Springtime is generally when people make the biggest decisions about decorating their homes. The winter blues have passed, the clocks have changed and the evening sun shines in through the windows later into each passing evening. As plans are being made for family to come and stay during summer at some point, be it for the Olympics, Euros 2016 or simply for the kid’s holidays to throw another shrimp on the barbie, now is the time to transform your home by either wallpapering, putting up shelving or stripping back carpets and painting floorboards long since forgotten about.
This is where the dilemma starts though; what to tackle first? The walls? The bedroom furniture? The living room settee? The kitchen units? Let’s not even look at the garden yet!
The walls are quick wins. Striped wallpaper goes up and the room is transformed with an optical illusion that will get friends clicking ‘like’ with an assortment of emoticons. Suddenly a dull hallway now looks like an entrance to a secret room in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
But everyone knows how to do this and it’s 2016, the year to REALLY change a room – 6 fresh ideas to reinvent your home, from the floorboards up. Which room to start with? Just roll a dice.
1. Living Room Inspiration – Painting Floorboards White
Forget Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and think about Zen and the Art of Emotional Maintenance. Unclutter the room from colour and the bombast of contrasting shades by stripping away everything to the purest basecoat – white. Create a haven of bliss with white painted floorboards.
Heavy duty homes would be best getting a shoe rack for the front and back door entrances and making a sign saying “Socks, Slippers and Bare Feet Only Zone – Shoes Will Be Prosecuted”.
To create a rustic look, why not sand down any smooth or varnished areas before painting the floorboards to bring out the grit grain of the wood with a gentle whitewash application.
Throw down a very humble rug and a small chalk white decorated table to house magazines and remote controls, then get out the old radio from the attic and tune in to relaxation.
2. Bathroom Flooring Ideas – Painting Floorboards Black
Archimedes had his “Eureka!” moment when stepping into the bathtub, as legend has it, so why not create a bathroom that can generate inspiration from both yourself, and your guests.
Black and white décor is timeless and instantly classic, perfect for the bathroom, where all furnishings are available with those basic colour options. From the basic black toilet seat, to monochrome style bathroom tiling, and the bleached glow of porcelain to the smooth as silk, matt black framed mirror above the sink.
Bathroom design ideas are ten-a-penny and rather than creating a sea-shanty vibe with shell ornaments, driftwood chic and added sand to bath-bubbles, play a check-mate move to style and go minimalistic.
Bathroom accessories to seal the deal could be a towel rail with newspapers draped over them, displaying the crossword section, or a chessboard beside the toilet to challenge your partner/housemate to a unique game of chess.
Don’t forget there’s a difference between the need for anti-condensation and damp-proofing decorating products, so it is important to research products that protect the floor with a reliable waterproof topcoat and seal the walls with damp-proof paint. It is one thing to look the part, but it’s another to have it sustainable, and nobody wants dark wall-creeping mould to pay a visit this year.
3. Bedroom Designs – Bright Ideas for Inspiring Sleep
This is where one can get selfish and create an environment solely for themselves and their nearest and dearest – the bedroom, where dreams are made and energy revitalised.
Remember that rustic look which Instagram filters throw across a room setting? Why not try to recreate it and use the #NoFilter tag? This means out with gloss and in with chalks and pastel colours. Out with bold and angled artwork and in with stream of consciousness shapes. Out with digital neon glows and in with cracks in the curtains casting an alarm clock hand, ticking its way slowly up the bedspread each morning.
Modern bedroom ideas utilising technology can be so draining on one’s psyche, so it’s essential this room goes back to basics. It’s time to answer that question of how to restore floorboards and strip back the old carpet, indented with furniture move scars, and sand, sand, sand. No varnish. No paint. Just nature under your feet when you step out of bed onto bare wooden floorboards.
Sand down furnishings and create a lived in and distressed feel to the textures around you. Add pastel paint to drawers, including pale blues to keep the room light and airy. Rewire lamps with white cables so that they appear more camouflaged. Downscale the room to its bare necessities and create more room for less distraction.
Buy a cheap and battered wooden step ladder to prop against the wall. Pick up some vintage style glass bottles for the bedside table. Even a big reel of twine and some antique scissors to have the room feeling lived in and slightly out of time.
4. Kitchen Transformation – Don’t Have Too Many Cooks
The kitchen can quickly become a bombast of crass colours, as every supermarket and market stall stock brash utensils for tasks often unknown to even Jamie Oliver. The problem with so many utensils, miss-matched crockery and assorted cutlery is that a kitchen can quickly become style-less and too ‘busy’.
Check listings for the next local car-boot sale and clear out those cupboards and shelving units and from the ground-up, restock the kitchen with elegance and cleanliness.
Nothing beats the smell of baking bread, or a Sunday roast. But unlike microwave meals, the things that taste the best often need the most preparation and baking or cooking time. Therefore, the kitchen can be a place where a lot of time is spent, so why not make it a space where you’d want to spend a lot of time?
Cool black floor tiles, gleaming and easy to sweep or wash are ideal, as they throw focus to everything else in the room, be it wooden, white or textured cupboards, fridges decorated with magnets and family photos, or bespoke under-unit lighting. If there’s a radiator in the room, don’t forget to refresh its sheen with a new coat of paint to reflect the cleanliness of the floor and wiped down surfaces.
The flooring should be mirrored where possible, so maybe get a black microwave, kettle and toaster set, or a black drainer for the draining board. Lastly, get a chalkboard for notes, memos and cute messages for the family.
Remember, the key to a good kitchen is that everything blends together, calculated and measured for visitors’ eyes. Keep the room stylised, sharp and cutting with the bare minimum of bold statement colours and draw the eye to one feature, where all parties migrate to stand beside, sip on a hot brew and gossip.
5. Dining Room Restoration – Creating A Social Space
The selling point of any house is often the dining room. It is a communal space where all rooms get tied together to. If your guests don’t ask to be excused from the dining table to check out the rest of the house’s décor, based on this room alone, then something is wrong.
Sand down and varnish those floorboards. Bring out the vintage feel to the room. Create an achingly beautiful space where light reflects off every surface, faces smile in portrait photos on the wall and steam rises from freshly plated up food.
Prop an acoustic guitar up in one corner, always leave a deck of cards and a couple of board games on a ‘too hand’ shelf and gloss those skirting boards and doorframes a brilliant white.
Litter book shelves with holiday titles, anthologies and biographies, as this is the room for conversation. This is the room where time flies and stands still for different coats of happiness.
6. Hallway Invitation – Say Hello and Goodbye with Clean Floors
The most overlooked room in a house is often the entrance hallway, where a regular battering of shoes, bags, dropped keys, umbrellas and homework soon can turn the floor into a tired old sight. No longer is it welcoming when returning home after a busy day, nor encouraging you to come home when you leave for work in the morning. Gone are the days when this was the room that started ‘home, sweet home’.
It’s time to call the decorating paramedics to the poor floor and bring it back to life with a tough and resilient varnish coating. Add some glamour back with a shine, as the light from the door’s glass panels cascade across it. Put up some coat and key racks. Add a matt to wipe feet on and a shoe rack. Keep the floor clutter free, like a red carpet to an event – your home.
Welcome home, this and every time. Enjoy your stay.