Most people have a clear mental image of their dream home, but such idyllic properties usually have hefty price tags and for many of us, they remain a pipe dream. However, with a little imagination and creativity, it’s possible to create your dream space by making the best of the home you do have.
Yellow is the most uplifting, upbeat color associated with happiness, coziness, and warmth, and it’s known to stimulate creativity. It’s an especially good color for kitchens.
It’s easy to feel discouraged when our dreams and reality seem to be driven further and further apart by a dwindling economy and spiraling cost of living, but if you can’t afford the home you’d love, it’s possible to love the home you’re in.
Regardless of whether it’s a small apartment or rambling house, our homes are an extension of who we are, and while we may not be able to achieve the perfection we yearn for, we can transform them into warm, welcoming, and comfortable havens.
The first step to creating a peaceful haven is to declutter and reclaim your space, then take a good look around with fresh eyes and evaluate each room. What is it used for, what is its ambiance, what do you like about it and what would you change?
Even if you are on a tight budget, she says it’s possible to completely transform a room through the use of color, changing fittings and finishes and adding elements like plants.
“But if you do want to make bigger changes, then work around the sales as this will save a huge amount of money, particularly if you’re buying new kitchen or bathroom items, or larger pieces of furniture.”
And before you rip out all the carpets, get them professionally cleaned as this can make an amazing difference to the color and condition of older carpets.
Don’t rely solely on overhead lights to illuminate a room. Depending on the size of the space, try and add a mix of table and floor lighting to add depth, warmth and atmosphere.
Studies have shown that color not only affects our moods and energy levels, but it can change body temperature and appetite, so it’s important to choose carefully.
Yellow is the most uplifting, upbeat color associated with happiness, coziness, and warmth, and it’s known to stimulate creativity. It’s an especially good color for kitchens, bathrooms and children’s bedrooms.
Green, on the other hand, is the color of renewal, fresh energy, and regeneration. It’s also a calming color as it mimics nature and links the interiors to the outdoors. In its softer forms, green is a soothing shade that aids concentration and relaxation while bolder greens can have a galvanizing effect.
Blue is a calming, serene color, and it’s said to bring down blood pressure, slow respiration and heart rate which is why it’s often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms. If you’re worried about the room being cold, choose a shade with a warm undertone like lavender and lilac.
Pink in its lighter hues is gentle and soothing, and the darker pinks are more vibrant and inspirational. It’s also the color of romance and sensuality. But be aware that darker pinks are better for rooms with large windows as they can make a space seem smaller.
Give any space a pleasant fragrance with bowls of potpourri, scented oil diffusers, incense or solid air fresheners.
Red is a bold color full of passion, energy optimism and courage, which has been known to increase the heart rate and induce emotion. Used in living areas, it will make a room feel more opulent and create the perception of warmth. If you’re nervous about using such a dramatic color, use it on just one feature wall.
Brown is the color of strength, grounding, and stability, and is associated with comforting and delicious delights like rich dark chocolate and gourmet coffee. However, rather than incorporating it through paint, it’s best introduced into a room in a natural form like wood.
In terms of space and color, another option is to use a clear palate and add color through accessories like art, scatter cushions and flowers. Pure white, light cream, and light grey are peaceful minimalistic hues that totally infuse the home with one flowing energy that is soft and serene.
Lighting is important to the ambiance of a space and if a room is lit the right way it feels relaxed and comfortable, and even looks its best.
Don’t rely solely on overhead lights to illuminate a room. Depending on the size of the space, try and add a mix of table and floor lighting to add depth, warmth, and atmosphere.
And dimmers are essential for multi-purpose rooms as they allow for flexibility depending on the time of day, event or mood, and they're a great energy saver.
Plants are an important element when creating a restorative home. Not only is it a way of bringing nature into your home, it also helps to clean and re-oxygenate the indoor air.
Fluorescent lighting should be avoided at all costs as it makes everything look off color and can lead to fatigued eyes.
During the day, natural sunlight does wonders to lift one’s spirits so be sure to keep shades pulled up and curtains open, even on cloudy days.
We are often so distracted by the way a room looks that we don’t give any thought to how it smells. Scent, however, has the power to uplift or put a dampener on our moods so the way a room smells is just as important as its appearance.
Give any space a pleasant fragrance with bowls of potpourri, scented oil diffusers, incense or solid air fresheners. Lavender, rose, and vanilla are especially relaxing scents. Once you think of scent as a must-have accessory for your home, you’ll be hooked trying out different combinations.
And for an instant, and totally free, air refresh, make sure you open your doors and windows for even just a few minutes each day, especially if you have a flower-filled garden.
Plants are an important element when creating a restorative home. Not only is it a way of bringing nature into your home, it also helps to clean and re-oxygenate the indoor air. And even if you don’t normally notice a plant’s presence, seeing them can subconsciously make us feel calmer and more relaxed.
Remember that less is usually more, so rid yourself of the clutter, get a sense of space into your dimension with clean lines and clear spaces.Of course, the best addition to any home is the sound of happy laughter and the soothing tones of our loved one’s voices, so regularly fill your home with your favorite people and add the enticing aromas of their best-loved dishes, cooked with love in your new-look kitchen.