We have all been spending more time at home than we normally do. It can quickly become a lot for our mental health to be stuck in the same place for weeks on end. I have found that being in a space that I enjoy has been extremely helpful. In the last few months, our homes have gone from being a space in which we relax and recharge to being an office, a school, a pub, a restaurant, a workshop, a dance studio, a gym, a spa and so much more. We have been forced to do all of our activities at home so things have probably been moved around to fulfil the new requirements we have from this space.
With all of this in mind, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share some decorating tips. Now more than ever, making the best use of the space we have and being able to enjoy it is crucial. Staring at the same 4 walls day in and day out is difficult enough as it is, let’s make sure they at least look nice!
Have a colour palette
Choosing a colour palette for your space doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Chances are that you already have some sort of colour palette going on. Look around the room. Are there many pastels? Or do you tend to stick to more muted neutrals, such as greys, whites and light wood? Is your furniture uniform in colour or do you have mismatched items? Choose your favourite elements and work around them. You can paint your furniture to go with the vibe you want – for example painting it white for a more clean, minimalist look. With that being said, don’t be afraid of colour or darker tones! Also, every single thing you own does not have to match your colour palette. Having an overall look to your space will already make a huge difference and elevate the room.
Think about lighting
Lighting is everything. Depending on how much and where natural light comes into your room, you should place your furniture and decor accordingly. Needless to say, you shouldn’t place a large bookshelf in front of a window – unless “vampire cave” is the vibe you’re going for. Natural light is the best, but don’t forget about lamps. For your bedroom, warm light is the best since you want a cosy atmosphere before bedtime. For the living room/area, I have found that having both a brighter light for when I’m working or doing something active and also a warmer, softer light for when I’m relaxing in the evening has been the best. Don’t underestimate the impact a simple lamp can have!
Move your furniture
There’s no better way to give your space a refresh than by moving your furniture around. It will make the room feel brand-new, trust me. The best way to go about it is to just go for it. You won’t know how something will turn out unless you try it. It’s also a lot of fun to do. You will have to experiment and see what works best for you. The good thing is that this won’t cost you anything. You can remove things and put them in another room or also bring something else in. Play your favourite music and just have fun!
Create different areas
As mentioned earlier, most of us have been forced to use our homes for many different activities. Creating different areas dedicated to certain tasks can be very helpful. For example, designating your desk or a seat in your home to your work will help you be productive and, more importantly, will allow you to wind-down when leaving that area after you are finished. I know it can be tempting to work in bed but try to make that a sleep-only area. This will help you get more rest at night.
Make it functional
When decorating your space, it’s important that you don’t forget about also making it functional. You will need to store things, so rather than showcasing everything that doesn’t belong in your wardrobe – and letting it gather dust – get some nice storage boxes, bins, baskets, etc. Putting your small knick-knacks away will make your space that much tidier-looking. Also, keep functionality in mind when you move your furniture around. What is the point of having a cute reading nook if you can’t get to it because your desk is in the way? There’s a famous saying in design: “form follows function”. So make sure that your space remains functional rather than just look pretty.
Pillows and throws
Throw pillows and blankets are my absolute favourite thing on the planet. There is no better aesthetic and functional piece to add to any space. They will add warmth, texture and cosy vibes to any room. They are also the easiest way to work your colour palette into a space!
Plants are incredible and everyone should have at least one in their home. There are some plants that are easy to keep alive so you can do a bit of research online to find what one suits you best. You can also get some fake ones to just to liven up the room. Something that I have been really enjoying is having a bouquet of fresh flowers on the dining table. It makes me feel like more of a grown-up and they are just lovely to look at. They’re also great for photo backgrounds, which I very much appreciate!
Put up photos
Making your space homier is key to feeling good in it. One of the best ways to do so is by putting up photographs of your friends, family, pets, trips and anything else that makes you happy. There’s an app I use all the time called LALALAB – they’re based in Paris and print photos for you from your phone. You just download their app and can choose from loads of different products – they even make magnets! And they’re not that expensive. I know this sounds sponsored, but it’s not. I do wish it was though! Back to what I was saying, putting up photographs, whether by making a polaroid wall or by setting up picture frames in different areas will make your home warm and inviting.
A step up from a simple photo wall is a gallery wall. You can look on Google or Pinterest for inspiration but the idea is to hang up your favourite art and pictures. The best part is that it is 100% customisable and you can make it however you like. You can frame things, but you don’t have to. You can mix different media and sizes and colours. Anything goes, as long as it makes you happy. My best friend surprised me with a gallery wall for my birthday 2 years ago and it has moved to 3 different flats with me since. If you live in a rental, you can either live dangerously like me and nail them onto the wall, or you can play it safe and hang them using velcro wall strips (just be careful to not rip the paint off when moving out!).
Art can be very expensive and it’s not always easy to find exactly what you need. Having more time on your hands means that you can make your own art! It’s fun, will make an afternoon of quarantine go by quickly and you will end up with a beautiful, personal piece of art to hang up on your wall. You do not have to be a good painter to do so. Look up “geometric painting” – it’s literally sticking tape onto a canvas, painting in the gaps and taking the tape off. Voilà, a lovely and easy painting you can add to your gallery wall.
Ask for help
It’s not always easy to decide what to do with your space. So ask a friend or family member for their advice. It’s also easier to move your furniture around with someone else’s help. If you live alone and can’t have anyone over, hop onto a video call and show them the room that way. It works just as well and you can build up your muscles by moving stuff yourself.
Follow Mr Kate on YouTube
If you have never heard of Mr Kate, you are definitely missing out. Kate is an incredible interior designer. She and her husband, Joey, have collabed with loads of other YouTubers, beautifully decorating their spaces to suit their needs, personality and taste. She recently posted videos on DIYs you can do at home to spice up your interior during quarantine. Go follow her on Instagram too because her son is the cutest baby and will make you smile.
I hope you enjoyed these tips and are able to use some of them. Please do send me pictures if you try to do some DIY art, I would love to see it! I shall see you next week for the 1 year anniversary of Relatable Sunday!