How often have you scrolled through Instagram and turned green with jealousy at the picture-perfect looking rooms that seem “oh so” put together? As you cast your eye around your home, it can feel like you are living in a hovel compared to the carefully curated wonders that the Instagram algorithm is feeding you. The number one thing to remember is that most likely behind the camera there is a pile of dirty clothes, and/or an assortment of stuff that got unceremoniously shoved to the side to make the photo look good. If not, then chances are no one actually lives in the house in question!
Now that you are feeling a bit better about your own living situation, we can get down to some tips and techniques that can give your home a semblance of that put-together feel. I’m not saying it will be Instagram perfect, but it will help soothe your interior decorator soul, and no doubt impress your mother-in-law the next time she comes to visit.
Depending on when your home was last painted, (and who did it), you may notice that there are some uneven lines and even possibly drips of paint where ceilings, walls, floors, and cabinets meet. Tidying up these lines to make them sharp will go a long way to improving the overall look of your home. It’s one of those small things that you probably wouldn’t notice outright – but it makes a big difference!
Matching radiator parts
In a similar vein to tidying up paint spills, taking a look at your radiator hardware may seem like an odd project to take on but boy, it makes things look more put together. Radiator accessories like pipes and valves can often be supplied separately to the actual radiator, which in turn can lead to a mismatched look if the person doing the installing uses whatever is handy. This not-so-bohemian mismatch can also come about if parts have been replaced over the years. Get everything on the same page by investing in matching valves both in color and in style. I am a big fan of the range available from Trade Radiators. They have all sorts of colors and different styles that would suit everything from an antique cast iron model to a super sleek designer radiator. The prices are also very reasonable, making this a DIY project that won’t break the bank.
A single overhead light will instantly wash out a room, not to mention make things look stark and bare.
Instead of sticking with the standard lighting in a room think about creating lighting zones. By using a variety of light sources, such as table lamps, floor lights, and even fairy lights, you can give your room a whole new personality. A good way to map out your lighting zones is to imagine them as pools of lights that can highlight certain aspects of a room. A floor lamp with an overhang is ideal for armchairs that lend themselves to reading in. Table lamps are the perfect solution for sideboards and smaller tables to create a general ambiance. LED strip lights and fairy lights can be a good fit for using under and on top of storage units. Play around with your zones. Experiment with the atmosphere created when you have a combination of them on. You’ll never reach for that overhead switch again
Make a display
Furniture isn’t just about function. Have it tell a story. Far too many of us have gorgeous items that are kept tucked away in storage boxes because we can’t think where to put them, or we are under the mistaken belief that a put together home is one with completely clear surfaces. Clear out space on a bookcase, repurpose a shelf or commit to using part of your coffee table as a place to display some of your finds and give your space a little personality. You can get creative with the items you use. Postcards in frames, planters, and souvenirs from your travels can all intermingle along with more functional items such as a pretty bowl – that can double as a catchall for keys and headphones. A benefit of this approach is that it doesn’t need to be too permanent. Change up your displays to catch your fancy. You can make them seasonal too. Why not curate what you have placed out based on who is coming over? A shelf of interesting items could be the perfect way to get people chatting at a dinner party.
I hope these simple tips help you beat some of that Instagram envy. More importantly, let these tips inspire you to easily manage your home – to provide a better-finished look. Try out all or just a couple of these tips and see what a difference it makes.