Homes & Interiors
by Aspect County

So whilst this time last year I delved into How To Create a Happy & Healthy Home, I thought we’d take a look at some practical tips moving forward when it comes to updating our homes. You may even want to bookmark/pin to Pinterest so you can keep this as a reminder.

12 essential design tips to help update​your home

A good a place to start to give your home a refresh is to assess the amount of stuff you own. Reassessing your possessions can be good for your wellbeing not just your home. There’s something quite refreshing about clearing our shelves and cupboards don’t you think.
If you’re thinking of updating any part of your home, de-cluttering is a good place to start as any. It’ll provide you with the opportunity not only to get rid of unwanted/unloved possessions but also make you realise those impromptu purchases where you’ve maybe seen something in the sale and thought was a bargain, really wasn’t worth the time, money or effort.
Long Term Buying Goals: To ensure you don’t gather unwanted possessions in your homes in the future. Take time to research key pieces that you’ll love for your homes. Try buying artisan (handmade) pieces that will be cherished and have a makers story attached to them.

No matter how amazing a room looks, unless you’ve given due thought and consideration to your storage needs, it will bring stress and unhappiness. Something we knew too well before our bedroom makeover. 
Happy with your décor choices but feel overwhelmed with nowhere to put things? Having the correct storage fit for purpose in any part of the home will help with your wellbeing and keep those stress levels down.
Even the smallest storage solutions can be beneficial from somewhere to put your toothbrush to a permanent place to hang your keys. There are so many clever storage solutions today that there really isn’t anything that can’t be organised and/or stored.

If you’re going the whole hog and completely redesigning a room, you’ll need to put time and effort in to ensure you reap the rewards of your hard work. 
Planning is an essential part of the process. From ensuring your furniture will fit, to where you might need lighting as well as making sure that the room works as you intend it to.

Try experimenting with pattern and textures

Vincent Trading Mini Stool

Umbra Cubiko Wall Mirror

Brass stationery organiser

One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to decorating our homes is having the confidence to implement our décor choices. More often than not, we’ll fall in love with a bold wallpaper but when it comes to actually buying and papering our walls, we opt for a less conspicuous design and play it safe. You’ll be left with an okay space but not necessarily one you’ll love. And you’ll be thinking if only I had…!!

Decorating Goal: Try to be braver with your décor choices and go with your gut instinct otherwise, you might be left wanting.

Then there are the inescapable thoughts of what others may think that creep in as well as will it add long term value, should you ever decide to move. I say blah to bland boring homes, give me personality and character any day!

Decorating Goal: Decorate for the here and now and more importantly FOR YOU. Unless you’re going to move tomorrow, decorating your home to suit your needs and tastes now will pay off and, of course, make you happier with a home that you’ll love.

Mixing old books with new stem vases

Plushious Velvet Emerald Green Bedspread – The French Bedroom Company

Look for inspiration to see how others may have used a similar colour, pattern or paper. Pinterest and Instagram are your one-stop online places for the latest trends and colour inspirations.

Don’t restrict yourself to the web or magazines either. Inspiration for our homes can be found everywhere; from your favourite restaurant, hotel visit or perhaps boutique you’ve visited. Take a quick snap with your phone and you’ve got a reminder of what sparked joy in you.
Once you’ve built up a collection of what you love, you’ll be able to see what will work with your own personal style and tastes.

Looking to update your homes without breaking the bank? Think about changing up everyday objects. An example could be as simple as changing up the handles on a cupboard or drawer unit. They’ll not only add visual interest but will be a joy to use too!

We often fool ourselves into thinking we have to buy new when we are updating our homes. My advice is don’t! Every space benefits from introducing something old whether it be a standout piece of furniture that’s full of character or an object that you may have found in a thrift/charity shop. These one-off pieces will add character and make your homes more personable and unique. They’re often conversational pieces too. I often wonder about the pieces I’ve collected and create whimsical theories about where a decorative piece may have lived, who owned it and so on. They hold a little piece of history which new just can’t compete with.

This Art Deco Dancing Lady, a childhood favourite.

I love that there’s often a story attached to older decorative pieces no matter how small or large they are. They add interest and character that newer pieces cannot. Making your homes unique and personable.

If you like the look of an antique piece of furniture but it doesn’t necessarily fit in with your current style/scheme think about giving it a new lease of life with a lick of paint or why not découpage. Both Mel and Elle discovered unique furniture pieces for their bathrooms. This can be cheaper than buying new and adds the wow factor too.

Surprise yourself and save money at the same time. I agree that not all of us are born decorators or DIYer’s, myself included. That said, there is a great feeling of satisfaction of accomplishment in applying effort and time into contributing to your home’s décor. Whether that’s trying your hand at wallpapering or grabbing hold of the paintbrush, it really is rewarding to see your endeavours unfold. And let’s face it you’ll never know your capabilities unless you give it a go. It’s also cost effective and like us, you’ll save money for all those important accessories or longed for art.
Or maybe learn to do something new. At Sainsburys Home Christmas preview last summer, I was able to have a go at flower pressing for the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed the process as well as the end result. And my little flower press art now forms part of our bedroom décor, I’m that chuffed with my new found skill.

Unless you want your home to look like it has come straight out of a Next catalogue, try mixing up your rooms look by buying from different sources. It’s easy to see a look in a catalogue and think you have to buy everything to match. Just think if we all did this, our homes would all look the same and be devoid of our own personalities.

Books are brilliant for vignettes and coffee tables. They can add height, colour and texture to your homes. It’s a simple and cost-effective way to introduce colour, different levels of height as well as being able to show off your favourite books.

Life can be like a bat out of hell crazy most of the time don’t you think? Whether it’s being your kid’s taxi service, working all hours or trying to keep a grip on your ever-growing to-do lists, life can be pretty hectic. It’s easy to get bogged down with day to day life. It’s good to remind ourselves to smile and take stock. Adding something quirky into your décor will brighten up your day no end!

12. Slow decorating…

More often than not, when we start to redecorate/redesign a space, we have the view that we have to finalise every single detail. Personally, I don’t think a room is ever finished. As long as you have set the right foundations to creating a room you’ll love, you can take your time to add the finer details. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day and, for me, I love the hunt for a particular missing piece. It’s also immensely rewarding when you come across an unexpected decorative find.

I hope that you’ve found today’s post helpful for this years projects that you may have on your agenda. And please feel free to drop me a line either in the comments box below or the contact form in the side bar.

Have a wonderful month! And thanks for stopping by! 

Written by Maria Jones The Interior Editor.