At this time of year, the outside light can be very flat and grey and sunny days can be few and far between. We’re all tending to spend more time indoors, so inject a little colour and freshness into a tired interior with one of these easy ideas.
1. Natural light
When there’s so little light outside, you need to make the most of what there is! Start off by cleaning your windows, inside and out. If you haven’t tackled that job since last summer, you’ll be amazed at the difference.
Next, take a critical look at your curtains or blinds. Are they looking tired or worn, or are they blocking out that precious natural light? Send tired fabrics off for dry cleaning, so when they come back they look sharp and fresh again – it can make a huge difference to the room.
If you don’t have them already, install tie-backs so you can push curtains well back out the way of the window. Positioning a large mirror opposite the window will help to reflect natural light back into the room.
It’s certainly been too cold to have windows open in the last few months, and most of us will have had our central heating on a lot as well. Rooms closed up over the winter can get stale and stuffy, so restore a fresh scent to the room.
A quick squirt of Febreze on sofas and armchairs can work wonders. Wash cushion covers where possible.
Rub a tiny drop of essential oil onto the bottom underneath of radiators – when you turning on, the warmth will release the fragrance. (Don’t use more than a tiny smear, you don’t want marks on the carpet!). Use a citrus fragrance for an instant energy lift. Scented candles are another easy way to introduce a fresh scent – the more expensive ones are really worth the money, as they have a longer burn time and a much stronger fragrance.
New cushion covers are a cheap and easy way to change the whole look of a room. Choose bold, jewel-like colours or fresh shades of yellow and gold. Keep your old covers as well, and you can change or mix the look whenever you feel like it.
Other ‘easy fixes’ included throws, cheap cotton rugs, new towels and lampshades. A new shower curtain in a bathroom will give a completely different look to the room, and something as simple as replacing old knobs on doors and drawers can bring inspiration.
4. Bring the outside in
It’s too cold to go outside – but that’s no reason you can’t invite a little of the outside in. Green plants create a soothing focal point on a window sill, and even if your fingers aren’t remotely green you’ll be able to coax a few indoor flowering bulbs in pots to make a show.
Dried and silk flowers look lovely when newly arranged, but tend to harbour dust and cobwebs over time. Clean silk flowers by vacuuming them on a low setting – stretch a pair of tights over the end of the nozzle to make the action more gentle. Dried flowers need periodic replacement, so it could be time to bin them and fill vases with fresh spring flowers instead.
5. Change your artwork
Don’t be afraid to mix it up on the walls, as well! Invest in some new picture frames, and swap the contents when you feel like a different look. Change photos over regularly to inspire different memories, or create a ‘memory board’ with concert tickets, a theatre program, photos and scraps of fabric – it will lift your mood every time you see it.
Finally, remember spring is on its way!