1. Tidy up
Now we know it’s winter but why wait till spring while the wind is howling or the snow/rain is falling — go forth and earn that mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows or if you’re feeling adventurous a glass of mulled wine! But not until after a nice tidy round the house. Now this may seem like an obvious thing to do but there is an art to tidying up and in turn transforming the feel of your home… it’s also free to do!
Five quick tidy up tips:
Do one room at a time — making sure it is finished before moving on (there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to tackle multiple rooms and actually not achieving anything).
Put all items that do not belong in a room in a container — don’t try to pick up each item and place it where it belongs. Even if you don’t get distracted you will waste time running to all ends of the house multiple times.
Clean as you go — as you cook, rinse dirty utensils, pots and pans and put them in the dishwasher. You’ll have the kitchen in good order when you sit down to eat, and you’ll have less to clean up after dinner.
Make the most of your vacuum cleaner — they are a modern cleaning appliance that can now perform multiple tasks like cleaning upholstery or walls which in turn is going to save you time.
Start with the easy stuff — don’t begin by going through old photo albums or love letters. These are the hardest things to throw away. Tackle your wardrobe first, move on to books, then papers, miscellaneous items (e.g. kitchen equipment) and, lastly, items of sentimental value. That way you will keep motivated
2. Plump up the cushions or buy a new inner
Whumph, whumph, whumph… you’ve heard the sound we’re sure of cushions being plumped. After a little while of being rested on, cushions naturally lose shape and the best way to bring them back to life is to give them a good plumping up.
Take your cushion by the sides gently and firmly push both sides towards each. Then turn the cushion 90º and repeat with the second two sides. Then give both areas in the middle a gentle but firm push towards each hand to release any excess air. Repeat the process as often as required until you get the feel you want.
There is also only so much plumping you can do, so if your cushions no longer respond to plumping then they have probably come to the end of their shelf life. Don’t panic — have a look at our range of cushion inners at https://www.cb-home.co.uk/cushion-inners. From polyester to feather we’ve got something for all you ‘Plumpers’ out there!
3. Throw open the curtains and seize the day
‘Carpe Diem’ — the latin language gave us one of its finest notions when advising us to seize the day. You can harness the positive power of daylight and transform your home. An often overlooked simple item that can help flood your home with more natural light is the curtain tie back. You would be surprised at what an extra 2-3 inches of space along a window can make.
With the curtains open, if you have a windowsill add some flowers in a vase to give that feel of nature even though you are inside you’ll be surprised at how fresh and radiant it feels.
4. Declutter the stuff you don’t use
There are so many programmes out there that tell us to declutter for a happier feeling and flow through your home, well guess what — they’re right. Where some of them do go wrong though is to assume that everyone has the time to declutter the whole house every day and most of us know this is nigh on impossible.
What you can do though is if you have a particularly debris-strewn room tackle that one first. Don’t try to do everything, just target the things you know will not be used or haven’t been touched for a long time. It’s no good decluttering stuff that will just be needed the next day. It may sound obvious but it makes sense to declutter the stuff you don’t use currently.
5. Re-clutter with the good stuff
So you have just cleared the house of all the stuff you know can definitely be kicked to the kerb (or at least given to charity shops anyway!) but what to do with the remainder that, although being kept, there may not be a great amount of room for? This is where improvisation skills come in… not everything has to sit neatly within a cupboard for a house to look tidy and enticing… try giving your home a unique look by using the very things you may consider as clutter as decorative showpieces. For example jars filled with everyday objects can have a great impact, or ornaments on stair shelves (if you have open stairs that is) or many more simple ideas. Whatever you choose to do, be expressive and re-clutter, but with style!
6. Add colour — cheer up the home
A splash of colour can work wonders for the soul. Many of us are choosing, rather than having overtly bright walls, to accentuate muted colour palettes with colourful and bright accessories. This allows those with an itchy ‘DIY trigger’ finger a quick and easy way to change your home if you tire of a particular colour scheme and won’t have to spend days on end repainting or papering walls! Cushions are a way, for example, of making a living space distinct without being too expensive and naturally draw visitors eyes. We know bright and stylish at CB-Home and reckon these cushions, for example, would suit bold, vivacious, colour-crazy ‘accessorisers’ out there:
7. Add patterns
We’re sure many of us remember the paisley (among other dated) patterns that adorned many a house when growing up (who can account for the taste of parents!) and cringe. In our fast-paced and hectic modern society the pattern has now evolved and actually become a decorative feature that can truly enhance a home. For example, where once it would be frowned upon to have anything but a continuous range of tiles all the same colour either in the kitchen or bathroom now it seems that a little quirkiness in an assortment can work wonders visually.
