Coastal Chuckle

Summer will soon be upon us and the trend emerging is a nautical theme, but with a quirky sense of humour.  It’s not just about scenes featuring coastal views or boats bobbing about on the ocean, nor is it coastal colours.  It’s about the accessories and furniture, to give a room that extra bit of oomph and to add a touch of joviality.

Little wooden lighthouses, beach hut lights, port and starboard lanterns, anchors away all feature among the designs in the shops, all with a little quirky twist.  Furniture gets the hand-painted look, old bedroom furniture can be given an overhaul with a lick of paint and then sanded down for a rustic look.  If you want to buy new wardrobes, think along the lines of driftwood and choose a finish reflecting this, room4interiors has a coastal range to inspire you.

Chairs feature nautical stripes and many throws and cushions depict anchors and sail boats in blues, reds and whites.  If there is one thing you buy for your home this summer, make it cheeky and fun and imagine you’re by the sea.

Colour Bold

The secret to achieving a nice room and turning it into a great room is by using colour that complements the room and brings an added element to your lifestyle.  There are some vivid changes you can make with just a little decorating knowledge.

Nearly every decorating programme or home make-over show talk about feature walls, nearly everyone is aware of this phenomenon.  For instance, in the bedroom the feature wall could be behind the bed and the bedding incorporating on the key colours of the wall.  It’s not just feature walls that can create impact in the bedroom; bold bedroom furniture can give an instant lift to tired decor.

You can make the whole room striking from the beginning.   If your style is more classic than modern, a great colour would be olive green, although you de need to stay away from overly yellow greens as this can make the space look dull.  The best way to find the perfect colour for your room, is to make use of paint samples, ensure you are generous with painting blocks of colours.  You will need to view the colour at differing times of the day to ensure, it still looks good with varying light conditions.  Once you’ve chosen your colour, make sure you paint your woodwork white and if you can get white with a hint of lime, it will only add to the striking effect of your room.

You can also create a spectacular room with the use of darker tones. An important aspect is not to drown the room in a solid dark colour but to counterbalance it with crisp white woodwork or white gloss wardrobes if in a bedroom, this all helps to break up the darkness.

A little know-how can create a wonderful home for you and your family, with outstanding contrasts and brave statement decor which will give the edge to any room, giving your home the wow factor.

Colour Your Way

If your walls are of a neutral tone, then it is time to add a splash of colour to your home.  The trend for this year is bright, bright, bright, too much to handle, not to worry, this year there are soft pastels with modern overtones, still bringing in the colour but with a more muted effect.  You can even blend the bright and muted with patterns.  Pattern is really big this year, from tribal prints to eclectic mismatch fabric patterns, seen adorning upholstered armchairs’ and pouffe’s.

As mentioned in previous posts, the colour can come from contemporary art, even art of your own making, this colour trend screams individuality.  Gone are the sterile rooms, it is now time to integrate everything you love, if you room looks a little cluttered, add a frame free mirror to give the illusion of space.  If your pastels are making your home more little girls bedroom than boudoir, paint the walls white, to add a grown up element.  If pattern is invading every corner of your home, open up the space with larger and plainer pieces of furniture, such as white wardrobes or a cream sofa.

Colouring your home is about putting your stamp on it, with less of us moving into new homes at the moment, we can afford to personalise the one we live in, the one we call home.

Buying Bedside Tables

Often the bedside table is classed as an afterthought but they are a much used piece of bedroom furniture.  Often seen housing books, glasses, bedside lamps amongst numerous other items, they are vital.

Bedside tables come in many designs, you really need to think ahead before buying one.  The first thing you need to consider is what you would like it to be used for, do you need drawers or are you happy with a simple shelf.  The more storage you have the likelihood you will inevitably fill it, the less space you have you may wish you had an extra drawer.  However, if you are just using one for a lamp, then a simpler design is suitable.

The next thing to consider is the design, making sure it fits in with the overall theme of your bedroom.  If your bedroom is traditional, a wooden bedside cabinet or a painted one would add to the decorative style.  If your bedroom is more inclined towards the modern design style, choose clean lines and a more simplistic look.

Measurements need to be taken, how much space do you have on either side of your bed, you may find if there is not much room, you will be limited with your choice, squarer bedside cabinets tend to require less room, than curved or circular.  Make sure your room maintains a feeling of space, too much furniture will make the room feel unwelcoming and this could affect your night’s sleep.

A bedside cabinet is normally the first thing you see in the morning and the last at night, make sure the one you choose makes you feel good.

Display Ideas for Wall Space

Have you got walls in your home that look a little too spacey, as though they just need something to break up the width or height.  There are some great ways to break this area into a cohesive mix with the rest of your room.

If you have lots of little bits you would like to display, but they would get overshadowed in a display cabinet, you can buy simple geometic shelving to create an eye-catching display area, arrange the shelves as the focal point of the wall and adorn with your knick knacks, you can even separate the shelves with a small picture or stencil around them for a more organic feel.

Develop a family gallery, choose a random picture of photos that have great memories, and depending on the style of your room, you can either have all matching picture frames or your style maybe a little eclectic, so a mixture of frames would suit and begin forming your gallery.  You can arrange in a pyramid style for a more formal look, or graduate out from the largest picture frame to the smallest.  This idea gives an instant impact, alongside happy times.

