More often than not, when people think about home renovations, the first thing that comes most readily to mind is the idea of grand extensions, knock-throughs to create open-plan spaces or similarly expensive, transformative design work. In truth, however, even the smallest interior alterations can have a massive effect on the functionality and aesthetic appeal of your home. Reforming and improving the space you inhabit need not necessarily involve grand design transformations. Even just sprucing up paintwork or replacing fixtures and fittings can have a huge effect on the overall feel of your home.
Here are just a few simple, cost-effective ideas that could have a huge impact on your surroundings and make you realise that, when it comes to interior design, very often less actually does become more.
Brighten a tired room with a fresh lick of paint or new wallpaper
The colour of the walls in a room can dramatically affect the mood it creates – particularly in spaces that don’t get much light. While it might sound (and, in reality, is) the simplest thing in the world, changing the colour, pattern or brightness of the walls in a room can help expand the space and instil a more positive, welcoming atmosphere.
As a general rule, you should avoid dark colours – particularly in smaller rooms – as they will have an overbearing effect and can make the room feel smaller than it is. Instead, try going with lighter, brighter, more positive colours and maximise the available light by avoiding blinds or curtains that obtrusively cover the sources of natural lighting. Also, mirrors can be particularly effective in smaller rooms for creating the illusion of greater space.
Maximise the space in your bathroom by creating a wet room
In our fast-paced society, baths have been in decline for many years compared to showers. The truth is, the extra time it takes to run a bath then immerse yourself and wash just isn’t practical for many people’s hectic lifestyles.
While it’s true some people still like taking a bath, if you want to make the most of your available space (bear in mind, bathrooms are normally one of the smallest spaces in most homes), your money would most likely be better spent investing in a wet room.
Wet rooms remove the confines and structural barriers that are common in traditional bathrooms by making the space entirely open-plan. If you use materials with natural waterproofing like those available from London based Decor Tadelakt, you’ll be able to open up your room and create a greater feeling of space.
And God said, ‘Let there be light’ – so we invented mirrors
Sure, natural light is a great thing but many rooms don’t have it in abundance, unfortunately. As mentioned earlier, mirrors create the illusion of more space – but not just that – they’re also a fantastic way to bounce what available light you have around a room. Of course, you can use artificial light in the form of lamps or modern LED lighting systems but there is no substitute for naturally sourced light from the sun. Use mirrors to spread it around your rooms for the best and most soothing effect.
Bring the outside, inside
Plants are a tremendous way to add life, verve and natural colours to a room. Plus, they also have the added benefit of helping purify the air you breathe by removing harmful pollutants and balancing humidity. There are considerable emotional benefits from tending for plants, too – plus they will change and grow with the seasons adding warmth, textures and colours to your spaces.
Think about accentuating floor space with rugs
In recent years, there’s been a pronounced pushback against using carpets for flooring with many homeowners opting for tiles or hardwood floors instead. While there are clear advantages to staying away from carpets (most notably, they are notoriously difficult to keep clean and tend to absorb spillages, hair and bacteria), the truth is carpeting can offer far greater insulation from the cold – plus can also help with noise insulation.
If you’re looking for a halfway house between the insulation benefits of carpet and the practicality of hard floors, think about adding rugs to your rooms. Not only are rugs significantly easier to keep clean (i.e. they can easily be washed), they’ll also bring many of the benefits of carpets – but with the added design advantage of being seen as a design statement if positioned well.
Mix it up, have fun, make it your space
For most of us, our homes are our inner sanctuary – a place where we can feel safe, enjoy time with friends and family and surround ourselves with the things and people we love most.
If you want to make your mark on your home, don’t be afraid to add touches entirely personal to you. Ideas include putting your own photography or images on the wall, adding trinkets collected on foreign adventures or making a feature wall displaying the greatest memories of your family over the years.
There are no rules. This is your home. Mix it up. Have fun. Make it your space.