by Trudi Jones & Wendy White, Trudi Jones Interiors –
The New Year is a great time for resolutions – this might well include freshening up your home. Small changes can really make a difference to the overall functionality and enjoyment of your space.
Start by taking a visual inventory of your space and the items in it. Currently many people are moving toward a simplified lifestyle, including “editing out” items no longer serving a purpose, be that functional or aesthetic. Less can be more in terms of flow through spaces and the feeling of expanding the space.
Remove items that no longer serve the purpose or you can do without. Identify several key items that you want to highlight – perhaps a piece of furniture that may have sentimental, functional or visual value. This can be the catalyst for your refresh/redesign project.
Choose large items you want to keep first, moving your way through to smaller accent pieces. Begin adding these items back into the space, thinking – “how can I create a lovely little ‘vignette’ or a picture, a place that the eye can rest and find interest in, grounding the eye and enabling positive user experience.”
Examples of this might be placing a pair of wing-backed chairs before the fireplace, or creating a cozy conversation area, setting sofa, loveseat, chairs and coffee table within easy talking distance. Place a comfortable lounge chair by the window to sit in the sun, watch the birds or read on a cool winter day.
Now might be the time to think about refreshing paint colours. Notice the direction the windows are facing. A true north-facing room will not have sunlight coming in, so a warmer tone of paint may be used than in a south-facing room. A feature wall using a more saturated colour than the other walls can serve as a focal point for the space.
Lighting is of paramount importance in defining and creating functionality in a space. Think of layering lighting, using ambient or general lighting, but don’t stop there. You also want to make sure your task lighting is doing its job and placed in the right location for reading, hobby activities, cooking etc. Also think of accent or feature lighting such as chandeliers and LED strip lighting.
Consider LED replacement bulbs. Contrary to popular belief that LED lighting is cold and blue, they now come in a number of “colour temperatures,” which means that an LED can simulate the warmer glow that we are familiar with in the old incandescent bulbs. Also, a great thing is that once they have been replaced they should last approximately 25 years (based on three hours of use per day)!
Now for the smaller items – this is where you can really have fun with texture and colour! Change out toss cushions, throws, lampshades, area rugs, artwork and ornaments seasonally. I like to remove many of my area rugs during the summer to feel the cool wood on my feet and make it easier for cleaning with pets but in the winter I love those carpets!
Lastly, think about adding some greenery; a touch seems to soften the space. Careful not to overdo it and aim for low maintenance plants.
Often just adding the right accessories, cushions, area rugs, artwork etc. can make all the difference. Lighting and colour plays a big part in creating that flow and cohesiveness in the home.
For more information, visit www.trudijones.ca.