We’ve had our homes to ourselves for a long time now, and while that’s great for getting things the way you like them, lots of us have just got used to all our home’s issues and idiosyncrasies, however strange they are.
Now that lots of us are able to share our homes again, it might have dawned on you that those little flaws might need sorting out, before everyone sees your peeling wallpaper and stained carpets.
If your home isn’t set up for entertaining, there’s no need to rush - take some time to rediscover your home’s sense of style, and use a little tradesperson help to get it ready for its grand reopening.
A key trend in decorating right now is adding textural elements to your rooms. Materials like wicker, rattan and raffia are all seeing a huge surge in popularity, bringing in a casual, outdoorsy vibe - perhaps because we associate them with hot weather destinations.
These materials can be used all over - whether as furniture, for example wicker chairs and footrests, or as accessories in rooms - baskets, rugs, lampshades, planters.
Another way to utilise the pattern and introduce the textural element is to invest in carpets that have a similar character. Natural materials like seagrass and sisal are hardwearing and come in beautiful natural tones. Their toughness means they’re popular for hallways and stairs, but they can make a striking impression in living rooms and other spaces. Carpet fitters can talk you through options and costs.
Introduce earthy colours
Grey has been a dominant colour in many homes in recent years. It comes in many shades - more than fifty, in fact - making it versatile and practical, especially when wanting to keep things relatively neutral.
However, modern design is starting to move away from greys, looking to earthier, warmer tones when it comes to choosing neutral palettes. Gentle browns, pinks and yellows are the order of the day, adding in a touch of heat without dominating any space.
Professional decorators are best placed to help you execute your colour vision and ensure you get a perfect finish in your rooms.
Bring in the light
Lighting is always crucial for any space, and while lamps and mirrors can help add light and atmosphere, natural daylight is key for brightening up spaces so you can get the most of them from morning until night.
Adding more natural night often includes renovation work that goes beyond simple redecorating, but it makes a serious impact on a room. Transforming a traditional casement window into a full-length window doubles the light flowing in, especially on a south-facing wall, and immediately adds a more modern, designed feel to a room.
If you have any single-storey space in your room, perhaps as the result of an extension, adding skylights or light wells makes a massive impression, and can increase the daytime usability of a space.
Making rooms that serve multiple purposes is understandably popular at the moment, and that fashion for flexibility won’t go away any time soon.
In the past year, the kitchen or dining room table has been put into service as many things, from office space to kid’s classroom. Keeping that kind of adaptability is key, which means smart thinking and intelligent design to stop rooms becoming cluttered or feeling like the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Storage plays a huge part in this, so that things can be put away when they’re not in use and the room be reclaimed for another purpose. Carpenters or handymen can help install fitted shelves or closet space, or even windowseats that can serve dual purpose as storage and seating for extra people.
Inside / Outside
While the rules allow people to be inside again, it’s natural to want to spill outdoors as well - at least, when the weather allows.
In fact, space that straddles that divide is ideal. French windows or bifold doors let you open a room onto the garden, but there’s more you can do to merge the spaces. Colour match your outdoor furniture and accessories with your indoor space to help them flow into each other, and arrange furniture so that there’s natural movement between the two areas. Having decking or patio at the same level as indoors also helps create a feeling that the two spaces are linked.
It also makes sense to add some cover to the garden, such as an awning, so that you can move between the two, even when the rain inevitably hits.