Welcome to the Style My Space July feature.
I can’t believe that we are already halfway through the year. I’ve always held that after June, the year is in sprint mode. You still have 6 months to plan; work on and; attain your goals.
So, you feel more exhausted and moody at home than you do at work? It may be because you love your job so much and hate going home OR because you’re absolutely bored of what you’ve done with the space between your four walls. It’s usually the second reason, unless of course you’re one of the 13% of people worldwide who love what they do. In case it is the second reason, I’m here to help. So many friends share with me that they’d like to change their space but they don’t have the financial means to do so. I always ask them how much they have and usually it’s in the region of R1000-R5000. So this feature will focus on how to change a space using that budget, but first, overall tips. Their frustration is based on the fact that they know that they cannot buy major furniture pieces with that or even change the pieces they currently have.
Here is my advice to most of my friends:
- Have some type of theme or colour scheme in your home. Using a subtle colour scheme such as neutrals means you can build on that color scheme in future. It’s like basic underwear, everyone needs flesh coloured underwear from time to time. It is the building block of a lot of pieces we wish to wear. It may seem boring, but greys, whites, taupes, beiges etc. are safe colours for long lasting design schemes. Should the day arise when you are absolutely bored with your room, you can spend money on accent pieces, for example changing your curtains and cushions but keeping the couch the same.
- Be functional – sell the least functional pieces and use that money to buy pieces you will actually make use of. Ask yourself “what is nice to have and what is a must have?” A basic lounge needs a couch; a coffee table and a television. Those are it’s building blocks. By selling the numerous ottomans you have, you may be able to buy a chair that will in fact support your back. If you do not have a television, do you really need a television stand or are you just on the market for more storage for your books and some of your homeware?
- Stop buying the same colour pieces especially in brown. Please. Stop. Variety, as in life, is integral to peace of mind and rejuvenation. Have you ever come across a man dressed in a full white leather suit? Or a black one? Or, all fears being realized, an orange one? It’s annoying right. That’s how your home looks. Like an oompa loompa. Stop immediately. Play with colour. And if you’re really afraid to, perhaps a Google search can assist. Try: “decorating a brown, leather couch” or “complementing green wall paint” and feast your eyes.
- Spend on the big pieces and save on the accessories. You don’t need expensive cushions unless you are a person who appreciates custom 60x60cm cushions and higher end fabrics. Instead of spending R1000 on a cushion, use that money to invest in a sturdy coffee table; or a good mattress; or a thick cushioned couch. Invest in good curtains that can be washed at home. If you are not willing to take your jacket to the cleaners, don’t buy materials that need to be dry cleaned.
- Protect your investment. And when you do buy big pieces, protect them before you need to replace them. Have your couches; mattresses; curtains etc. stain proofed and treated for any naughty insect infestations. You may think that this is an unnecessary cost and you’ll be very careful to avoid stains, but how many times have you spilled something on your car seat or had some droplets splashed onto your shirt or jeans? Now imagine if you had only one set of clothes and they accumulated dirt over years. Yes, of course you could have them cleaned but with time their colour will fade and some stains won’t come out. Protection and Maintenance are key. Be wise.
- Play with your walls. Add wallpaper or if that’s too expensive, buy two boxes of decorative tiles and do a cool tile design on your wall as a focal point; add some wood to your wall (use palettes or real wood paneling in order to mount your tv as opposed to using your wall). What about adding floating shelves? Do you think it’s a coincidence that everyone aims to be able to float first rather than being an Olympic swimmer. Floating is just cool. At all times. What about a memory wall with a theme, maybe Black and White images in white frames. You could also look at stenciling your wall to save on wallpaper costs. You could also paint your walls in different colours for variation. I would suggest keeping your paint neutral or in blush (blush pinks; baby blues etc.) tones on your walls so your space doesn’t become trendy and in need of constant refreshments.
- Use quality workmanship or spend countless hours on YouTube learning how to DIY. Of course there are things you can fit personally or learn how to do yourself, but many don’t have the time so rather use quality people for the job. By using just anyone for the job, you could destroy not only the structure of your home and then need to spend a hefty amount trying to rectify the issue.
- Use lighting and mirrors to enhance the mood in your space. Add some lamps; candles; wall lights or; something like pendant lights to a space. Your space will be warmer and more intimate. By adding some mirrors, you can make your space appear bigger than it actually is.
Look out for the next few posts on styling a space on a budget.