Jan 14, 2016

Freshen Up Your Home for the New Year


Happy New Year.

New hope, new dreams, new experiences. Rebirth. Light. Energy. Vision.  Yadda yadda yadda.

Seriously, who subscribes to all of that quasi-new age thinking?

You do? So there is someone. Well I never. How’s that working out for you then?

Something which we could all be working on during these damp and rather dreary times that mark that traditionally awkward period between Christmas and the New Year is brightening up our homes.

Though we’re not too convinced about that parallel lines thing to be perfectly honest, but hey, if it’s your bag, then to hell with good taste and a sense of style, you go for it anyway.

At least the wallpaper will be in synch with all of your hangovers.

Anyway. Even if we don’t feel clean, fresh and reborn with the advent of 2016, there is no reason why we shouldn’t give our homes a new look to mark the occasion, brighten them up a bit here and there, smooth done the dull edges and pimp up the magnolia here and there.

And let’s face it. How many of us really appreciate the house that we live in?

Dirty Bathroom

Does your most intimate of rooms look anything like this? Sort it out.

Go on, be honest. Would you happily allow yourself to get as tatty, down at heel and occasionally threadbare in all the important places as you might be occasionally prone to with regard to your home?

You know, that thing that just happens to be the biggest and most important financial investment you’ll ever make.

Well exactly. I’m glad we can at least agree on that.

We’re not talking about you having to spend a fortune here. This isn’t going to be about extensions, conversions, swimming pools and underground car parks.

It’s more about bringing some Spring into your home in time for it, jet stream permitting, to greet the advent of the brighter, optimistic and warmer days ahead.

We could, of course, all be shivering under ICY GRIP of an ARCTIC FREEZE by Easter of course-and yep, have you noticed how the tawdry and downmarket tabloids like to capitalise scary words? Still, at least it detracts from the fact that no-one on their staff would know a story if it turned up in their front gardens in a Winnebago and stayed put for six months, sorry, SIX MONTHS.

Let’s see if we can’t find a use for unwanted newspaper in here somewhere.

But first of all: let there be light!

Phillips Wake Up SAD LampSomething like this could make your winter far more tolerable.

Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as "winter depression" because the symptoms are more apparent and tend to be more severe during the winter. And that’s hardly surprising. We spent week after week, either in the house or at the office; getting up, going to work and going home whilst it’s still dark as well as spending much of the day under artificial light wherever we go.

But there is no longer any need to scared of the light-at least not that harsh, unrelenting and migraine inducing type of white light that eats into your soul in the same way it devours the darkness.

Because you can now purchase a light that attempts to replicate artificial daylight rather than trying to tear a hole in your retina. Read about some of them here.

If, like me, you like to spend a lot of your time communing with nature and generally getting it on with Mother Earth, then you’re probably missing your garden at the moment. After all, what might look something like this in the Summer:

Sunny Garden

is, given the amount of rain we’ve all had lately, more likely to look like this at the moment:

Rainy Garden

But don’t despair. If you can’t yet get out into the garden, you can at least bring the garden to you. And no, I don’t mean keeping the Christmas tree in-situ for the rest of the year. You can enliven an empty corner or sad console with a new plant. There are many unique options for urns and plant stands out there, so much so that, whatever the size of your home or room, that simple shot of greenery will not only bring some ever changing sculptural appeal but also a sense of height and depth to the room in question.

House Of Plants not only offer a wide range of suitable indoor plants, they also help you choose what might be suitable for your home according to the size of plant you want or room you want to keep it in.

If, on the other hand, you feel like you might want to be a bit more hands on with what you’ve got, then how about giving some of the trims in your home a bit of a touch up?  Show the paintbrush to your door and window frames, skirting board and architraves, give them the sort of love and attention a fresh coat of paint with a gloss finish can give. They’ll look newer, brighter and smoother-but not only that, the contrast between them and your existing wall colours will give new life and depth to any room.

Dulux and Crown trade paints are reckoned to be the best available by the experts, so take a look at some of the exciting new colour options that are going to be available this Spring and see where it takes you.

Now, have you considered throwing out some of your old cushions and throws?

I’m serious. I know you like them and think it helps give your place a sort of swanky New York apartment look, as lived in by Monica and Rachel in Friends.

But look, come ON! You probably had some of those cushions since before that programme even first aired. So be brave, gather them up and take them along to your nearest dog or cat sanctuary.

They’ll be eternally grateful for them. And so will you after you’ve seen what a difference to a room some bright new cushions and throws will make.

How about, and look, this is only a suggestion, seeing past the chill of winter and tossing out those fur and woollen ones and looking for a soft alpaca or breezy linen alternative? Look for a bright colour or unique pattern to really enhance your existing decor or keep it a tad more simple with a soft solid for that more classic look.

Urbanara know all that you will ever need to know about the throw. They claim that you simply cannot underestimate the value of having a few of these laying around the house, and no matter what room you have them in. They can, for example, give your living room a lovely warm look if they are draped over an armchair or couch, else, if placed in a guest bedroom, they can double as bedding at night time. And chaps, don’t be shy here, even you deserve something warm and snug that you can hide under, along with a damned good book during the chilly daytime.

How very civilised.

But that’s what we’re all about here at Loft Blinds. We want to help you make your home as comfortable, contemporary, light, bright and, well, civilised as possible. And secure. Indeed, if we had a mission statement, it would be something along those lines.

We’ll be looking at more ways in which you can brighten up your home in time for the Spring before the end of the month. In the meantime, if there is any subject, topic or relevant issue which you would like us to cover here in the coming weeks, please let us know so that we can look into writing a blog about it.

In the meantime, we wish you all a very Happy New Year. Here’s to some wonderful adventures in both home and garden throughout 2016.

And don't worry. We'll get here again before you know it:

Summer BBQ