Right then, now what..?
Christmas is by far and away my favourite time of the year !!! Everything seems friendlier, warmer and cosier. Houses are beautifully decorated and welcoming. Folks are full of the Christmas spirit – and not only the type that comes from a bottle! Then there’s New Year, and a feeling of hope and optimism, no matter how much more talk of Brussels we’re subjected to (and I don’t mean the sprouts!). And then there’s . . . well not much really. A bit of an anticlimax. Twelfth night duly arrives, down come the decorations and the house looks barer than ever. It can even look a bit tatty. Perhaps it was like that before Christmas and we just didn’t notice. We’re all spent out so a major facelift is out of the question.
Well worry not; you don’t have to have the resources of a chancellor about to pay a Brexit bill to give your home a new lease of life. A little really can go a long way. Take the living room for example. If your walls are currently painted you’d be amazed at how much fresher the room will look if you just give them another coat or two of paint – even if it’s the same colour. But while you’re at it why not change the colour? It could either be a dramatic alteration, giving the room a complete change of direction, or a variation of your current colour, making the room feel warmer and cosier if you choose to go stronger, or crisper and smarter if you opt for a lighter shade. I know I’ve been bigging up The Little Greene Paint Company a lot lately, but not without good reason. Not only is their paint splendidly easy and economical to use, having up to 40% more pigment than its rivals therefore giving a better coverage and richer result, but the selection of available colours is truly superb.
But why stop at a coat of paint? Wallpaper is continuing to make a big comeback – if indeed it ever really went away. As I’ve mentioned over the past months, there are some wonderful papers to be had at the moment. And I’m not only talking about the dramatic and bold papers for the feature wall, although of course these still continue to Wow us with their ever increasing ingenuity, making full use of rich pattern and colour, along with special materials such as metals, beads of fine glass, and even Swarovski crystals. Wallcovering manufacturers are definitely catching on that not everyone wants a feature wall, and that not every room can take a large pattern.
We are seeing more and more in the way of subtle patterns, soft stripes and textures – loads of lovely textures! With brand new collections in from Brian Yates, Romo and Zoffany to name just a few, you can really treat all four walls to something special. Whether it’s a soft metallic, a delicate texture, a small design or a fabric effect, there really is a plethora of gorgeousness to choose from.
There are of course many other ways to refresh your home without spending a fortune. The humble cushion is often overlooked, but can become a little hero when it comes to adding pizzazz. You may have found a fabulous fabric that you’d love to have as curtains but can’t stretch to right now. It only needs a couple of metres to make four scatter cushions to throw on the sofa or bed. Failing that, you can liven up your living room or bedroom by adding scatter cushions in a stunning plain or textured fabric, and teaming them up with co-ordinating accessories such as lamps or vases. Generally speaking the smaller the item, the more intense the colour can be without upsetting the balance of a room.
New bed linen can often do the trick in a bedroom, as can a change of bedside lamps or even just lampshades. A tired carpet or a bare wood floor will almost certainly be enhanced by a rug, or possibly two. Wool Classics’ Sensus collection offers a wonderful range, from exquisitely soft viscose piles, to some of the deepest and most luxurious shaggy rugs we’ve seen.
Or why not refresh your bathroom and give it a whole new feel with something as simple as a change of colour in the towels.
All of these are small changes that can make a big difference, so no excuses – the economic outlook may be somewhat dreary, but our homes don’t have to be.
John Biddell, John Charles Interiors
Live 24 7 magazine editorial - January 2019