8. Add a warm colour to a north-facing room
The dreaded north-facing room “Dun dun duuuuun’! There seems to be a bit of a negative vibe when it comes to north-facing rooms (especially with the house buying crowd) but there’s no reason to neglect it like an unwanted hangover after a great party. Sometimes, if you want to project your happy feelings, then colour wise you might wear your warmest top or trousers. Well, a home is just the same. Bring a bit of perkiness to a room that may seem dark and drab by using warm colours such as yellows, oranges, brown beiges and contrasting hues of all of them.
9. Cool down a south-facing room with silvers and blues
South facing rooms are seen as the ultimate for catching the sun. This is great but can also come with its own inherent issues such as overheating and glare. On the opposite spectrum to the north-facing room the best way to cool down a south-facing room, while still generating style and elegance, is to use blues and silvers. The colours complement and work in tandem with each other just like in the rooms above!
10. Add your style… it’s your home after all!
Bohemian, minimalist, classical, whatever your style you should incorporate some of yourself into your home. A home is a sanctuary, a place where you feel comfortable and happy, and apart from work is probably the place where throughout our lives most of our time is spent. As people we are individuals when it come to style so it is great to let your home reflect that. For example, animal lovers may want to bring some of the love by accessorizing accordingly with animal print cushions, or those of a bohemian relaxed nature might used soft earthy tones of greens, golds and reds on walls to bring out a relaxed feeling. Whatever your style, love your home.
11. Shabby chic
There’s something rather rewarding about turning an old, neglected accessory into something new and stylish by using shabby features as an enhancement. The temperate economic climate of some of the last decade led to a lot of people recycling old items such as tables and chairs, chests of drawers, wardrobes and many other household furnishings, rather than buying brand new. ‘Shabby chicing’ can be as simple as giving something a lick of paint in your desired colour and stripping it back a little with sandpaper and waxing it. In fact the look has become so popular that mainstream companies now have pre-made shabby chic ranges but there is nothing like doing it for yourself…
12. If winter’s coming — cosy up the living room
Now for some Game of Thrones aficionados out there that would have a totally different meaning but to the eternal UK public the darkness and road gritters can mean a few months of being tucked up inside while the tempest rages outdoors. Well maybe not a tempest but the weather does mean more time is spent indoors so what better than making the living room a cosy little hideaway. Imagine it… big comfortable cushions (CB-Home can help with that!… LARGE CUSHIONS) to lay back on, warm woolly throws to snuggle under, soft supple rugs to plunge your feet into, all the while sipping a jumbo mug of hot chocolate whilst wrapped up cosy listening to the elements outside; there’s nothing like it.
13. Let’s get jazzy
Be honest, who out there hasn’t wished at sometime or other for a bit of razzmatazz like the outfits and sets on Strictly Come Dancing, well what’s stopping you! For those who like glitz and glamour, not only are there accessories that sparkle and shine but there is a whole new market of glitzy wallpapers — and wall decals if you prefer something easier to apply than wallpaper. Also, a nice easy way to add some jazz to either an entrance or a room is the use of mirrors. They are well known for giving the illusion of larger rooms and there are glamourous wall mirrors and stylish floor mirrors galore that will add that extra jazz to your abode. Or of course you can always add some sparkle with one or two of our Moulin crushed velvet cushions!
14. Mix it up — eclectic is fun
As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words so sit back and enjoy some eclectic interior imagery from CB-Home…
15. Be bold
It’s not just Star Trek crew who can boldly go where no-one has gone before (well maybe in space!) but here on earth in terms of interior transformation there are many things you can do to bring out the bold side of you and your home.
You may have stuck with the ideology that being neutral throughout your home is the best way to go, well that’s fine but what if you’re feeling a little audacious, then you don’t need to repaint everywhere — though if that makes you happy then go for it! Just add some adventure with easily interchangeable accessories like cushion covers. One day you may be feeling like bringing the outdoors in (not literally of course!), our Stag cushion covers are right on trend and perfect for this look.
Or, you may want to be just chilling out Boho style with Persian Panels style Cushion Cover. Here at CB-Home we have a wide range to cover whatever you fancy, so in the words of a fruit-based tech giant that ‘has an app for that’, whatever your mood ‘we have a cushion for that’.
