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Refresh Your Home


FRESH. ENERGISED. TINGLES.

What is it about spring? Nature blooms, the sun shows itself and I get this urge to refresh my home. I guess after the cocooning of winter and nesting in the warmth I want a breath of fresh of air. Ideas start flowing and new exciting projects start bubbling to the surface. I want to do it ALL. Do it NOW. And!- as cheap and cheerful as possible, but still with that luxury look. I can't get the credit card out; my husband would have a fit! So where to start?

1. I throw open the windows. Let the sunshine in and let fresh air sweep through the house. I give the house a rigorous spring clean (And if you are one of the 29% of Brits who will spend this Bank Holiday spring cleaning (1), Houzz gives some great tips on how to tackle this task).

2. In my cleaning blitz I re-discover cushions, rugs & throws that have been stored in the back of the French antique linen cupboard. I dig out the ones with lighter fabrics that breathe and swap them round in place of the heavier, darker ones. The latter finding a new home in the Spanish chest. (I love chests! They are such versatile furniture items - ideal for storage, coffee table or side table.)

3. I not only clean, but clear out any old and unwanted items. In Johannesburg (South Africa) there is the New Year's tradition of throwing old furniture out the window - out with the old, in with the new? Don't know, but whatever it is my measures are not as extreme. I opt for charity, using the app "Gone for Good" - simply take a photograph, upload, the word is spread to various charities and the one who wants it arranges collection. Brilliant! Or if I want to be more lucrative I will try my hand at eBay or even a car-boot sale and then spend that money to...

4. Refresh the home with new accessories. A new Art-Deco style vase or Asian style candle holder...

It's often the little, simple things that make the most impact and it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.

5. Flowers & Plants!

Loads of them: not just because they are beautiful and relaxing, but for their other benefits as well. Boho living with exotic prints are in fashion at the moment, but nothing beats the real thing by bringing the tropical indoors. I re-pot plants - give them some fresh soil and a new "home" in larger planter or plant pot.

6. Re-locate... Well, yes, a grand new home in a grand location like the Caribbean would be a dream, but again we don't all have that luxury. So I give items a new lease of life by simply changing their location. The vintage chest at the end of the bed becomes a coffee or a side table; the Persian rug in the living room is re-located to the hall or even hung on that bland wall that has been crying out for decoration...

Having spent an exhausting day doing all of the above it is then hugely rewarding when your husband comes home and says "Wow! Place looks great!" A pregnant pause ... "Is that a new chest you bought? What's the damage on the credit card?" and you get to say "Nothing dear! It's not cost you a penny. " ...

Unless you count my full days wage for my efforts and ingenuity, but a glass of wine will do...

And if after all that you still fancy a new distinctive look then there are plenty of trends and styles that will take you on a journey of discovery and provide that look you so desire.

But remember, first work with what you have ... re-fresh, re-invent, re-define .... After all a home, like your personality, is forever evolving and growing.

(1) www.goneforgood.org.uk & YouGov poll


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Oxford, UK

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