Spruce up your space with tips from a home stylist
Our friend and home interior stylist, Tessa Matthews, shares her tips and tricks on how to freshen up your living space for the new year ahead.
There’s nothing quite like the January post-holiday blues… especially when you come back to a tired looking home. Giving your home that new year detox doesn’t need to cost a fortune. We’re pretty sure that if you spend a bit of time having a look around at what you already own and what you have stored away in cupboards, you will find a few forgotten treasures that will make a huge difference in giving your home a fresh look.
From moving furniture around to ideas for creative reuse, here are a few tips on how to give your home a mini-makeover, without spending a fortune (and in some cases without spending a cent!).
We know this seems like a really obvious tip to begin with, but it really is a good place to start. Take the opportunity to start the year by having a big ol’ sorting sesh and either get rid of things that you no longer need or put them aside ready to pack away or put into storage.
A rule of thumb should be; If you don’t use it on a daily basis, put it away in a drawer. This is also an opportunity to rethink storage solutions, whether it’s in your living area or in your bedrooms and closets. It really is amazing what a difference decluttering can do to a room. Plus, it’s bound to make you feel a little ‘lighter’ too.
Be it an entire room, a feature wall, doors, bookshelves or kitchen cabinets… a splash of paint will make a big difference to the look and feel of your home and doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Feature walls are a great way of ‘half-committing’, if you’re not quite feeling brave enough for the full on paint job. There are also some fun and beautiful wall papers available, which you could consider for this. Or you could create a gallery wall, which is a great way of getting all your favourite art and photographs up and hanging.
Pro tip: If painting, make sure you do a few test patches before you paint a whole room in a colour that doesn’t quite turn out the way it looked in the tin!
This is an easy and relatively instant way of giving your home a new look. Have a wander through your apartment and see whether any items of furniture could be moved somewhere else. Take your time in trying different options and ‘live’ with these options for a day or so to see whether it really works or not.
Consider the flow of the room. Space is a luxury in Hong Kong flats, but try to make sure that you’re able to walk from one side of the apartment to the other without having to walk around too many pieces of furniture. Sometimes it takes a fresh eye, or second opinion, on how best the furniture in a room works as we often get so used to how something looks.
Few things change the look of a living room (or bedroom!) as easily as a selection of scatter cushions. A tired sofa can be revived, an old armchair can be updated or a bed made over.
Take a look at the cushions you already own and consider whether they could be rearranged in a more interesting way. Experiment with them on different chairs and in different rooms to see whether they’d look better elsewhere. You can change the colour scheme of a whole room by just changing up your scatter cushions. If you feel you’re missing a few to complete the look, treat yourself to a couple of new ones. H&M Home, Zara Home and Inside all have a good selection that won’t cost an arm and a leg and are especially great for basics.
As mentioned, much about giving your home a refresh is about stopping to consider what you already have and how best to display it. Don’t leave your most beautiful books tucked away on high bookshelves. Rather pull them down and display them on your coffee table. This is an effective way to add personality to your living space.
A large tray is a great way of grouping items together on a coffee table and effectively works in making it look much tidier. Before buying, consider if there is already something in your home that could be used as the coffee table instead. A bench or an interesting trunk? Or perhaps there’s a table that could work if it only had shorter legs? Kitchen tables, consoles and desks can all be shortened to become lovely coffee tables.
Adding a new rug could create a dramatic change and become a real focal and talking point in your living area or it could just be something that adds more texture and depth to the space. Rugs work really well in completing the look of a room. If the living and dining area are in a shared open space, a rug creates clear divisions between the two areas. It will also give your room a much more pulled together, cosy and homely feel. Check out the bespoke dhurrie rugs at Maya Rugs for some gorgeous options.
We’re sure everyone reading this is familiar with the rather questionable light fixtures that are often seen in rental apartments! Thankfully, these can be easily replaced. Whether it’s something simple and classic or a bit more modern or industrial, there are so many great options available in different styles that will transform the style of your room.
It might be tempting to pack your bookshelves full of books, especially in Hong Kong, where storage space is limited. But a bookshelf is an easy way to freshen up your space and create a focus point in any room.
By spacing out your books and including decorative objects in your display, it will automatically create a sense of space in your room. Display decorative items together in groups of three and aim to create different ‘layers’ on each shelf with varying heights and widths eg. use a pile of books standing up, in height order, alongside a pile lying down, then place an item on top of the pile lying down. Lovely things are meant to be seen and enjoyed – and can distract the eye from an otherwise unspectacular space.
Read more: Chic and Practical Ways to Style a Bookshelf
There’s nothing more welcoming than walking into a room and seeing a big bunch of fresh blooms in a gorgeous vase on a dining, coffee or console table. These give the room an instant pop of colour and life. Alternatively, look into adding an indoor plant to a particular corner of the room. This will fill an empty space and add interest and colour.