpensive frames from a variety of places such as Ikea.

I purchased a 1950’s movie calendar and have some great artwork on the wall now.

Again get creative. A picture frame with a piece of fabric or wallpaper placed inside can make a great statement piece.

One I made for a girls bedroom is shown below.


The left over material from the cushion covers was framed to make some lovely artwork for the walls

You don’t need to hang pictures on the walls. I have various things around my home such as ornamental heart I picked up in bric a brack shop sale and a tin star that was a Christmas decoration. Whatever you like looking at can be used. In my bedroom I have a beautiful embroidered Kaftan hung on the wall which is a real showpiece.

3 The walls

Paint is one of the least expensive ways of completely transforming a room and giving a completely different feel. Do choose your paint colour carefully, once again thinking about what the room is to be used for and what feeling you want to create.

Cool soft pastels are great for bedrooms where a feeling of calm is required.

More daring and vibrant colours can be used in dining room where people are expected to be awake and active.

Use warm, comforting colours for a living room where everyone wants to sit and relax.

4 Plants

A simple indoor plant can inject life into a room. There are so many shapes and sizes available which can be mixed and matched to dramatic effect.

If you do use indoor plants, do keep them fed, watered and healthy. There is nothing worse than seeing half dead plants with wilting leaves in a room.

  keep plants healthy

Use a large plant and place small fairy lights, or a spotlight behind it for an atmospheric feature.

5 Textiles

Use a mixture of textiles in a room to add interest.

If you have a lot of wood, bring in an attractive cast iron candle holder.

If you have a lot of cotton cushion covers, add a velvet or satin one to add an interesting contrast.

If you have a leather sofa, bring in a linen chair for balance.

Whatever you decide to do with your room, make sure the whole family feel comfortable with it. Get creative and use your imaginations. Let everyone have some input. Create a warm welcoming home that everyone loves coming back to each day.

Top tips to decorate your home and avoid those common mistakes                               

   When making plans for a home decorating project, it is important to sit down and write down your ideas and goals. Without a plan the experience may become confusing and frustrating. There are many details to work out when planning to decorate your home such as theme, materials and intentions for the space being decorated. It is pointless to get up one morning thinking I'll decorate my dining room today. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

After jotting down ideas and goals for your home decorating project, the next phase might be to consider your budget, how much can you afford to spend on redecorating. Materials and accessories could be costly depending on what your decorating plans are. If desiring to make changes to your entire home, you should have access to a sufficient amount of money. Helpful home decorating tips should always make your budget a priority. There are hidden costs when making huge improvements in your home. Better safe than sorry.Once the home decorating begins, little expenses seem to jump out of the woodwork. Planning a home decorating project that fits your budget is a helpful home decorating tip.

Once you are all straightened out regarding the financial situation, you will want to choose a style or them for your home decorating project. There are many to choose from and the decision should be made based on your likes and interests. Country decorating provides a sense of warmth and coziness, while a modern theme might be loud and alive. Remember when planning to decorate, this theme may be around for awhile. For this reason another good home decorating tip is, choose a theme or a style you can live with.

After making a final decision about your decorating theme, a helpful home decorating tip might be to sit down and sketch your plan on paper. Using a pencil and paper, sketch a diagram of the area you are about to decorate. Considering the size, spend some time arranging and rearranging, through drawing, the items to go in this space. Let's keep the ball rolling.Using a mental visualization and the sketch, you should be certain of your goal before the actual work begins.

Your imagination and your creativity are the two greatest assets in home decorating. Perhaps one of the most helpful home decorating tips is to make use of your own creative abilities. When your project begins, if an idea pops in your head or you discover you would like to try orange instead of beige, go for it. Often times it's those off the wall ideas that make a space look astonishing. It's your home, your idea, use your judgement. Go the extra mile.

There are many helpful home decorating tips. Look at the articles on here and search home decorating magazines, books and programs. Decorating your home is meant to be an exciting and joyous occasion. The number one tip for home decorating is have fun.

How to choose colours when decorating                               

Colours in our home reflect the personalities of the people living there and can create different types of energy and feeling in each room. 

Therefore it is very important to take time to choose carefully the colour you are going to use in each room dependent upon who uses it and what it is to be used for.

Things to consider are:

The size of the room:
Dark colours tend to make a room feel smaller.  Lighter colours give the impression of more space.  Therefore it follows that light colours are better for small rooms and save your darker colours for rooms that have more natural space.  However, too much of a dark colour over a large area can appear depressing so use with caution.  Perhaps use the dark colour just on one wall and use paler shades on opposing walls.

Type of Paint:
The paint type is important in terms of cleaning or waterproofing such as in kitchen and bathrooms.  Gloss paint reflects the light so can give the appearance of more space.  Eggshell paints have a flat finish and create a more classic look.