Words can be used on walls, from your favourite poem to a chorus from a cherished song, it also adds a personal touch and gets a conversation going.  Simply stencil your chosen text onto the wall, you can buy various fonts and letters of the alphabet or you can print out from your computer.  Make the letters contrast to the colours of your wall and the larger the letters, the bigger the statement.

There are other ideas to break a wall up, from displaying your ceramic plates to mirrors and large pictures, it all depends on your style, but there is no reason to be shy, make your statement!

New Uses for Wallpaper

If you thought wallpaper was just for walls, think again, there are many other practical and fun ideas you can use wallpaper for.  Those left over pieces or samples can be put to good use especially in the bedroom, where you can create elegant bedroom screens to decoupage boxes for storing your personal items in.  Not forgetting scented liners for your drawers, just spray the wallpaper with either your favourite perfume or scented water.

If your wardrobe doors have seen better days, you can use wallpaper for a new look, just measure your wallpaper to the size of the doors and apply wallpaper paste and stick.  Make sure you paint the edges on the doors to match or contrast with your wallpaper.

One of the new ideas being used in the home, is using wallpaper in picture frames.  Sometimes you would rather keep walls plain, but with the range of wallpapers about at the moment, with many in bold patterns, a simple picture frame with a sample of wallpaper could look like a work of art.

Just remember to keep your off-cuts, you might be able to think of new ways to use them.

Easy Spring Clean

It will soon be that time to spring clean the home from top to bottom, but if you feel this is more of a chore than fresh start to welcome in the warmer weather, then hopefully these tips will ease you into it.

It’s always good to have a plan and to be methodical when it comes to big cleaning jobs.  Ideally you want to start from the top and work your towards the bottom.  Use this same method when cleaning each individual room.  Start at the ceilings and work down towards the skirting boards, this way any cobwebs or dust won’t fall onto newly cleaned areas.

Remember you don’t have to do it all in one day, you can spread in out over the week or over weekends and if you have other family members at home, get them involved.  Give the kid’s a duster and they will merrily polish surfaces.  They can even vacuum their own bedrooms leaving you the trickier jobs to attend to.

Make sure you have all the kit you need, from dusters, to new mattress protectors for the beds.  There are some things that just seem to run out when you need them, these are normally bin bags and bleach.  If you gather these things before you start, everything will run smoothly.  Don’t forget there are cheaper alternatives than shop bought sprays.  Lemon juice will remove hard-water marks and soap scum, white vinegar makes a great window cleaner and baking soda mixed with a drop of essential oil freshens up carpets in home, add lavender for bedrooms.

These little tips will get your spring cleaning off to a good start and make a chore into a family day in.

Tree and Leaf Trends

There is a certain 70’s vibe going around at the moment and this is reflected in interior design, with the appearance of tree and leaf motifs.  It is the child-like appeal of these simple designs, with bold colours and textures setting a striking statement.

The design can be seen on cushions, wallpaper, even tea cosies.  They range from simplistic leaf shapes to hand-drawn ferns.  The trend is very easy to use in the home, especially with many accessories featuring this botanical influence.

You can even create your own inspired design with the use of stickers or cut out’s from magazines, ideal in a child’s bedroom, they can even help design tree and place the leaves where they want to, even adding birds and butterflies.  Great ways in helping your child learn more about nature.

Budget Bedroom Updates

Updating a bedroom doesn’t have to cost a fortune, a few simple changes can bring life back into the room and make it feel fresher.  If your budget doesn’t stretch to a full overhaul, then these nifty little ideas will help get you the look you want.

Wallpaper can instantly add a new dimension to a room, but you don’t have to spend a huge amount to do the whole room, create a feature wall in your bedroom, choose a dramatic looking paper and the transformation will make it seem as if you have decorated all the room.

If your bedroom is feeling a little dark, introduce reflected surfaces, such as mirrors, not necessarily on the ceiling, but a striking mirror will reflect light and add an extra dimension to the room.

The latest trend for the bedroom is florals in hot-house colours; you can simply achieve this look by buying a new set of bedding, or even adding a few cushions with large blooms on them. Display on your dressing table pretty florals accessories, like a clear glass vase holding a posy or a picture frame with a flowery image.

Snuggly Bedding

Sometimes there is nothing better than snuggling under a just clean duvet, but keeping it as fresh as the day you put it on, can be a bit tricky.  These little tips will help keep your bedding and bed as fresh as a daisy.

Forget about making your bed as soon as you get up, you will trap moisture, the best thing you can do is fold the covers or duvet  back and let it air, so that the moisture evaporates.

Bedlinen needs to be washed once a week or fortnightly at 60°, higher if your fabric can take it.  If you use pillow or mattress protectors, wash those at least once a month to keep them fresh, try and wash them at a similar temperature or to the temperature the manufacturer states.

If your mattress smells a bit tainted, try a sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda on it, leave it for between 3 to 4 hours and then vacuum off.  The soda will trap unpleasant odours that build up on the mattress.  Don’t forget to vacuum pillows and blankets.

It may be a little chilly outside but it is the perfect time to air bedding, it helps get rid of bugs, plus there is nothing like that clean, vibrant outdoors smell.