It has recently dawned on me that I am suffering from a little known condition which, for the sake of expediency, I will call ‘house envy’. The symptoms of this condition manifest themselves as a crushing feeling of inadequacy every time I enter someone else’s home. It always looks bigger, brighter and has superior decor to my own.
Until recently, my reaction to these symptoms were to covertly memorise the decor of these homes and attempt to incorporate them into my own interiors. Unfortunately, the end result was a mish mash of styles and design ideas which didn’t work together and actually defeated the purpose.
My ‘eureka’ moment came when a friend happened to comment in passing that my house was a little dark – it was painful to hear but he was right. The most amazing interiors can become drab and uninteresting in poor lighting. After a little research on the subject, I have now transformed my home without having to buy one single piece of new furniture – Perfect!
Ditch the curtains – Let the roller blinds roll in!
Every house I have ever lived in has had curtains. I hardly noticed them until I realised they were blocking all that magnificent sunlight from entering every room in my home. By installing double roller blinds in the main living areas, I created a modern, versatile and streamlined way to filter and adapt the natural light entering my home. Voila! Let the sun shine in…
Carefully placed skylights can transform unused dark corners into bright study areas or gloomy hallways into a sunbathed feature of a home. Not only do they add a dramatic touch to any room, they are also an energy-saving source of lighting and can even be installed as a hatch which opens to allow both light and air inside.
Skylights are particularly useful in bathrooms and walk-in robes, where light is always needed. They are less successful in bedrooms since the bright morning sun may not be conducive to a peaceful Sunday morning sleep-in.
Catch the light
Unless you live in a box, natural light will be entering your home somewhere. To maximise its effect use mirrors and glass to reflect, enhance and multiply the capacity of the illumination.
The use of pale blues and greys can lift the mood of a room when used in combination with crisp white trims. Consider using them in alternating stripes on a feature wall – this can be accomplished through the use of wallpaper (expensive) or far more cheaply, through the use of paint.
Horizontal stripes can give an illusion of depth to a room and are a great idea for small spaces.
Floating floors are becoming increasingly popular with home renovators due to their economical yet realistic effect. DIYers can install them or for a cost, many companies have a team of installers on hand. Lighter woods can dramatically lift a room – creating feelings of energy, space and flow.
Dark furniture which appeared so appealing in a retail setting with it’s commercial lighting, can suddenly become heavy and drab when introduced to a home environment. If you have a lot of dark furniture, it may be the source of the dreary feeling in your home. Either lighten everything around it or alternatively, you may decide to paint it. Upcycling furniture is a popular way to economically lift the mood in a home.
Bright soft furnishings, live flowers, plants and vibrant artwork are a few ways to introduce drama and energy into a room. Vivid splashes of colour on a crisp white background is a guaranteed method to bring a little Zing!
Life’s too short to live a dull life. Through simple and economical changes to your interior decor, your home can be a delight to live in and inspire ‘house envy’ in all your future guests.