After what has been the most miserable spring known to man, we finally expect milder (and more importantly, drier) weather until June – at least that’s what meteorologists say.
With indoor socializing back on the cards, you may be considering making some changes to your home to give it new life for the summer. After all, if you’ve spent the last year working and living there, you probably fancy a reset.
But without spending loads on major renovations, how can you give your interiors an upgrade? We asked interior designers and interior stylists for their best advice.
1. Switch to light textiles
If your home is full of dark, heavy textiles (like that thick gray fleece blanket strewn across your sofa), it might be time to invest in lighter textiles.
“You can do this by swapping out your throws, cushions and bed linens for a lighter, cooler fabric, like linen or bamboo,” says Katie Thomas, founder of interior design company KTM Design. She also recommends replacing heavy winter curtains with sheer curtains to “let in light and allow air to circulate.”
2. Bring natural pieces
Switching up home accessories is a cheap and cheerful way to bring some novelty – and those much-needed summer vibes – to your home. Thomas recommends opting for accessories made from natural materials such as wicker, rattan, linen, jute and light wood.
3. The mess with mirrors
Mirrors are a great way to make rooms brighter, especially if they’re placed in the right places, says Sarah-Jayne Garman, interior designer and founder of Revamp. “If your bedroom doesn’t have a mirror, put one on the wall. “
For more light, hang your mirror directly in front of the window, says Garman – “the room will feel a lot bigger and spacious if you do!” Or, she says, if you have a console in the hallway, add a mirror above it. For a little creativity, group several mirrors on the same wall.
4. Freshen things up with flowers and plants
Another inexpensive option to brighten up your home is to bring flowers and plants. “Vases filled with summer flowers will enhance a room and fill it with a pleasant scent,” explains Rebecca Dupere of Dupere Design. “And if you prefer to leave the flowers where they are outside, silk flowers are a good eco-friendly substitute.”
5. Update your door handles
One way to give new life to old furniture – like kitchen cabinets, old built-in cupboards, and dressers – is to replace the handles on them.
“Use light-colored materials that go well with bright summer days and nights,” advises Marc Husband, Product Design Manager at Leader Doors. “Don’t be afraid to play with materials that remind you of your favorite summer spots, for example rocks and seashells from the beach.”
Don’t have handles to replace? Instead, try replacing hardware like white plastic outlets and switches with more trendy brass or black versions.
6. Hang your photos
If you have a stack of framed prints that have become dusty, now is the time to hang them – products like Command Strips can be useful for hanging artwork if you live in rented accommodation.
British designer Benjii Lewis loves a gallery wall with a vibrant backdrop. “An assortment of artwork in a variety of mediums works brilliantly on an accent wall,” says Lewis, founder of Zoom That Room.
When planning your gallery wall, lay out the items you want to hang on the floor and figure out what works best in which location. If the frames don’t match, it doesn’t matter, adds the designer. “Consider mixing an old oil painting with a pair of contemporary prints, a set of watercolors and a textile,” he advises.
7. Turn it on
Lighting can be a fairly inexpensive way to brighten up a room – just changing out a ceiling light or shade can make a huge difference.
“Select light shades with patterns such as pastel tones, natural materials (rattan, bamboo) and tropical patterns,” says Jamie Moxey, design consultant at Dusk Lighting. “Attaching shades to compatible ceiling lights can help change the mood of the room, especially when complemented with matching accessories such as a pastel plaid or a decorative wooden bowl for the coffee table. “
For the outdoors, invest in string lights to instantly give your garden that festival feel.
8. Move your furniture
The cheapest advice of all is to just work with what you have. Athina Bluff, Founder of Topology Interiors, explains: “A small change in the position of furniture can have a huge impact on how you use and enjoy space.
If you haven’t already, she recommends moving your furniture away from the walls. “We tend to put everything against a wall, but sometimes creating a flow of movement around a sofa in the center of a room can transform a space,” she says.
9. Play with color
Whether it’s painting a wall, old furniture, or home accessories that need a new lease of life, experimenting with color can bring a “fresh but bold approach” to your interiors, says designer Benjii Lewis. He recommends a bold choice of mixing pistachio with a soft pink, turquoise, lilac and yellow sherbet.
“The trick with a pastel color palette is to work on the color tones and not be afraid to include a little conflict here and there – soft red works brilliantly with dusty pink for example,” he says. . “For the less daring, use pastel colors as accents only – pair a gray room with interesting textures, then accessorize it with teal cushions or add a lavender velvet armchair.
10. Change those curtains (and cushions)
Replacing cushions and / or curtains is a great way to update a room that you are tired of looking at. Adele Shotton-Pugh, interior designer at Terrys, says curtains can change the mood of a space, especially if you introduce a color or pattern. “By modifying your window treatments, you are able to inject personality into a room, without having to overhaul the entire decor – and therefore blow the budget,” she says.
Her advice is to look for patterns that complement the existing decor, while also choosing something new that will have an impact. “Floral and botanical prints are having a real moment in the interior world right now and are sure to completely change the vibe of your space,” she says.
11. Try self-adhesive floor coverings
If the tiles in your bathroom or kitchen look a bit drab, Shotton-Pugh gives a nod to stores like Homebase and B&Q, which carry a huge selection of self-adhesive floor tiles – they’re in. both inexpensive and easy to use.
“By simply peeling off and sticking on, you can completely transform the look of a space without having to break the budget or do a mess,” she says.
Clutter can make a room feel small, so spend time cleaning your kitchen countertops and decluttering your home. Jenna Choate and Mariana Ugarte, co-founders of Interior Fox, recommend putting away used cutting boards, tired utensils and too many cookbooks. Instead, they advise placing a few selected cookbooks and adding a vase of your favorite foliage.
Melissa Bodie, co-founder of Melissa + Miller Interiors, suggests neatly organizing items throughout your home. “One of the best ways to feel fresh about your home is by modifying – like donating – your items. Try to have an editorial eye when it comes to removing parts. If that doesn’t make you happy, it’s time to give it to someone they will.
13. Refresh your grouting
Moldy or discolored grout instantly gives a room an unclean look. If yours is in bad shape, Dave Gordon, managing director and DIY expert at SGS Engineering, recommends investing in a grout pen (these only cost around £ 5).
“Scrub your existing grout with a warm cloth and a little washing up liquid,” he says. “Wipe down the tiles and make sure everything is dry. Apply your grout pen – take your time. If you make a mistake, wipe it up quickly. Apply two coats if necessary.