Five fun steps towards a refreshed home interior, from moving furniture to replacing curtains
Swap Out Soft Finishings
Because the windows in any home are often a major focal point, one of the easiest ways to update a space -- and to help out your health -- is to replace curtains with the seasons. Curtains easily gather dust and bio pollutants day to day (much less month to month or year to year!) making them a breeding ground for allergens. They also rarely pass from one season to the next effortlessly. Swapping out your curtains each season not only prevents your home from holding onto unwanted dust, pet hair, and other bits, but it also allows you to maximise the effectiveness of your curtains based on the time of year (whether you need blackout curtains for the summer heat or insulated curtains for the winter chill) and to change up your home’s interior style.
For the perfect Autumnal drapes, likely defined as those that let in the soft glow of Autumnal light without letting through any drafts, consider insulated curtains paired with a set of breezy liner panels. This pairing will offer more protection from the cold while still allowing you to see the rain or leaves falling outside and offering some dimension to your space! If your apartment does not allow you to mount curtains over your windows, make your home cosier by adding a new rug to the floor as Fall turns to Winter and the weather cools down.
Design Tip: Mount your curtain rod a few inches above your window and a few inches past on either side (right and left) to seal off the edges of the window where cold air frequently passes into the home. Ensure your curtains meet the floor or cover the window sill, depending on how tall your windows are. This way, your curtains will block the areas most prone to air leaks, even when the curtains are open and light is filtering into your home.
Feng Shui the Furniture
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According to Stephanie Waldek in her article “Everything You Need to Know About Feng Shui” for House Beautiful, Feng Shui is “an ancient Chinese philosophy that helps people find balance in the way they live their lives by harmonizing their living spaces with nature through spatial design.” In interior design, Feng Shui emphasizes creating a flow throughout the home, encouraging certain desired emotions, creating an atmosphere of safety and security, and connecting visitors and residents with one another. Feng Shui harnesses the concept of Yin-Yang, which focuses on achieving balance between all opposites while appreciating duality. Waldek explains that “as it relates to interior design, you’ll want a balance of both types of energies, with yin energy in calm, relaxing spaces like your bedroom or bathroom and yang energy in your more social, productive spaces like your kitchen or home office.” This can be achieved with color and texture, but also with the way furniture is placed around each room.
Following the principles of Feng Shui, furniture should always be balanced around a room, never crowded in one corner or obscuring entryways that disrupt the flow of the space. The best way to curate the furniture in each room of your home is to determine which element is the most significant and to afford that piece the “commanding position.” In the bedroom, the commanding position would be given to the bed, while in the living room it would typically be given to the couch. In a dining room, the dining table would be oriented so no one seated ever has their back to an entrypoint, whether that is a window, a hall, or a doorway. In an office, the desk would receive this position. No matter what, all walkways should be clear of clutter and unobstructed by furniture. In social spaces like living rooms, breakfast nooks, and dining rooms, explains Anjie Cho in her article “9 Easy Steps to Feng Shui Your Living Room” for The Spruce, you should try to “arrange the furniture to invite conversation and interaction,” meaning that each seating arrangement should face another and when seated, no one should have their back to the door, as this creates feelings of unease and anxiety.
Clear Away Clutter
Nothing makes a space feel fresh and new like a weekend of Spring Cleaning. Thankfully, with Minimalism, Scandi style, and Kon Mari trending, Spring Cleaning is no longer relegated to the months of March and April. In her article “5 Reasons to Clear the Clutter Out of Your Life” for Psychology Today, Dr. Susan Krauss Whitborne explains that not only is clearing away clutter a great aesthetic choice in any home, but “cutting through the clutter can benefit your physical health and cognitive abilities.” As such, consider clearing away unnecessary decor items or tchotchkes that add no aesthetic or functional value to your living room, bedroom, kitchen, or home office.
Take particular care to remove clutter from any space in which you need to be productive - such as around your desk, or restfulness - such as atop your nightstands or anywhere around your bed -- as clutter will distract from work and add to any anxieties. Create specific housing units for each decor item you would like to have on display. For example, place candles on top of coasters on your coffee table to make sure they have a designated spot or place potted plants in boxy walls shelves that perfectly contain and frame them. Make sure to keep usable surfaces as clear of junk as possible without sacrificing personal style or the cosiness of your home.
Place Houseplants Throughout
Revitalise a washed-out studio apartment or any room in an outdated house by adding actual life to the space. Not only are leafy green plants aesthetically pleasing, but they also have a number of positive effects on mental, emotional, and physical health. While living plants are preferably, for those who suffer from allergies or travel too much to maintain another life, some of these benefits can even be achieved with fake plants. In her article “Why Indoor Plants Make You Feel Better: That whole succulent trend? It's healthy” for NBC News, health and wellness writer Sophie Lee explains that houseplants “release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide” -- especially in large quantities, “improve concentration and productivity (by up to 15 percent!), reduce stress levels, and boost your mood.” They also “help regulate humidity and increase levels of positivity,” Lee notes, as “seeing greenery and nature helps us feel more relaxed and calm.” To get the most out of your houseplants, choose those with large leaves like the Peace Lily or tumbling foliage like the String of Pearls.
Contact-Paper the Cabinets - and Anywhere Else
Put together the perfect backsplash in your kitchen without the expense of tiles or the messiness of grout with a faux-tile contact paper -- and worry not if you prefer a different colour in a few months. Paper the fronts of your kitchen cabinets or the shelves in curio display cases for an added pop of colour. For fall, consider faux grasscloth for your walls to add warmth and texture -- or a metallic wallpaper across your ceiling to bounce light around as the days shorten.
Design Tip: If you have always loved patterns but you are too afraid to try to create a feature wall, simply just spruce up your walls by adding some beautiful paintings or prints such as the 'Wilderness' Abstract Wall Art Prints by Ebony Home.
No matter what your home is lacking or how outdated its interior might feel, by applying these five tips, you can refresh your space and lift your mood!