2015 was an 'interesting' year for my family and I. We had plans for school, plans for work, plans for holidays, but what we certainly did not plan for was a large scale surprise renovation.
In our case, it was a flood.
I quickly realized then and there that sometimes you can't always plan! However, what this situation did provide was an opportunity to re-evaluate and update a variety of spaces in the house - something we likely wouldn't have done if the flood hadn't occurred.
When you live in a house for more than 10 years, you get comfortable with how the house flows and can't often see its new potential. If everything is in working order in a home, there isn't often a catalyst to make change - other than boredom. So once we got the house mucked out and our belongings put away, I started thinking about the future of the house - and gathered a plan.
My first thought was whether I wanted to put things exactly as they were or if I wanted to make some changes. Putting things back takes little thought while new designs take effort. I was torn. As such, I realized I needed to evaluate the space and try to look at it with fresh eyes. Easier said than done!
While I do not wish a flood on anyone, I do recommend some simple ways of re-evaluating your space to make some new and lasting change:
Get some objective eyes and opinions - When you are so close to your home, seeing things (or not!) day in, day out, it is hard to imagine anything different. I brought in a couple of experts to help me see alternatives in terms of layout, colour, design and flow. Whether the project is covered by insurance or not, this is an opportunity to get professional advice. From that, I was able to develop a clear vision for the house.
What a relief that was!
Streamline and simplify - Freshening up your house doesn't always mean redecorate. Purging and reorganizing can have huge impact.
Travel mugs and glasses? Do you really need all that Tupperware? And all those appliances on the counter? It's amazing how much you can store in your kitchen. Check your cupboards and donate pieces you haven't used in over a year. Take back your space!
Find your joy - In the bestselling book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of De-cluttering and Organizing," Mrs. Kondo's main theory revolves around the idea of discarding everything that does not "spark joy." I recommend looking her up on Google and following her instructions. By simply reducing those piles of books, stacks of paper, junk drawers, bathroom cabinet conundrums, and throwing away that pile of missing socks, you will reap the rewards of a peace of mind you didn't think possible.
Evaluate space - What space complaints do you have? Where do you need it and where do you have it? Food doesn't always need to be in the cupboard - think about drawers. And then, towels don't always need to be in the bathroom if you have more space in your bedroom. Our first thought is always that we need more space. But, what if you really had the space but just need a new way to look at it? Or if you gave the viewer an impression of space? In our new bathroom, we opened it up by adding in a large mirror close to our window. Now, not only can mirrors improve the amount of natural light in the room, but the reflection that mirrors provide make a room appear bigger than it really is.
Change the overall flow of the house - Flow is a very personal definition and we all have a sense of how we like to feel as we walk around our home. Could the furniture be placed differently to allow the family to come together easier for movie night? Is the front room not used because it's too dark for reading? Is it a hassle to get the food from the kitchen to the dining room? You might even find that there is too much in your space or things that no longer fit with the esthetic you are after. If so, do like Mrs. Kondo and donate pieces that don't bring you joy and enjoy the new views.
Colour - It really is true what they say about a fresh coat of paint. This is very cost effective, especially if you do it yourself. Even changing the trim can make you think you stepped into an entirely new room. For our living room, although we did have some repairs done to the walls, the colour didn't change significantly. However, freshening up with paint, crisp clean white trim around the windows and adding decorative drapes in the same colour scheme really made the room flow seamlessly to the kitchen.
Accents - Add in new colours instantly by changing your window coverings, adding drapes, and decorative pillows. Simple and affordable choices come together to give the room a whole new look.
Hardware - Door handles, light fixtures, socket plates, towel hooks - you name it. There are many affordable options for all of these types which can make a big change. Why not think about dressing up your existing window coverings by adding decorative panels and new high impact drapery rods to help finish off your overall look.
Windows - New window coverings can change your room in ways you would never expect. One dramatic change in colour on the window will revive the energy in a room in minutes. No paint is required yet a different type of window treatment can change a rooms lighting as well as décor without changing anything else.
Flooring, tiles, dark wood vs light bamboo - all of these choices have the potential to 'lift' a room. Be bold and take a chance on trying something new - you won't regret it.
Although our 'project' is not yet complete, the changes really have come together beautifully to give a whole new energy to the house.
Although it is still the same house with much of the same contents, some very deliberate and affordable changes have given us a fresh perspective, a new feel and a delightfully cheerful background for our future memories!
Should you ever be looking for an objective opinion, I would be happy to set up a consultation to discuss how Budget Blinds Mississauga West and Oakville can bring some fresh window covering ideas to your home!