Is it a bit too late to still be saying Happy New Year? I still feel like it is new year – I mean it is only in the month of January I have a roller coaster of emotions and fluctuating motivation quite to this extent!
I started 2018 feeling well and truly geared up. I had written down my intentions and priorities for the year and was ready to get going with them. Then on the second of January I went back to work and realised that I only had enough energy for my day job and everything else had to fall by the wayside.
Slowly my energy levels and motivation are coming back (might be to do with a well timed end of January break I have to look forward to) and I am thinking again of those priorities that I gave myself.
Simply put they go in this order: Health. Home. Hustle. The first one is easy in concept – eat better, sleep more, exercise more.
The home one is a little more fun, and what I am here to talk to you about today.
For me, my ‘home’ priority translates to finishing our home. As you may have read in my first post here, we have been renovating our Edwardian home for about five years.
All the big structural work is done, so now I need to finish off the interiors and get it looking as I want it to. On the whole it is there – there is paint, carpets, beds. But it isn’t quite finished finished.
We don’t have an endless budget to buy a whole house full of new furniture so I am going to refresh what I have as much as possible whilst adding in the items that we really need.
As the start of the year is such a perfect time to refresh our homes, I thought I would share how I’ll be doing it. A few small tweaks here and there can absolutely bring the life back to a space and none of them involve creating chaos or breaking the bank.
So, here goes:
Declutter, clear out and organise
I know this one seems obvious but there is nothing like having a clear out to give you all the good feels and make your home look better too. Ridding a room of clutter and organising all the stuff away can instantly revitalise a space and spur you on to do more.
To make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed commit to one space at a time – be it that cupboard in the kitchen that is overflowing with tupperware boxes with no lids (please tell me I am not the only one… the situation is worse than my odd sock drawer) or sorting through your wardrobe.
Once you have cleared out the things you don’t need, organise what is left. This is so mentally pleasing I think it can almost be classed as therapy and you will feel pretty smug with yourself too whenever you walk in to that room.
Move furniture around
As a child one of my favourite hobbies was to move my bedroom around. I always felt a renewed energy and love for the room once it has been given a refresh so I am bringing this little hobby back to my adult life.
Start with large items of furniture – is there a different or better layout in a room or can you move furniture from room to room? You’d be surprised by just how much you can shake things up when you start to look at it and you will feel like you have a whole new space by the time you are done.
If you don’t want to commit to moving furniture then look at accessories – pictures, plants, vases, books, lamps, cushions, throws. These items can completely change the look and feel of a room and help create a refreshed space that feels like new.
Start by moving round existing items from room to room. Take everything off of your surfaces, sofas and beds and start afresh.
Alternatively buying some new items isn’t going to break the bank – perhaps try a new colour way with accessories to really give your space a new feel. There are so many places to buy affordable accessories – H&M Home, Zara Home, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and LA Redoute are some of my go-to places.
On the walls
Similarly with accessories, changing the artwork in a room can really give it a refreshed look. See where you can swap artwork around your house or look at investing in a few pieces. Again there are plenty of places where you can buy affordable art prints. Try Olive et Oriel, Desenio and Etsy for prints or try printing some of your own photography and framing it.
I am a huge fan of a gallery wall and will be adding a couple more to my space over the coming weeks and months. I don’t care whether they are in or out of vogue, I love them and think they add so much character and detail which is just the kind of low maintenance, low budget refresh I need!
I am always so surprised when I add a few more plants to a room at how it can completely change the feel. Perhaps it is the hit of ‘colour’ in my mainly neutral home or the structural interest a plant brings, either way I always feel a renewed love for the space once it has a new leafy friend.
Aldi and Lidl often have great deals on houseplants or buy faux if you aren’t very green fingered, but I really do recommend adding a few plants to refresh a space. I love larger tree like varieties such as Monsterra, fig and money plants as well as hanging plants such as ivy and spider plants.
I’d love to hear how you like to make updates to your home without renovating?
All pictures are by Marlene Lee of my home.