The building materials industry globally has been booming since lockdown restrictions took effect. The main reason is that working from home became normalised and homeowners from all walks of life decided to take the time to improve their living spaces.
With the effects of Covid-19 on our lives and working arrangements seemingly going nowhere any time soon, here are some décor tips and tricks for those who either did not have the funds or the time to make some much-needed home improvements last year.
If a change is as good as a holiday, a home refresh can make working time between holidays that much more enjoyable in 2021. The onset of winter is the perfect time to reassess the comfort and liveability of your home so that you can effortlessly spend time in either a designated workspace or relaxation zone.
“Not every change has to introduce new building materials, furniture or finishes. There are many ways to both rearrange and rejuvenate the components of our living spaces that can change their atmosphere or appeal. Blending in some new items, if they’re within budget, can bring life to rooms our outdoor spaces,” says Eva-Last’s director of marketing, Shelley Galliver.
“Upholstering old couches, chairs or even headboards can usher in a breath of fresh air into stale rooms and provide the perfect way to achieve the greatest decorating bang for your buck alongside a new coat of paint,” she adds.
According to Galliver, one of the key drivers of the building materials market in 2020 was DIY, and that trend seems set to continue. “DIY is the best way to ensure that living spaces are transformed exactly how you’d like them and we’ve noticed a significant rise in DIY customers buying both our Tier Flooring range and our decking products to create statement pieces that reflect their personality and style. Alternatively our contractors have been on hand to assist where the homeowner is not as DIY proficient.”
Murals are another way to stamp your personality on a space and they can serve a variety of purposes, from livening up a child’s bedroom to creating the illusion of space and texture in a room that needs to ‘open up’. While white brightens and refreshes any space, using colour to play off furnishings, floors and décor can radically change the ‘temperature’ of a room – from cool blue hues to warm and cosy oranges and reds.
Light is an important part of indoor appeal, with modern track lighting or freestanding lamp options providing many ways of visually opening up previously darkened areas of a living space. It’s easy to create different moods throughout a home through tasteful lighting selection.
Mirrors are an excellent way to create the illusion of depth and space. Used tastefully, they can be an extremely stylish substitute for art or windows in situations where neither are available.
“Looking at the latest trends, two old friends have become new acquaintances in this year’s uses of wicker and metal. Mixing and matching metal finishes is a popular and quick way to make a space look curated and bespoke, according to Shelley Johnston from Northshore Luxury Interior Design.
“Pillows and scatter cushions can provide the highly personalised finishing touches to any seating area and provide a handy contrast with smoother, harder furniture materials. It’s also another quick and cost effective way to refresh a room, with a new colour palette.” says Galliver.
If your budget extends to antique furniture, there’s nothing like antiques to add instant charm and lived-in character to a living space. The benefit of antiques is that they are much like great paintings – they serve as investments which can be sold on for a profit at a later stage, while you get to enjoy them in your living space for as long as you have them.
The ultimate change to a home is the installation of an entertainment area, providing a place to step away from work. This doesn’t necessarily mean building the usual bar – it could be any dedicated area for entertainment and unwinding, either for family time or functions. The simple incorporation of a drinks or statement coffee table with some picture-biased books can turn a room into a social area with a focal feature.
Figuring out a floor plan is vital: good furniture positioning creates good visual flow and energy in a room. For outdoor areas like patios, an outdoor rug can lift the living space and extend the comfort of indoors to the outdoors. Just like indoors, rugs can be anchored under furniture feet to prevent them turning into tripping hazards.
“Finally, simplicity is key: keeping any living space uncluttered and clear in the ethos of its décor is the right way to make a space look curated for enjoyment and inviting for both guests and residents alike. Using this time to rationalise and spruce up our living spaces is the ideal time to both deal with the potential monotony of spending our work and living hours at home, while also being ready for the coming summer and, hopefully, the gradual resumption of our social lives,” Galliver says.