You look ahead, and the new year seems shiny, hopeful and promising. Your house, on the other hand, feels drab, boring, uninspiring…or maybe a bit outdated. People use January for a fresh start. Why can’t buildings have the same opportunity?
Start the year right by revitalising and rejuvenating your home. Not sure where to start? Read on for some stylish and low cost suggestions.
If your homes exterior looks a tad dingy, you’re not necessarily facing an expensive paint project or an even more expensive cladding or rendering job. Begin with the basics. Use a pressure washer to clean all around the outside, even the patio, deck and driveway. Avoid the roof, however. A high-pressure stream of water can damage certain roofing materials.
Buy a washer, and you can make power washing an annual habit. If you’re not ready to commit, rent one to see how the process goes. It may be all you need to spruce up the exterior or your house.
Attractive blinds or curtains brighten up any room. Droopy, dusty or outdated ones drag it down. Wash or dry clean your window treatments — whichever is appropriate. If you think they’re beyond saving, spring for some new window coverings and get an instant boost. You may not realise how dowdy your windows looked until you hang fresh, crisp curtains. Don’t spoil the new look with dirty windows. Make them sparkle as well with a thorough clean inside and out.
Even if you like the colour of your walls, they should be spiffed up every few years. A fresh coat of paint can invigorate a room. Change the colour, and it’s almost like living someplace new. Don’t stop at the walls. Check baseboards, ceilings and doors to see if they need a makeover too.
A neutral living space is soothing and relaxing. It can also be a bit boring. Add a pop of colour in the new year to liven things up. You don’t need to paint all your walls bright red. A subtler approach is effective but not jarring. Think about:
- Introducing throw pillows
- Replacing your bedspread
- Adding a picture or wall hanging
- Laying down an area rug
- Maintaining a large vase filled with flowers
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, brighten up a room by painting a door or a wall a vibrant colour to add interest.
Clear away chaos
Look around your home. Do you see piles, stacks and jumbles of clutter that have accrued during the last several months? January is a good time to eliminate clutter. Sort through everything that’s just lying around. If you don’t need an item anymore, donate or toss it. Tackle one room at a time so you’re not overwhelmed.
Put everything where it belongs: important papers in file folders, shoes in the closet, books in the bookcase. If a mountain has accumulated because you don’t have a proper storage place — like a CD rack — get one now and start the new year organised.
Undertake an update
For most people, redecorating your entire home isn’t financially feasible. It’s also probably unnecessary. Walk through your rooms and scrutinise the furnishings. Write down everything you’d like to replace. Then decide where you want to start. A new sofa for the living room? A rug in the bedroom? An easy chair for the family room? Changing out one piece at a time makes redecorating much more affordable. Plus, now you have a list for future purchases to work towards.
Spice up the kitchen
The kitchen is a workspace. If you spend a lot of time there, you’d also like it to be inviting. Kitchen renovations are pricey, so if you’re on a small budget enliven the room with accent features. Try:
- Replacing old drawer and cabinet pulls and handles. Stainless steel looks both modern and classic. It’s also affordable and durable.
- Putting out colourful new dishtowels and accessories (think toasters, kettles, oven mitts, salt and pepper grinders etc.).
- Adding a decorative bowl or box that’s also useful for storage.
Appraise the air
How are your homes ceiling fans holding up? Do you even have fans? Those whirling blades distribute air properly and can cut both heating and cooling costs. A ceiling fan isn’t exactly subtle. If yours is old and dilapidated, a new one will dress up the room and improve airflow. If you are fan-less, consider installing a few. It’s a great combination: both charming and functional especially for hot stuffy summer nights.
Look at lighting
Proper lighting warms up a room. If you’ve got a dark, gloomy space, bring in the shine. There are lots of options. Some are do-it-yourself; others require an electrician:
- Replace an old ceiling light with something contemporary.
- Add a floor or table lamp.
- Switch out the lamp shade on an existing light.
- Try a different kind of bulb to change the mood. Go for a soft glow, a bright ray or a fun, unconventional colour.
That should be enough ideas to kick off your new year home makeover. What are you waiting for? Get busy and give your home a new lease on life for 2017!