Natural light:
Paint colours will change dependant on which way the room faces and how much natural light it receives.  Paint applied to a north facing room will appear far darker than the same colour in a south facing room.  Hence, the reason why so many people are disappointed after following a colour scheme they saw in a magazine that looks completely different in their own home.  Light pastel colours look great in a southerly facing room with lots of natural light but can get ‘lost’ and washed out in a darker northerly facing setting.

Who uses the room:
The personalities of the people using the room need to be taken into consideration when choosing the colour.  A lively exuberant personality will not feel comfortable in a room in muted, pastel shades.  A gentle, classic personality will feel more at home surrounded by natural, neutral colours rather than vibrant rainbow colours.

What the room is to be used for:
Bedrooms are suited to natural restful colours to help enhance sleep whilst dining rooms can get away with more vibrant colours which reflect energy and lively conversations. 

This is where Colour Psychology comes into play:

Colour Psychology

Different colours affect the psychology of the viewer in different ways.  Therefore, when choosing a colour, care needs to be taken with regard the characteristics associated with it:

White: The colour of purity. It exhibits the feelings of refinement, cleanliness, gentleness, modernisation and loyalty. It is the most refreshing, uplifting and clean colour.
Good for:  Well lit precision work environments
Bad for:  Poorly lit rooms – can appear greyish

Black:  Related to intimidation and boldness as well as the colour of class, power, authority, elegance, seduction, and sophistication.
Good for:  An accent colour in small proportions to enhance other colours
Bad for:  Large areas where it can appear intimidating

Red: The colour of energy, attention and strength with a high emotional impact. It is also related to excitement, sex, passion, danger, speed, and aggressiveness. It is the most intense colour in terms of emotions.
Good for:  Dining rooms - to stimulate the appetite
Bad for:  Bedroom – can make you restless

Blue:  The colour of dignity, trust and fantasy. It is related to the feelings of faithfulness, coolness, calmness and reliability.  Is useful for lowering blood pressure and anxiety.
Good for:  Bedrooms,  bathrooms and meditation rooms

Green:   The colour of relaxation and health. It displays the feelings of fertility, abundance, freedom, growth, healing, nature, and sometimes jealously.
Good for:  Any room

Brown:   The colour of earth and representing nature. It exhibits warmth and comfort.  It enhances any colour without the intensity that black has.
Good for:  All rooms

Pink:   The colour of sweet, well-being, innocence, femininity and nurture.
Good for: Female bedrooms

Purple:  The colour representing dignity, royalty, spirituality, luxury, mournfulness, and sophistication.
Good for:  Drawing room

Orange:   The colour of playfulness, pleasure, warmth, vibrant, endurance, and ambition.
Good for:  Family rooms

Yellow:   The colour of sunshine, cowardice and jealousy. It improves concentration level.
Good for:  Home office

Give your home kerb appeal    

We spend so much time inside our homes that we can forget to take a good hard look at the outside. 

What is the first impression our home gives to visitors?  Remember the phrase about first impressions - "you never get a second chance to make a first impression"

Get a notebook, pen and camera and go out onto the street and walk down the road for a few paces.  Cross over the road and then turn around and look at the front of your home.
Now try to look at your home through a critical eye of someone seeing it for the first time.  Walk towards your home and make a note of everything you see that needs attention.  Take photographs.  It is rather eye opening what you can see on a photograph that you ignore when seeing something on a daily basis.

Are there toys on the front lawn?  Are there weeds appearing through the cracks in the path?  Is the wheelie bin overflowing?

Once you have your list you can start making plans to rectify any areas that need attention.  Follow the list below for ideas on how to make the front of your home as attractive as the inside.

.Remove any unecessary items from in front of the house - toys, shoes, broken plant pots etc
.Repair anything that needs fixing - fences, gate latch, doorbell, guttering
Clean windows inside and out
.Make sure curtains and blinds are hanging neatly and look attractive from the outside - refer to your photographs
.Ensure all external lights are clean and in working order
.Make sure your house name or number is clean and can be seen clearly
.Wash down the front door and re-paint if necessary
.Polish the door furniture
.Buy down a new welcome mat if yours has seen better days 
.Remove any weeds from paths and borders
.Cut the grass
.Invest in some new shrubs if yours are looking lifeless.  Consider putting out pots of flowering, fragrant plants such as rosemary, lavender and jasmine
.Buy plants that tie in with your interior colour scheme to create a feeling of continuity when walking from outside into the home

Once all these jobs have been done, go back out across the street and make sure you haven't missed anything.  Take another photograph so you have before and after shots to make you feel proud of how wonderful your home now looks from the street.

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