Decorating your home can be an enjoyable adventure. It’s difficult not to be influenced by other people and shop displays but trust your instincts and let your inner creativity loose. It takes time to make a home. It takes time to create a welcoming space. Sure, you could just go out and purchase what’s in the department store, but is that you?
Perhaps you’re creative and love revamping beautiful old pieces of furniture. Perhaps, you’re an Ikea flat pack furniture fan. It’s amazing what you can do with old or new furniture. Paint, stencil or decorate it with eye-catching paper. I’ve seen it done and it works wonders.
Whatever you decide, be patient. Take your time and enjoy the process of finding pieces of furniture and soft furnishings you love. Fair enough you do need the basics of beds, tables and chairs, but be mindful of their comfort, purpose and the space you are filling them with.
TO THROW OR NOT TO THROW
The secret with a couch throw is not to use one or two large ones. They slip and slide and bundle up. If you have a three-seater couch, buy small throws. Two of them will tuck in neatly around the cushions and the back ones can also be tucked in. Amazingly they are child-proof unless said child decides to make a tent! Also, dog proof until it decides to decorate the dog basket.
These small throws are easily washed and dry quickly. Hey Presto! Budget covers with a second set in a different colour if you choose.
High thread-count sheets and pillowcases are under twenty euro in Penneys/Primark, unless you’re a fan of Frette or Pratesi.
YOUR UNIQUE HOME
At the end of the day, you want to create a unique home, one that is suited to your needs. Think about what you want. Glamour. Glitz. Charm. Antique. Eclectic. Modern, or a mixture of all. It’s amazing how they can actually work together.
Colour is another choice you have to make. Perhaps, consider white or magnolia walls (don’t wince), until you’ve settled in your home and are at ease with it. Then, you can consider a different colour. Don’t forget your room will be enhanced by all your objet d’art, cushions and throws, beautiful lamps and shades.
Accessories such as cushions and throws are inexpensive and can make any room in your home luxurious, Wall art and beautifully displayed photographs add to the ambience. Be aware of your time schedule and consider mounting some or all of your photos on the wall. Who wants to dust needlessly, although picking up a framed photo of a loved one is a wonderful moment of joy, treasured moments forever framed in your mind also.
Personally, I like the idea of having colour schemes connecting each room. It may be different shades of blue, gold and red – my favourites, but the choice and excitement of creating this kind of ambience is a form of art in itself.
You want to walk into your bedroom and immediately relax. You want to walk into your lounge and sigh with pleasure as you sink into a comfortable couch, surrounded by cushions and throws that scream luxury – are soft on your skin and appealing to your senses. You want to walk into your bathroom knowing that all your essentials are stored in attractive cupboards and that there is a good supply of soft towels. Soggy towels are banned or at least should be put straight into the washing machine.
All kitchens should have walk-in larders. They are ideal for storing all your dry food and you can see at a glance what you have or what you need to replace. If it’s big enough to hold all your crockery that’s even better. Who wants high-mounted wall cupboards where the stuff at the back can’t be seen easily. Keep it simple.
Whatever style you choose, it’s very easy to purchase simple storage boxes to fit the various items. Your bottom cupboards should preferably have pull-out drawers or just have mainly drawers in all your units. I’m not a fan of those plastic corner swivel shelving, although they do serve a purpose for electrical appliances. Another option for electrical appliances that you use daily like the blender, mixer, smoothie maker and chopper, is to have them on the countertop, but shielded by a pull-down door. It’s very effective. Your kettle and coffee machine do need pride of place so consider high-end, unless retro is your preference.
Impose your personality on your home. Use textured fabrics that make you reach out and touch. Don’t overdo the cushions on the bed, unless your bedtime routine includes a pillow or cushion fight. Sure, it looks like something you want to dive onto and snuggle in, but our everyday lives demand a certain amount of simplicity.
Having had the pleasure, courtesy of my family, of staying in a two-bedroom suite at the Bellagio Hotel, in Las Vegas, I fell in love with the decor. Okay, four bathrooms in a two-bedroomed suite might seem extreme, but I assure you we used them all. All the bathrooms were very spacious with smart mirrors, and a lovely dressing table unit where one could sit and apply makeup and use the hairdryer. There was a wardrobe to hang up the luxurious dressing gown, a steam shower and a jacuzzi, providing hours of pleasure and relaxation. You know that deep, deep exhalation of total satisfaction when one is truly relaxed. That was included in the price.
I love browsing in charity shops and also the furniture consignment stores in the States. You will find unexpected treasures to adorn your home. Imagine walking past a piece of furniture every day, touching it just for joy. Of course, our family brings us the greatest joy and happiness, but I assure you a piece of beautiful furniture won’t pout or sulk.
Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a personal space free of iPhones, TV and all electrical equipment? A place where you can meditate or just relax with a deep sigh of utter contentment – child free, dog free and possibly partner free, unless you want to cuddle up to your loved one in a noise-free zone.
You can create a corner with large floor cushions, or a comfortable recliner. Don’t forget the faux fur throw to keep you warm.
Art takes many forms. Home design also. Our taste may change as we get older, but there will always be certain items in your home that are filled with memories and bring joy into your life.
Create your own palace. Make it your personal space, one where family and friends are delighted to join you, as long as they bring the hot pot.
THE INEXPENSIVE MAKEOVER
Colour-wash any pine furniture you have and pine picture frames.
Revamp second-hand furniture with paint or wallpaper. Ensure the furniture is wood-worm free.
Change the door and drawer knobs on furniture.
Spray gold paint on tired mirror and picture frames.
Find lengths of beautiful fabric and stitch them onto your curtains or use as throws.
These simple alterations are very quick and easy to do.
We are fortunate to have Penneys/Primark in Ireland and I pay six euro per throw. However, the ultimate treat is a faux fur throw and they are available everywhere.
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