If you are anything like me, your are getting sick of being at home. Getting bored of staring at the same spaces, day in and day out. I am. It’s exhausting being at home. Which is funny, because when we are all out in our regular lives, all we want is a few days at home to enjoy our families and relax. But, as in any aspect of life when one has no choice, that’s all one wants. So, how can we change our environment a bit, to make the days feel a little newer and not stale and boring?
One thing I do when home staging, or even just redesigning a space, is look at what is there already. Often my clients want to toss out everything and start over. But, just as often, they have wonderful pieces that, in the right location, can really change the feeling of a space.
When I first started out…many, many years ago…
I was called by a retired couple (well into retirement), that were unhappy with their condo living space. They had a limited budget, but wanted it to be less cluttered, cramped and awkward. In one hour, we moved so much around that they felt like they had a new place. It was a simple task, and they sent me a letter of gratitude.
“Thank you so much! We were expecting to spend more than we could truthfully afford. You came in and moved our furniture, changed the location of our lighting and accessories and our condo is so much more comfortable now.”
I clearly will never be rich. But what’s more important, is these are the small things you can do now, when shopping isn’t really an option, and until we really can get some new things for you.
Here are some design tips to refresh your home:
Play around with your layout. Is there furniture blocking high traffic areas? Would that accent chair look great in your bedroom instead of that nook in the hall? Is the hall console a perfect fit for a dining room centerpiece? If you moved the sofa to “that” wall, would it open up your living space? Maybe the console would look just perfect behind your sofa? Think about opening up spaces in front of windows to let more daylight in. Create open floor space for kids to play. Set up a cozy nook for yourself, a craft station.
I moved a comfortable chair right in front of my patio doors. Now I can sit peacefully and read or drink coffee while having nature just a pane of glass away from me.
Just a short while ago, I wrote a blog about finding cozy spaces. Here is the link: https://www.monacointeriors.ca/surviving-self-isolation/
I moved a desk (totally make-shift) into my bedroom a few weeks ago. It was the one room I had yet to focus on. I have lovely furniture, but my walls were bare, my table lamp is old, and we only have one right now, and my bed was almost never made (yes, even designers have crazy mornings and unmade beds). I put up a couple of photographs over my nightstands and cleared out anything that didn’t belong in the space. If I must spend hours here every day, it needs to be an inviting and happy place for me. I am still working on the lamps (it takes me a long time to make decisions for myself), but the room is coming together.
I also started to put up colourful drawings the kids are making during their home time. And framed art and family photos have been boxed for a while. How about creating the art wall you always wanted? Even moving a piece of art from one space to another is an excellent idea. Is your favourite piece in a room you do not use very often? Move it to a place where it can bring you joy, where you spend a lot of time now. Or use a designer trick and move a big mirror where it can reflect a lot of sunlight into your space.
One great idea I saw a family recently do, was to tape a bunch of Bristol boards together and create a huge family graffiti drawing. What an awesome piece of artwork to have on your wall? Tape it up and it can grow while you are all home. Use it as a gratitude chart and write down something you each grateful for each day. When this is all over, you can photograph it and keep the memories.
I have seen so many homes where accessories are piled together on one table, or in a cabinet and forgotten, collecting dust. Take a trip around your home, collect it all and put it all on a table. Then take a few pieces that work well together, maybe same colour palette, or colours that work well together, in different sizes or textures. Use odd numbers (sets of 3 or 5) and re-accessorize a spot. Work on your mantle or your buffet or a cabinet with glass doors. Whatever the space, be creative. Move things around until they feel right. Mix and match photos with vases and other items. Won’t it be nice to put the vase that has been in the cabinet, on to your kitchen table, with greenery picked from your back garden? Or those two framed photos from your vacation, on the bathroom shelf? I took an old throw from my bedroom and tossed it on the sofa for snuggly movie nights. You have got nothing to lose! And it might be great fun trying out new spots for your things.
Whatever it is that you are feeling as each day goes by, remember that almost everything you own was purchased because at one time you liked it. Now is the time to rediscover those items, and maybe take a short trip down Memory Lane. It made me smile. I bet it will make you smile too.
Have a terrific day!
PS: Shoutout to JF Fabrics for these amazing fabrics to choose from!!