16. Buy new
Retail therapy — ‘the act of going shopping and buying things in order to make yourself feel more cheerful’ (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com). Well if it’s in the Oxford dictionary it must be true! We all know the feeling of going out into the city or town centre and for a while losing ourselves in the delirium of buying new things, be it clothes or furniture or even that new book whose gorgeous pages you have to smell after purchasing (even if all the other Saturday shoppers are looking at the mad person sniffing a book in the middle of the street!). Now we can even go click crazy from the comfort of our own homes and just wait excitedly for the parcel delivery person to ring and make our day, just like those cheeky excitable kids who have to stay up till midnight of Christmas Eve!
There’s nothing like treating yourself and for those of us house-proud adult Britons we invariably head straight for the textiles and interior companies. Sometimes it can be nice recycling something old but for sheer joy there is nothing like buying something brand new.
If you fancy a little cushion retail therapy then check out the full range at CB-Home to satisfy that shopping urge and just like Percy Pug below scratch that itch!
17. Buy old
The previous tip concerned buying new, and that is fabulous, but there is also a great case for buying old as well — just ask Fiona Bruce! With the popularity of programmes like Antiques Roadshow, the idea of having rustic old items and accessories is much more appealing nowadays and the juxtaposition of having antique items within a modern- styled home works really well. There is many a bargain to be picked up at the various charity shops out there and with a little TLC (and maybe a sanding down and lick of paint on occasion) you can have a beautiful addition to your interior collection. And of course, what better way to complement this than our range of modern cushion covers!
Love from CB-Home https://www.cb-home.co.uk
18. Have a day off
This is the best tip to follow if you want to keep your sanity while transforming your home! As with any other type of work you need a day off to recharge the batteries, and interior decoration is no different as it CAN be hard work so take a well-earned break, kick back, relax and then you’ll be refreshed and ready to go at it again the next day.
19. Its your house, it’s all about you so throw away the interior design books
Design books, magazines, Pinterest and everything else on the web provide so many ideas but how about doing without them all (just for a day or two at least!)? Looking through design inspiration resources is a fantastic way to broaden your knowledge, giving ideas on how to use the space but remember that unless you are living in a modern-day design icon (lucky you if so!) you are unlikely to see your own home in the books you are reading. Think about your space and what will work just for you. Forget trends for a while and think how much room you have to work with and what type of furniture and colours you would like to see in there. With that decided you can then go back to the books and web for that all important fine tuning!
20. Don’t let the children invade every inch of the home — create an adult space
The idea of a fully open plan home sounds fantastic and for most of the time it is. Children and parents can mix without effort and build strong bonds, growing up in a close environment together. However… there are times when everyone needs their own space.
Think about creating rooms that can be open at times or closed off when say, a movie is playing that not everyone wants to see. Having flexible spaces makes a house more versatile and adaptable to everyone’s needs.
Also, if you have kids, don’t forget the importance of their bedrooms! They are your child’s own personal space and should be valued by everyone. Everyone needs a retreat, including the children, and in line with the well known saying, a happy child makes for a happy life!
21. Everything in the right place
Whether you prefer the ultra minimalist approach or love to fill your house with personal treasures one thing is certain — everything needs a place.
Giving items their own space adds to their importance (“look at me, I’ve been considered and sit pride of place!”), adds cohesion to your room plan (no matter how full, always think “will this work here?”) and gives your possessions a home to return to. Knowing exactly where that ornament lives after it has been moved (or knocked over) means putting your room back to its carefully planned original state is a piece of cake, every time!
22. Create zones
Whether you live open plan or in a more traditionally laid out house creating zones for your different living areas is absolutely crucial. Zones (either completely separate rooms or partitioned areas) give spaces a function and allow you to use your rooms effectively, whether that be to work in or cosy up in front of the TV.
Simple solutions can include using bookcases or shelving as dividers or putting sliding doors between rooms. This allows for the ability to keep the line of sight of a larger space while still allowing people to do different things in it or the flexibility to open up a room when you need the space.
And don’t forget everyone needs their own space. Creating a zone for the kids (or a retreat for a stressed out other half!) keeps everyone happy and enjoying their home.
23. Link rooms with key items
Creating a ‘feel’ throughout the home can be difficult to achieve, especially in an old house with lots of small rooms with their own character but using key items can help with this. Having a house where each room or zone (see previous tip!) has something that reflects its owner’s personality can help achieve a more homely and personal feel.
So how to achieve this? Ideas could include family photos in similar frames placed in the line of sight to the entrance of each room, using key pieces of furniture that all reflect the owner’s taste (such as a passion for the 70s or items full of colour) or more simply, using unique key soft furnishings placed around the home that fit a certain style and add a bit of punch. Have a look through our cushion covers —they may just give you some ideas!
24. Re-invent the boudoir with sensual crushed velvet
According to the Oxford English Dictionary a ‘boudoir’ is:
“A small elegantly-furnished room, where a lady may retire to be alone. Formerly sometimes applied to a man’s private apartment.”
