Happy New Year everyone!
So this is the season where everyone is setting resolutions (and already breaking some) and seemingly determining whom they want to be in the new year. I, however, am not! Call me cynical (although I’m probably just outright lazy) but I tend to be wary of setting myself up to fail.
How do I suddenly become this person on the very first day of a new year?.
What I can do though is deal with what is right in front of me: my space. The new year is a great time for a spring clean… even though it’s technically nowhere close to spring ? So, in the spirit of keeping things simple and straightforward this year (no it’s not a resolution – just common sense) I’m going to give us a few pointers for freshening up our space.
Please note that I am writing this from a design studio that is currently upside down as we indulge in our “new year clean” too. Here goes:
- Declutter! We hear this over and over again. Less is more. Give away what you haven’t used or worn in the last 12 months. We hear it over and over because it’s true. William Morris said, “have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful”. In my opinion, outside of this, get rid of the rest. Think of this as a spatial audit.
- Clean. Sounds obvious right? You’d be amazed at the difference soap, water and a little elbow grease can make any space!
- Refresh. Following the removal of the clutter, junk and non-rent paying occupants of your space, reward the items/pieces that made the cut. Beyond the cleaning, spruce up what is left. This could come in the form of a lick of paint, fixing broken items, re-upholstering beloved furniture or introducing new window dressing.
- Rearrange. Create a (new) focal point. Sometimes old items just need a new position. As a child, I would wake up on some mornings and find that my Dad had single-handedly re-arranged our living room! And I loved it! I’m convinced it’s one of the reasons I became an interior designer.
- Re-light (yes, I just made that word up!) Clever lighting is one of the best design tools and yet one of the most underutilised. Changing how you light a space changes the mood and consequently how people experience the same space. Move light sources around; mix low, mid and high-level lighting; pay more attention to natural light.
- Floor Coverings. If you’re not ready to blow the budget, I find that floor coverings are a good way to give a space a lift. From carpets to rugs to mats, floor coverings serve a number of decorative and practical purposes: they protect your existing floor, zone the different areas of a space and introduce both colour and texture.
Accessories. The importance of these when re-vamping a space cannot be over-emphasised. From mirrors to vases to picture frames and family keepsakes, accessories help add character and personality to your space. Having audited the space, to begin with, please adopt a curated approach.
- Greenery. Let’s be honest most of us live or work in a concrete jungle these days. Introducing some plant life into your interior is a good idea. A plant or floral arrangement helps clean the air, balance humidity and introduce natural colours as well as a new layer to your space.