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New Year, New Room?

Drawing room designed by Velvet & Dash Interiors - pic credit Nick Carter

January. And with the razzle dazzle of the Christmas decorations now packed away, the realization is dawning on me that the party’s over. It’s time to kick-start the New Year.As well as detoxing body and soul, it’s about now I feel the need to revamp my home.But with the Christmas credit card bill looming, I need to achieve big change on a small (practically non-existent) budget.

One of the easiest ways to revitalize a space is to reorganise the furniture.You’ll be amazed how this can dramatically change the look of a room.Don’t be afraid to move large pieces like sofas and chairs away from walls. This will create flow and make the room instantly more inviting.A room with all the furniture pushed against the walls feels bland.In multi-use rooms like living rooms, create zones – for reading, TV, study – and define each area with a rug or furniture arranged round a focal point like a fireplace.

Moving art around, angling furniture away from walls and creating zones will dramatically change the look of a room.

To create an enticing space that oozes character it is essential for it to be visually stimulating. Adding variations of height with lamps, furniture and accessories at different levels means the eye will be led around the room.

Pay attention to lighting. Change your lamps and shades around for an instant update. Arrange lights to wash walls or dark corners with soft pools of light and add glow with candles.A selection of mismatched candlesticks pulled together by using candles in the same colour is a glamorous addition to a mantelpiece.

Screen print Shade and Antique Glass Base by TMO Lighting. Available from Velvet & Dash. 

Art is a great way to bring another dimension to a room.Moving pictures around or adding new ones will immediately ring the changes.

Adding pattern, colour and texture will result in a warm and welcoming room.Layering up cushions and throws is a tried and tested way to change a space. Bunches of flowers in vases are a simple but effective way to take the colours of a room in a new direction. I’m not usually a fan of houseplants but at this time of year, something that hints at warmth and spring like a jasmine with its clouds of exotic scent lifts the spirits.Coming home to a house that smells good has to be one of the ultimate joys.

Cutting the clutter will contribute a sense of calm and increase physical and visual space. Be brutal, ditch anything you don’t love any more. Tuck anything that is not in continual use behind closed doors.Fill empty fireplaces with books, make furniture multi-purpose – a trunk filled with stuff for a coffee table.In the kitchen fill a set of Kilner jars with pulses ready for a comforting stew and make a feature of your storage by lining it up in stylish rows.

Storage is important, but it can still be stylish: Bushel Box on Wheels from Velvet & Dash Interiors.

Indulging in a relaxing, recuperative bath at this time of year is essential, so get your bathroom smelling delicious and get some order in there.Clean all the tops of lotion bottles that are dusty and clogged up, chuck out empties and out of date medicines and put out any new soaps or creams you got for Christmas. Ditto your bedroom.Polish shoes, take sweaters out of drawers and hang them on hangers, colour code your wardrobe. Re-arranging what you already have is good for morale and makes you feel like you have loads to wear.

If you do have enough budget for a little DIY, painting or varnishing a floor can lift a whole room.Or turn your attention to an unloved space like the downstairs loo.A couple of rolls of cool wallpaper will transform it from drab to fab.

It’s not realistic to endlessly change the whole look of your home, but it’s good to remember you can alter the details regularly. And it’s the details in a room that make it special. Maximum impact for minimum outlay - my New Year Resolution for 2014!

Charlotte Starling at Velvet & Dash Interiors www.velvet-dash.com
















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