It’s the new year and time to have a look at our homes with fresh eyes. Yes, there are probably lots of things you have around your home you don’t even notice any more and it’s easy to ignore those ‘not-quite-right’ aspects of our abodes when we look at them day in and day out. However, I would encourage you to really be objective and look around – are you making any one of these mistakes that you can be sure your guests WILL notice if they come for a visit?
It’s time to get tough on design and resolve to eradicate these things from your home this year – I promise you won’t miss them!
The Too-Short Curtains
Ahh yes, well, it’s an easy mistake to make buying curtains that only hit the windowsill. They are also cheaper than their floor-sweeping alternatives but guess what? They are making your ceilings look lower and your walls look shorter. It’s time to get rid of them once and for all and ban them from your space. You should always hang your curtain poles from 3-5″ from the ceiling to give your space a much larger look and those curtains should go all the way to the floor (either just “kissing” the floor or with a 1″ break – no more!). If there’s a situation where you are unable to hang long curtains, perhaps due to a radiator or a bay window, consider roman blinds which look so much more stylish or in the case of a bay window, consider shutters.
The Cluttered Coffee Table
If your coffee table becomes a depository for remote controls, old post, stacks of cheap magazines or the kid’s toys, it’s time to get tough. Find storage solutions for all these items and tidy it up to make it a part of your decor. Consider using a nice tray, a few books, sculptural objects and either plants or flowers to freshen up the whole look. For tips on coffee table styling, check out our post on stylish coffee table accessories and our post on styling tips.
The Uncomfortable Seat
Why are you still hanging on to that chair that no one likes to sit in? If it’s in need of new upholstery, get that booked and take care of it and or if it’s that far gone, consider donating it to a charity and finding something that’s both comfy AND stylish to take it’s place. Life is too short to sit in a chair that hurts your back.
There is nothing that can ruin a lovely home more than lighting that is either too stark and bright, in the wrong place or is the wrong scale. For overhead lights, try going a little oversized rather than too small – the play on scale has the capacity to make a space seem bigger than it is. Install a dimmer switch to be able to create a little ambiance. Ensure there is additional lighting in the room as well – table lamps will create little pools of light that are so much calmer than ambient light and if you have a spot where you either read or work, make sure your lighting is up to the task.
All Those Visible Wires
Sure, you might not see all the wires coming from your wall hung television or the mass of wires that are clearly visible coming from your PlayStation but everyone else can. Hide the wires within the walls (a carpenter can do this for you) or purchase a trunking kit that lays flat against the wall and paint it the same colour as the walls. For loose wires, consider grouping them together neatly with wire ties and mounting them against the furniture that sits in front of it so you can’t see them or using a box (with holes to keep it vented) to corral all the plugs and wires into one tidy storage solution.
The Unfinished Projects
Yes, we all start off with great intentions. That vintage sideboard would look great when it’s finally refurbished to it’s original glory and we’ll eventually get around to fixing that loose door handle and at some point, we’ll finish painting the second bedroom and organising the linen closet. But if the project hasn’t been touched in a year, it’s time to make some decisions. Either get rid of it, sort it out, fix it or get someone in who can finish the job for you. There’s no time like the present and you’ll feel so satisfied when it’s finally taken care of.
The Misplaced Artwork
Sure, you meant to make that single lone tiny picture above your couch a gallery wall but you just haven’t gotten around to buying more frames. Or you hung the landscape above your bed but it’s way too high and looks a little weird. Or you purchased that print because you thought it would pick up the colours in your hallway and only too late realised it was all wrong for the space. Well, it’s time to correct your mistakes. Artwork should normally be hung at eye level (1.5 metres above the floor) but above a sofa, it needs to hang roughly 6-8″ so it’s a little lower. It also needs to be either large enough to command the wall it’s on or be grouped with others for it to not look lost. Don’t settle for having artwork that simply doesn’t work. Have a look online (Society6 and Art.co.uk have lots of great pieces for less and there are plenty of other websites with affordable originals) and resolve to replace those misplaced pieces once and for all. Check out our post on incorporating art in your home here for some top tips on getting it right.
Ahhh, feels better doesn’t it? What are you getting rid of in your home this year?