Decorating: 10 Shifts in Attitude That Will Help Create a Better Home
Sometimes, it’s not money but mindset that holds a home back. Tweak your thinking and start new habits to take your pad from so-so to superb
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and, instead, start to have fun with your home. Initiate a few bold changes, from hanging a striking artwork to using a zingy paint shade and live with them for a while, to see how they look and feel. You may be surprised at how improved a room can be when you stop being cautious.
In the middle of a renovation project? You’ll probably recognise these signs
If you know exactly what you could do to improve your home, whether it is simply cleaning the windows or repainting your office, but you just can’t seem to quite get round to it, you have been beaten by procrastination. So either get tough on yourself, setting time aside for the job, notifying your family and marking it in the diary, or admit that you will never tackle this task and call in help. Whether you do the job yourself or pay someone to do it, the key thing, after months of procrastination, is to act. Now!
Turning your home into the truly great space it can be does not have to become an all-consuming project, but it may take time. Whether it’s an hour or a weekend, be sure to set enough time aside for the changes you’d like to make. Thinking you can make significant improvements in hurried sessions of work or clearing will only lead to failure and leave you feeling discouraged.
A shoddy paint job or bad DIY tiling can let a room down, so why not improve your skills or learn new ones, to help your home realise its potential. Search YouTube for online lessons in anything from rewiring a lamp to painting kitchen cabinets, take a course at your local college or buy a book on DIY. Do It Yourself, published by Phaidon, is a new title with projects by 50 of the world’s most exciting designers and artists to inspire you.
Accept the limitations of your budget and, instead of feeling upset that you can’t afford that designer chair or contemporary classic sideboard, get creative instead. Upcycling is a purse-friendly way to create a really unique, interesting piece of furniture. Find something old but essentially sound, then clean, paint, strip or modify it (or all those things!) to give it a new look and purpose. In addition to saving money, you’ll have the satisfaction of having created a piece that is a true one-off.
Learn the secrets of successful upcycling from two experts
Believing you can only buy new furniture or becoming too attached to a style can prevent you from moving your home forward. So loosen up and improvise. Move furniture around from other rooms, remembering that just because a piece was designed for one role, doesn’t mean it can’t work beautifully in another.
Alternatively, source a good-value second-hand piece that can do the job. OK, perhaps you would prefer to buy a sleek contemporary design, but be realistic. Stop tormenting yourself by stalking around that chic interiors store, looking at all the stuff that is beyond your budget, and get creative with the funds you have.
Even if you are not a full-blown hoarder, the chances are you are holding on to things you don’t need, which can clutter up your home. This can include physical items, from old clothes to random objects and trinkets, but it can also mean emotional clutter.
You might be harbouring out-of-date ideas that prevent you making your home as good as it could be. Perhaps you tell yourself you’ll mend those curtains so you can’t part with them, even though they are falling apart and you still haven’t fixed them. Or maybe you need to let go of negative beliefs about your home and how bad or problematic it is.
Discover the Japanese art of decluttering
Any home looks better when it’s as neat as a pin, so try to tackle any entrenched scruffy tendencies and take time each day to tidy up. This is far less arduous than cleaning but can make a huge impact and reveal your home’s best bits, unhampered by piles of clutter and paperwork.
Plump cushions, clear mail to a designated drawer, hang stray keys on hooks and pile newspapers into a basket. Do this for 10 minutes after work and before you relax. Consider investing in a few pieces that will help you tidy faster each day, too. Baskets, hooks and pegs can all help, and once you have a place for the kinds of things that routinely litter your home, you will find it quicker and easier to organise and tidy them away.
Sometimes, trying to make your home into something someone else might approve of is what’s holding it back from being truly great — and truly ‘you’. So forget about what other people think and go with your gut.
When you become bothered by other people’s opinions or overly influenced by how your friends or neighbours have decorated their homes, you hamper your true style. If you want to hang Barbie dolls on your wall or vinyl LPs from the 1980s, do it! Your home should express your personality, not how you think it should look, based on others’ opinions.
Long hours at work and the siren call of the TV and sofa; thinking your lack of money means making changes is impossible; seeing your home as only temporary – all these attitudes will hold your place back. Taking the home you have currently and turning it into the home you want now and forever takes real effort.
It’s easy to litter the road to a great home with excuses and negative objections, but when you pull all the points in this article together, you can make a change! And it does not have to cost a great deal. Work with your home’s limitations, rather than feeling defeated by them, modify your fantasies and improvise a little and you can make your home more beautiful, interesting and personal right now.
Do you have other tips for tweaking your mindset to help your home? We’d love to hear them! Just add them to the Comments below.