We all deserve our own little hideaway, whether to indulge in a little decadent dining or just to finish that engrossing book without being disturbed!
While having your treat of alone time wouldn’t it also be nice to be in a relaxing, serene environment? You can easily create that mood with a few well placed candles, maybe a nice throw and as a finishing touch some lovely crushed velvet cushions. Our range features some splendid silver, glittering gold, or maybe you fancy some calm with our opulent orange… sit back, close your eyes and imagine your perfect boudoir.
25. Focal points
A simple yet effective way to bring a bit of wow factor throughout your home is by having a focal point in the rooms. Some of the obvious and well known ones are fireplaces in the living room or feature walls in the lounge, a nice table in the dining room and so on and so forth.
For something different yet still striking try alternates to the traditional focal points for example a large clay pot which could possibly have a plant in or maybe umbrellas (for those of us unlucky enough to live in rain soaked cities!) or an unusual cabinet in the bathroom. Whatever you choose be as quirky (see the fishtank table below!) or as conventional as you like as long as you draw eyes to the transformation in your room/s.
- Decals & simple wall art
Picture the scene… after a day of being covered in blood sweat and tears you step back only to notice that the last roll of wallpaper doesn’t line up with the rest and the paste that took a lifetime to get to the correct consistency has now congealed… “Noooooo”
Well gone are those days if you wish as there are now much easier ways to create a feature wall or bring some fun to the kids’ rooms. Decals or wall stickers/vinyls are easy to apply and because they are premade and already have adhesive they save you precious time (and aching!) whilst bringing a little moxie and charisma.
There are many styles out there from the totally outlandish to more reserved and elegant ones but all will add impact and the great thing is when you feel like a change they’re easy to replace.
And no not the cheeky little nickname for hairy chests but actual rugs are a great way to transform a room. If you have wooden flooring they are a great way to soften the room without having to carpet the whole area. Style wise rugs can be changed easily enough and can easily be matched with existing colour schemes and/or accessories or possibly be the abstract distinct feature in a room.
Even if you DO have carpeting then rugs are still versatile enough to work with and enhance the look of a room as well as also being a nice warm area where the kids can play on the floor or the grown ups can nuzzle their feet!
- Use Mother Nature and love your environment
Most of us seem to love a good Attenborough documentary, the wide open spaces, the tranquil scenery atmospheric landscapes and as well as the animals the plant life. Homes can sometimes be very barren urban looking places but employing flowers and plants throughout your home can give it a lift and a natural looking transformation.
Not only can plants transform the look of your home but they also have a practical health aspect too. Most of us remember I’m sure from early years biology lessons that plants are a natural absorber of carbon dioxide and give off oxygen in return. Plants are a low maintenance (generally, unless you go for something really tropical that is!) way to give a natural feel to your home environment and can be an artful way to be creative with your look.
- Light up your life
If your house doesn’t seem to get much natural light (or even if it does) one way to enhance that is by using lighting well. There’s spotlights, candles, lanterns and chandeliers to name a few of the options and ranges of lights available you could almost turn your house into a theatre (if you were so inclined!!).
Lighting can soften a room and makes it look airier and brighter just ask any developer! they make sure the lights are turned on throughout any show homes to make sure potential customers see them at their best. As well as indoor lighting there is a growing trend in lighting the external areas outside the hose and not just with an intruder light! A beautiful way to bring a unique graceful looking air to homes is by hanging fairy lights and/or lanterns also the many solar garden lights out there just bring your garden to life at night.
As well as the light itself unusual or striking lampshades can also have a dramatic effect in changing the look and feel of a home so it’s well worth creating a quick lighting mood board to visualise how you can transform your home via good lighting.
- Make an entrance
‘First impressions last’ that wonderfully descriptive play on words actually has some meaning to it. Many of the house programs out there talk about ‘kerb appeal’ which is making your house attractive to potential buyers at first look before they have even got inside. It can be done for this reason but also you don’t have to be selling your house to make it attractive.
By creating features outside before entry and inside just as you enter then it is nice when people visit but more than that it is always welcoming for you. Whether you have a corridor, hallway, vestibule or even open directly into the living room you can use little tricks for both inside and out like using stylised potted plants, hanging contemporary wreaths, use of large mirrors (to create the illusion of a larger space), flowers, stone pathways, benches with cushions amongst many other ideas.
Whatever you decide to do we hope that you get to make an entrance that’s ideal for you. We hope you have been inspired to transform your home and have enjoyed the tips.
Have a fantastic festive period Love from CB-Home!