Happy New Year! We hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas and are looking forward to a brand new year!
I do not think that nearly enough people realise how important home design is. When you are not in the office, at the gym or seeing friends, you are at home! Home is where you cook, eat, watch movies, play board games, shower, read, work, garden, sleep and relax. The notion that life is what you make it is something that I am sure resonates with everyone — you can decide when you wake up in the morning if you are going to have a good, positive day or a negative, crumby one. Similarly, you can view your house, apartment or townhouse as a functional place to live, or instead, you can really enjoy it and create a haven that you can call your own and become excited about at the end of the day! Question: why just purely exist when you can live? After all, our homes say a lot about who we are and what we think is important in life.
Most of the time, it is easier said than done and sure, money or a lack thereof can and does play a huge part in whether you are even able to create your dream home. But… the most common misconception is that you have to be wealthy or have a large house to design a space that constantly reminds you of your own deepest values, hopes and inspirations. Not true! Jill Angelo’s book Sacred Space: Turning Your Home Into A Sanctuary beautifully describes the purpose of home, a place that provides safety, comfort and represents family, happiness and memories that last a lifetime — and you can take small measures to fulfil each of these purposes in your home.
All things considered, I think we can all agree on the importance of the notion of home. While there are a multitude of changes you can make to your home from a functional and aesthetic perspective, these 5 steps are achievable, attainable and will make 2019 a better year for you whether you integrate one or all of these suggestions!
— Out With The Old —
And not necessarily ‘in with the new’! But spend some time sorting through your wardrobe, bathroom cabinets, kitchen drawers and discard, sell or donate anything you have not worn or used in the last year. Many people unnecessarily hoard and then complain about not having enough space for everything but if you are able to sort through all the clutter and simply get rid of it, it will not only physically clear out your home but refresh your mind with a clear slate for 2019.
— Bedroom = Rest —
Ariana Huffington writes extensively on the importance of sleep in her two books, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution, and it is a ritual that many do not take as seriously as they should. Sleep is integral to your health and helps maintain a functioning immune system, have alertness and focus, as well as staying positive throughout the day!
Ensure your bedroom’s sole purpose is rest. Use blackout blinds and curtains to help make your bedroom as dark as possible, especially if your bedroom is East facing. There are many affordable blackout blinds and curtains that you can purchase online, or you can select a fabric that speaks to you for a more attractive option and have them made to order. You should also switch off any device(s) that illuminates such as a: computer, cell phone, iPod and TV. While some think that it is convenient to have a television in your bedroom, it actually causes you to stay awake longer while you watch your favourite show, rather than getting your much needed rest and can have an adverse effect on your health.
Comfort is just as important as it will likely affect how well and how quickly you fall asleep. So, invest in a good quality mattress, bed sheets and cushions. Similar to investing in good quality shoes during the day, your mattress is where you will spend the other 7-8 hours each night! There are many different types of mattresses, such as memory foam, latex and even innerspring mattresses and the type of mattress you select is completely subjective and will heavily depend on your lifestyle. According to research, some questions you might consider and may find useful when purchasing a mattress might be:
- Do you sleep through the night on your current mattress?
- Do you experience back or joint pain upon waking?
- Is your mattress more than 5-7 years old?
- Does your body fit comfortably on the mattress?
- Do you feel well-rested when you wake up?
Lastly, don’t forget the details! Clutter and dirty laundry can affect the way you feel and cause more unnecessary stress. Try to keep your room clean where possible and invest in laundry basket that conceals clothing and is large enough to fit your weekly load in. Clean, fresh cotton bedsheets are the most friendly for your skin, especially for anyone who suffers with eczema or other sensitive skin conditions. Try to avoid loud colours or patterns and select a style that is attractive to you, such as the Stanhope pillowcase and duvet set which is classic and timeless in appearance.
— Get Organised with Smart Storage —
When I work on home renovations, one of the biggest complaints I hear is ‘we need more storage’! And this couldn’t be more true! Here in the UK, many of the homes are older than those, say, in North America for example, and are used to modular pieces of furniture rather than built-in and smart storage solutions that have only been introduced in recent years. Investing time and money into smart storage solutions will not only add value to your home in the long run, but also make your day-to-day routine easier and hassle-free. Here are some seriously clever smart storage solutions which might inspire a small home project:
— Welcome! Come On In! —
Simple! – Make your home more inviting and welcoming! This will not only benefit how you feel about your home, but also how your guests feel when they visit! All too often, people’s homes revolve around one thing… the TV! Instead, design your space with the TV in mind (yes), but more importantly, a layout that is conducive to conversation, socialising, comfort and one of my favourites, game playing! This is not a drastic alteration at all and will mainly revolve around moving some items of furniture, incorporating soft lighting sources and comfortable seating. Also, change is good and probably without realising it, a simple rearrangement of your furniture around your house will have a positive effect as you adapt to a different layout and enjoy it in the process.
The way you decide to format your living area depends on the size and shape of your room, but you can still adapt these common furniture layouts for living rooms. Fred Gonsowski’s illustrations of rearranging furniture twelve, yes twelve!, different ways shows how you can pair armchairs, sofas and other pieces of furniture to create different groupings within a room.
— Upholster Tired Sofas and Armchairs —
Upholster your tired sofas and/or armchairs! Whether you already have the fabric or know what you would like, it is time to refresh those old armchairs or sofas. Patchy, dated, worn out seating is not a good look and while you might be used to its appearance over time, nothing says ‘Hello 2019’ than reinvigorated seating. It really is as easy as selecting a fabric, some piping or contrast fabric, arranging a pick up time and waiting for the makeover to finish! If you would like some assistance, guidance or an upholsterer to help with your project, just get in touch with us and we will happily help!