A selection of shapely vases and seasonal flowers are always a welcome sight.
There are many ways to freshen up your home without going all out with a major renovation. Perhaps it's the weather that is making your rooms feel tired or boring, which can happen when we spend more time inside. Seasonal, festive decorations are down, and somehow everyone's energy droops a little. Now is the time to make a few changes that will add new zest to your surroundings. Take a look at the three spaces that have the most impact on your mood - the entranceway, the family/living room and the bedroom. Here are some inspiring ideas that are guaranteed to juice things up.
Uplift your entrance. Walking in the front door should put a smile on your face. If you are faced with a jumble of shoes, bags and jackets, it's time to reorganize. Look for a unit that has compartments to slip in footwear and baskets for gloves and scarfs. Depending on the space available, the unit can run long and low or vertical, but low is best. If there is no hall closet, then wall hooks work well, often better than a coat rack, which gets overfull and then falls over. (Been there.) A small chair or bench is a comfortable addition, especially in the winter. More storage space is available under a bench. Hang a mirror to increase the feeling of space and reflect light. I like to place a piece of art in the hallway; it can be a picture or sculpture that gives me a moment's pause and refreshes the spirit.
The staircase is part of the entrance hall, also seen as soon as you enter. Create some interest here by setting up an inviting selection of flowers, a collection of bottles or pottery, or framed photos. This should be changed up every few months to relate to the season, and will keep the whole area feeling up-to-date. Small details make a huge difference.
Fit for the family. The family or living room is a high-traffic area. It might double as a play room too, so you have many different age groups and interests to consider. Shifting angles and focal points makes a big impact. Start by moving the furniture around. Reposition the couch, map out an alternate division for play, and if the room feels cramped, edit down to the basics. Revive old furniture with slip covers, and if the pieces are good quality, it's worth spending money to reupholster and even rebuild arms and legs to update the look. Area carpets are art on the floor, and the selection on any budget is vast. This is a perfect place to add a blast of color, a stylish motif or simply a neutral base that makes the room cozier. Also check your lighting. A new lamp or some dimmable spots in the ceiling allow you to adjust to different activities and moods.
Sleepytime bedrooms. Here's the most personal of rooms where we start and end the day. Think about color and how it affects you. My favorite bedroom is painted the palest blue with white trim and a fluffy white duvet. It's timeless and peaceful. You may relate more to a dramatic color scheme of deep reds and tapestry patterns. Update quickly with a change of linens, a new spread, blanket or duvet. A fresh coat of paint, even on one wall, produces a new mood. A modern bedside table lamp is practical and pleasing to the eye. And choose artwork that evokes happy thoughts.
Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Debbie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/debbie_travis, and visit Debbie's new website, www.debbietravis.com.