Spring home makeover hacks
The end is in sight for lockdown and dinner parties can soon happen once more, but is your home ready for the big reveal? Here are our hacks for a speedy home makeover.
At the beginning of lockdown, I was totally focused on sorting out my home. Never before have I tidied so many cupboards and drawers, full of such treasures as dirty skateboard wheels, single earrings, and one atrophied apple core. Boy did it feel good to clear out. Then I decided to binge-watch the Home Edit on Netflix, and went from being a person who wasn’t at all surprised to find a six-month-old apple in a drawer, to being someone who required every Pukka tea bag and pair of shoes to be organised in rainbow colours #wardrobegoals!
I had high hopes for not only a beautiful colour-coordinated house, but also a home where photos were in frames on the wall, where there were flourishing plants and carefully placed art.
Hmmm, things have not quite gone to plan. The cupboards are muddled and bursting again, and not a single interiors project has been achieved unless you count changing the angle of the sofa. But with spring well and truly here, I’ve decided to search out some quick home makeover hacks for home improvements before I let my mates back into my house! Here’s my local wish list – hope it helps you too.
OCD or Floor-drobe?
So I still can’t decide if I love or hate the Home Edit approach to life. It doesn’t come naturally for sure, but oh I do love me a storage solution. Lakeland is great for all the practical bits and bobs and I recently invested in the huge zip bags for storing my nicely folded (erm…honest) clothes. For more stylish and colourful solutions the range of pastel tea crates, and wire and woven baskets at schildren homewares (pictured) are a delight and ideal for other bits and bobs such as toys, toiletries and stationary.
I love the idea of a gallery wall, and I’m envious of my friend’s house where she has black and white family photos presented up the stairway and an array of art in her dining room. For an easy solution to get me going, I want to try the online service Mix Tiles – you simply load up your digital photos, chose classic black or white frames and they arrive ready with adhesive (that won’t mark apparently) to stick to your walls! Too easy, right? For a more bespoke solution with lovely individual frames of all sorts, you might be tempted to turn to a professional and it turns out that Byard Art – one of my favourite Cambridge galleries has added picture framing to their services. Its master framer has over 25 years of experience and can mount and frame even the most challenging range of artwork and memorabilia – from Olympic medals to 17th century Italian Old Masters (I’m sure I’ve got one of those knocking around somewhere).
There is nothing better for softening a home than bringing the outside in, especially at this time of the year and when we have all been locked down for so long. The Flower Project is a new Mill Road-based business in Cambridge, delivering flowers and plants to you weekly or monthly, by bike! It has a beautiful selection of flowers and plants that you can sign up for on a subscription basis. Alternatively, The Urban Jungle is an exotic garden centre in Beccles, Suffolk offering an amazing array of plants, indoor and out, and a super selection of cacti and succulents too – a very hip addition to the home. Open 10-4 daily and deliver to the local area, although in a van – it might take some time to get around Suffolk with a Yukka on a bike!
Natural materials are a great way to bring a bit of the outside in. Millar Made is a local Cambridge business run by the aptly named Ash, a brilliant craftsman creating beautiful things from wood. We love the wooden iPhone holders and monitor stands, they seem to somehow temper the evil of electronics (can you tell I have phone addicted teens?). For beautiful wooden boards for the kitchen (and terrific kitchen tables too) check out Hyrst in Suffolk – Hyrst designs and hand makes furniture and homewares using timber sourced from British woodlands. They are a non-profit organisation dedicated to changing the way items for the home are produced and consumed, using the resources on their doorstep and brilliant craftsmen to create them.
A Splash of Colour
Colour trends are often led by the Pantone colour of the year and this year, drumroll please- it is Ultimate Grey teamed with the Vibrant Yellow Illuminating. Interior designer Sara Slade suggests styling by using grey as the dominant colour and yellow to give cheerful splashes or accents. If you’re like me and a little nervous about going the whole hog on a bold colour change, you can always get her professional view. Slade Interiors has just launched a bite-sized service, for quick easy online advice, where you simply fill in the room measurements and answer a questionnaire to receive colour suggestions, a mood-board, floorplan, and shopping list for all the products and paints you need to create the look. If you do want to go it alone, Sara suggests trying a bright colour in the smallest room in the house – the downstairs loo – go for an emerald green or amber and if it doesn’t work it’s easy to repaint.
Make it Personal
I’m a big fan of homes that showcase a confident, really individual look; where there are idiosyncratic items, posters from gigs, vintage signs, curious cushions – these objects tell a story and help a place feel truly like home. Max in Southwold has become a great destination for finding this kind of quirky item. Jam-packed with a mix of old and new, from the brilliant solar-powered lamps that double as wine coolers for those garden parties, to a fine assortment of up-cycled and bespoke furniture, eccentric plant holders and crazy clocks. You can buy online at the moment and the shop will be open again on April 12th.
Want more tips on how to refresh your home this season? Head to Muddy’s brand new Spring Homes Special.