Subtle Ways to Add Some Sparkle into Your Home
I don’t know about you, but in my rare moments of peace, I find myself endlessly scrolling through Instagram, staring wistfully at the gorgeous shots of people’s interior design. They’re all so beautiful, so tidy, so clean. And almost all of them must be child-free and pet-free. Why? Because their beautiful set-ups wouldn’t last ten minutes in my home. Candlesticks would become sword slash lightsabre replacements. Hand-knitted throws would replace capes. Cushions used as den fortification.
And don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing. But every now and again, I wish I could inject a bit of that sparkle into my life. So, I started playing around with subtle changes I could make, that wouldn’t spark off any new games, or become a prop in existing ones. Once you know what style you want in your home (and if you don’t, check out my article on the subject), it’s just a case of finding subtle ways to enhance it.
Yes, it’s that old estate agent trick. Mirrors really do make your home look bigger and lighter. Horizontal mirrors on the wall add a gorgeous touch of class to any room. And if you can find ones with quirky, chic, eclectic frames, you can pass it off as a piece of art too. While you might not want to go for huge mirrors that sit on the floor, there are plenty of other types that will make a statement too. Secured well enough, mirrors shouldn’t cause a problem for little prying hands or inquisitive fingers. And if you don’t want to risk it? Go for wall-mounted ones, and face them opposite windows, to get enhance the most amount of light. You can find more clever ideas here: http://www.countryliving.co.uk/homes-interiors/interiors/how-to/a854/how-to-use-mirrors-to-make-home-bigger-brighter/.
Now, this might seem like an odd one. But until you change them, you won’t realise how much of an impact radiators have on your home. It’s time to forget the boring, 70s-styled radiators of our youth, and experiment with different shapes and shades. I love browsing through sites like http://www.onlyradiators.co.uk/radiators/vertical-radiators to give me a taste of the ways radiators could spice up our rooms. I love the look of vertical radiators. They’re different enough to stand out, but still do the job they’re meant for.
This might be an avenue you’ve already explored, but nothing says ‘home’ like the lighting you use. Splurge out on gorgeous lampshades and arty attachments to really give your home that quirky, cosy feeling. And the world of lampshades is more complex than you might think. Luckily there’s an awesome guide at www.housebeautiful.com to help you choose the right one.
If lampshades aren’t your thing, fear not. There’s loads of other ways to use lighting to improve your home. From fairy lights to colour-changing bulbs, the possibilities are endless.
My gorgeous, old oak coffee table got the boot once the kids arrived. The corners were too sharp to risk little people falling on them, and the surface too grand to survive sticky hands and spilt drinks. So, it’s enjoying its retirement at a friend’s place. To replace it, however, I bought a few solid poufs. Still covered in gorgeous fabrics and different prints, these are too hefty to move around, yet are safe enough for the children to fall on and run around. You can buy a whole load of different covers, so stock up, and swap them around when you’re in need of a change. It doesn’t take long and it’s not a groundbreaking renovation – but it’s enough to keep your rooms fresh, and your thirst for interior design quenched.
Similarly, buying furniture with removable covers is a fab way to keep your style on trend. You don’t need to spend a fortune on the latest pieces. And nor do you need to sit down and weep when a precious glass of red, or a bowl of spag-bol gets emptied out over the sofa. Simply pick out a new material, print or design, and get zipping. This doesn’t just go for sofas. You could do this for your chairs and your cushions too. Plus, if you fancy getting crafty, you can have a go at upcycling – it’s a fab way to get the kids involved too. If you’ve never tried it before, I live by the guides at http://www.housebeautiful.co.uk/renovate/upcycle/how-to/.
While you can’t adorn your solid oak coffee tables in candles and precious ornaments, there’s so much you can do – it’s just a case of being inventive and creative. I’d love to hear about any of your child-friendly, Instagram-worthy DIY ideas too!