‘Home is where the heart is’ said author Pliny the Elder.
If we go by this statement, your home must reflect your persona. It should symbolize your family values and your lifestyle. You need not incur huge expenses to create a beautiful home. Just keep a few basic tips in mind when decorating your home to make it look welcoming and cozy.
1. Give it an open feel
A well-lit house can look beautiful even if the tapestry and furnishings aren’t the best. Make provisions to let in the warm sunlight and cool breeze in the mornings. Proper ventilation will also leave your home feeling and smelling fresh. Opt for long French windows with thin mosquito nets to filter the air and prevent insects from entering the house during the monsoons.
Make sure you furnish your house to suit all seasons. If you have a small house, place the furniture in a way that the space doesn’t look cluttered. Plants and flowers are another great way to add freshness. If you can’t be bothered with buying real flowers every day, a bunch of colourful, artificial, scented ones can look elegant. Scented candles or pot pourri are other alternatives.
Pick soft, pastel shades for your walls and cupboards; hues that will emanate peace and serenity. However, avoid light colours to avoid the hassle of it looking dirty.
2. Furniture and Fixtures
Without your furniture, your home is just a house. Pick up reasonably priced furniture from local stores and give it a quirky appeal by adding colourful pillows and embellishments. A differently shaped coffee table can also spruce up the entire place.
You can change the placement of your furniture from time to time to give your place a new look every couple of months. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the seating must be comfortable. For chairs and sofas, avoid whites and creams so you don’t have to worry about stains.
3. Focus on nooks and crannies
Corridors are sometimes the gloomiest part of the house. Small, antique cupboards, bookshelves and cabinets are a great way to spruce up an empty corridor or corner. Not only will this liven up the room, but it’ll also give you extra storage space. You can buy small lamps or creative light fixtures to place in the corridors so they don’t look dull.
4. Personalize it!
The one way to transform your home is to put pictures of your family and friends around the place. Hang them on the wall, make a collage or frame them for the bedside table. Place the photographs in places where you can see them every day. In the kitchen, the refrigerator is a great place to put up photographs and little notes.
Other than pictures, you can also highlight your proud moments. Trophies, certificates and works of art can also be placed around the house as memories.
If you wish to beautify your home without making any major adjustments, accessories are your solution. Flea markets and garage sales are great places to get unique stuff at good bargain prices. Items like antique telephones, traditional Chinese wall hangings and funky curtains and bedspreads can work wonders.
Hang mirrors and glass ornaments from the walls and, if you have a creative streak in you, make a wall hanging or a painting yourself. Additionally, you can pick one wall in the study or dining area and add your own touch to it with paintings or collages.
6. The bathroom
Make the bathroom your sanctuary. Invest in candles scented with lavender, sage or chamomile to calm yourself after a hard day’s work. If you like, you could have slightly dim lighting in there. Shower curtains, towels, rugs and napkins are some accessories that can give the restroom a nice touch.
7. Keep it clean
Lastly, and most importantly, always keep your house clean. Make it a point to get spring cleaning done once a year and dust the house daily. No matter how beautiful you think your house is, it won’t look half as pretty if it’s dirty.
De-cluttering is another way to keep your house clean and also make it look more open and spacious. Every once in a while, rummage through your cupboards and remove all the things you feel you don’t need. Items like clothing and footwear can be donated, whereas showpieces and other knick knacks can be sold at a garage sale. The money you make can be used to buy new ornaments for your home!
At the end of the day, decorate your home in such a way that you love going back to it at the end of the day. If you want to go in for large-scale renovations, ensure that you plan well in advance and put aside a certain budget for it. There are different aspects to every house, so work according to what suits you. Don’t neglect tiny things like floor mats, window shades and door knobs, as these can sometimes become the highlight of your home.
Balance the decoration throughout your home. Don’t adorn just one room in the house and leave the others as is. Many people tend to decorate just their living rooms because that is what the guests usually see first. Instead, focus on the strong points of your home and accentuate them with colours and embellishments. It’s alright to let cracks in the wall and old light switches show, because they’ll give the place a more homely appeal.
There are several interior designing magazines available in the market. Use these only as an inspiration and to get a general idea of the dos and don’ts. Beautify the house for yourself and the compliments will follow.
Visual Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnilenkov/