Eco-friendly home decorating tips

Eco-friendly home decorating tips

As looking after the planet has become a more and more pressing matter, many people are hoping to change their ways in order to do their part for the cause. It’s important to become more conscious about how human actions can have severe consequences on the environment, not only in an altruistic sense but also to protect the planet so people can continue to live on it safely. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process of decorating your home. For those who wish to help the planet while staying stylish, here are a few good tips on how to decorate without harming the environment.

House plant with blue glass lamp and books

Plants

Deforestation is a terrible issue. Natural resources are being used up and consumed faster than they can be replaced. That’s why it is important to help redress the balance in as many ways as possible. Although it may not quite be a forest, if everyone chose to decorate their home with more plant life, the world would surely benefit. Plus, greenery adds effortless beauty to any room. House plants help to keep the air clean whilst also brightening up their surroundings. You won’t need to worry about them clashing with your preferred sense of style either, as plants are timelessly attractive. Just make sure to research the characteristics of your chosen plants as some varieties can attract unwanted pests. You can look here to find out what you need to know about termite swarms to keep your home staying spick-and-span.

Green roofs on urban multi-storey buildings

Green roof

If you’re serious about your decision to help the planet recover from the overuse of its resources, a great way of reducing the amount on your energy bill is to install solar panels in your home. Whilst most are simply placed on the roof of a house, you can turn them into a feature. When the sunlight hits your roof, you’ll be able to store energy that’s completely green and environmentally friendly. If you’re lucky, you might even generate more than enough energy and the excess can be sold elsewhere. There are other ways of decorating the exterior of your home in eco-friendly ways. Why not grow grass or other low-maintenance plants on your roof to blend your home into the natural environment? Whether you live in the countryside or the city, a textured green roof is eye-catching and attractive to wildlife such as small birds and insects. Creepers and climbing plants growing up the exterior walls adds interest to any building and well-maintained window boxes make your home look pretty and will be bursting with life.

Hessian shopping bags

Recycling and upcycling

It’s all about reducing waste when it comes to protecting the environment. Fortunately, recycling has become almost second nature to most households. It might not seem like much, but by separating your metals, glass, plastic and cardboard and disposing of them properly you’re doing the world a huge favour. To extend this into your decorating, you can find or create furniture and homewares created from recycled or reclaimed materials. You’ll get the best of both worlds – stylish, beautiful, original interior design and a clean, green conscience.

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Home decorating tips to make life easier

Home decorating tips to make life easier

Decorating your home can sometimes lead you down a path of extreme design and striking pieces of furniture, with elaborate and confusing elements. The emphasis on making your home look stylish can sometimes be given priority over the need to make your house comfortable. There are ways of incorporating both style and function into your home to make your life easier and less stressful, whether you need to recover from a tiring day at work or you simply enjoy having a place dedicated to relaxing. Here are some simple home decorating tips to help you update your home with the focus on comfort.

Orange upholstered reclining chairs

Reduce pain

Home is about comfort, safety and contentment. Whilst people are often made to feel guilty or lazy for needing to rest at work or in public, home is where you’re able to do whatever you want to ease your aches and pains. Unless you feel the need to adhere to a strict design aesthetic, there’s nothing to be ashamed of when adding touches that serve primarily to reduce discomfort. Take a look at stressless recliner sales to find a comfortable, stylish chair to relax in after a long, exhausting day. It will make your home look and feel more inviting as well as taking the weight off your feet.

open-plan living space

Comfort food in a comfortable kitchen

Do you enjoy baking but can never find the space to store the proper equipment or gadgets? Do you love coming home to a delicious, stress-free meal? When decorating your home, don’t forget the vital role of the kitchen in everybody’s life. Unlike the cold and utilitarian kitchens found in schools or army barracks, your kitchen should exude warmth and relaxation. Food plays an important part in home life, especially with families and children. Design your kitchen to allow for better flow of movement and efficiency by carefully calculating layout and planning the cupboard space you’ll need. This will make cooking much easier and give you more time to enjoy your mealtimes. Keep your dining area as close to the kitchen as possible. Perhaps find a table that fits perfectly in the kitchen, so the food has less distance to travel from oven to plate. You’ll be less likely to burn your hands, and your food will be hotter when you sit down to eat.

open-plan living space

Tactical furniture arrangement

Houses with too much furniture feel cramped and crowded, difficult to navigate. Homes with a large expanse of space seem cold and uninviting. Strike a balance between these two extremes to achieve a stylish cosiness that both entices and impresses. Think carefully about how you move around your house and where pieces of furniture need to be in relation to each other. There’s no point keeping your bookshelf and your favourite armchair in separate rooms. Have a look at the practice of Feng Shui for more detailed information about arranging your home to better suit your lifestyle.

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How to make your room look classier without throwing anything away

Bright, modern living room

You may have recently been looking at the glossy home decorating magazines and finding the recommended room makeovers to be hugely expensive. Without breaking the budget, you’d probably prefer to find a way to make your existing room look classier and perhaps include the odd addition to jazz things up for that finishing touch.

Here are a few suggestions for improvements and upgrades that look upmarket without being exorbitantly expensive.

Plant on a bedside table

Go natural

Adding some plants or freshly cut flowers to a bedroom brings new colour, vibrancy and air purification into the room. Look for a vase that you haven’t used in ages. Maybe it’s in storage or tucked away at the back of a cupboard. If you’re unable to find an attractive one, look at a local charity shop to see if there’s something affordable that someone decided they didn’t like any longer.

Watch a YouTube video on flower arranging to get an idea how to put fresh plants together in an attractive arrangement for your bedside table. And there you have it; a fresher looking bedside table that brings a little nature into the bedroom.

Grey buttoned sofa with collection of throw cushions

Rethink the throw cushions

Older cushions, and particularly their covers, tend to look a bit weathered over time. The colours fade a little with each washing cycle and the fabric isn’t as interesting any longer. Changing cushion covers for new ones with an interesting pattern is inexpensive to do. Anyone who is a dab hand with a sewing machine can take some fancy fabric and turn it into a usable cushion cover. If you’re not this handy, then consider buying separate covers but keeping the existing fillings.

With cushions that don’t feel plush, consider adding a second foam or fill to the inside of the cushion to double its size. There are many new, inexpensive fills for cushions delivering refreshing comfort even to an older sofa. And when your sofa’s fabric or leather has seen better days, consider a long throw to cover the length of the sofa adding that touch of luxury and increased comfort without needing a complete replacement sofa.

Grey buttoned ottoman bed

Knowing when it’s time to replace the bed

Older beds lack suitable under-bed storage options and don’t necessarily provide the simple luxury and elegance that’s much needed. Wooden Ottoman beds provide new options for home-owners who feel it’s time to replace their tired bed frame with a more complete, modern one. Made from wood and covered in attractive fabrics or leather, these Ottoman beds offer something different than the typical brass bed frame we’ve all seen before.

Minimalist whitewashed room

Reduce clutter

Reducing the amount of clutter is often the last thing that anyone thinks to do; however, it’s effective in making every room look larger while giving the existing decorations and furniture a better chance to get noticed. Many of us collect too much of everything over the years. By cutting back on what we actually need to keep hold of and finding places to discretely store items out of sight, it transforms a living space and opens it up for further refinements to entirely change how it feels.

Adding a touch of class to every room doesn’t have to cost the earth. In many cases, it takes some re-imagining of each living area to determine how to get the most out of it along with a few small additions to bring something new.

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Sponsored: Dark and dramatic autumn table setting

Dark and dramatic autumn table setting with cutlery and plates from Wayfair | H is for Home

It’s the first of September in a couple of days – and that means the meteorological start of autumn. As the evenings draw in, our minds turn to cosy nights indoors, warm blankets, wood-burning stoves, candles and fairy lights. And, of course, equally important – good hearty food and perhaps a glass of red wine or two. It’s the perfect time to invite family or friends over for an evening feast – an opportunity to celebrate the harvest season and all of nature’s bounty.

Nothing will suit the occasion more than a dark and dramatic autumn table setting! A black or dark grey tablecloth is the ideal backdrop – decorated and accessorised with antique brass candlesticks, feathers, fossils, pine cones, leaves, berries and fruit. Whatever you feel adds to the interest and drama for a special meal.

We’ve recently received some lovely tableware from Wayfair that is perfect for creating just the right style and atmosphere.

Gold coloured cutlery set from Viners with black linen napkin | H is for Home

First, is this gorgeous burnished gold cutlery set by Viners. It’s titanium coated stainless steel and has a real feel of luxury and opulence. It’s just perfect for that celebratory meal – and we loved it combined with the other metallic tones that we incorporated into the table setting through candlesticks, ribbon and other trimmings. On a practical level, the coating creates exceptionally hard cutlery that is ten times more resistant to scratching than untreated stainless steel. It also helps prevent corrosion, rust and tarnishing.

Black & white Seltmann Weiden porcelain dinner plates with black linen napkin | H is for Home

The luxurious quality continues with the porcelain china dinner plates by Seltmann Weiden. There’s a crisp white central presentation area with an organic, flowing black border which frames the food like a picture. Again, absolutely perfect for creating the dramatic table setting. As with the cutlery, these don’t fail when it comes to practicality either – the plates have a scratch resistant surface, are dishwasher safe, oven safe and microwave safe.

Two lovely items that we’ll be able to enjoy year after year.

Dark and dramatic autumn table setting with cutlery and plates from Wayfair | H is for Home

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3 ways to add a rustic feel to any new home

3 Ways to add a rustic feel to any new home | H is for Home

Rustic home designs are very on trend – they have a relaxing quality and make you feel closer to nature. If you’re trying to create a rustic interior look, then think about natural materials like exposed stone walls, wood and wicker. Also incorporating earthy colour tones like browns, greens, creams, rusts and so on. If you’re looking for a rustic design but you’re a little unsure of where to start, then continue reading to discover tips for adding this feel to your home.

Rustic wooden desk

Add wood

If you have access to wooden pallets, there are many ways that they can be incorporated into rustic home décor. They’re inexpensive and yet have the perfect look and feel required. You can transform wood pallets into bed frames, tables or benches. Or perhaps use them to create a kitchen shelving or wine racks. They can be left rough hewn – or sanded, lime washed and stained whatever colour you like. If you’re looking for an even bigger project, you can attach large expanses of the wooden slats directly to the wall. The resulting clap-board effect will add texture and visual interest to a space.

Rustic wooden rafters and stone wall

Add stone to the interior or exterior

Stone is very adaptable and can be used for many purposes. It’s certainly got rustic appeal. It can be used both inside or outside – in the form of tiles or larger block pieces.

You can use interlocking paving stones for a patio, path or retaining wall. Pavers are extremely durable and come in a variety of finishes – various shades of grey, brown, green, and cream – even yellows and orange. Stone can also be used to create an outdoor barbecues or fire pits. If you’re thinking about adding a kitchen island, consider using stone to make it. It can be built to the exact size and shape required, the stone adding a elemental simplicity to the overall look. Stone kitchen worktops can continue the flow of the material if desired. Or, if you’re looking to add a naturalistic touch to a bathroom, try creating a natural stone feature wall or splashback – or perhaps an archway to frame and accent the bathtub itself.

 

Rustic interior decorated in natural colours

Natural hues

You can give any room an unfussy, neutral feel by adding earthy tones. Use paint colours like walnut, mustard, and spring green in combination with creams and whites. However, if you don’t want to go as far as painting, simply add some furniture with natural coverings. For example, a wooden chair with brown, rust or Hessian coloured upholstery can add country charm. Accessorise with accent pillows on other furnishings to create a warm, homely feel. Shop at flea-markets and second-hand shops to find a few pieces that add the all important vintage touch to your interior. Rugs can also quickly add a rustic look without making any permanent changes to your home. Seagrass, coir and bamboo matting are also recommended options. The colour and texture are perfect for this look.

Whatever the vision is for your home use the above suggestions to get started on your rustic makeover.

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Your guide to creating your teen-aged son’s dream bedroom

Mondrian-style teenage boy's bedroomcredit

Every teenage boy goes through the same phase: occasionally surly, sulky and sarcastic. So, if you need to redecorate his room, what can you do? You might not get much of a response from him – or anything useful anyway. You could try to second-guess what he wants, or take his comments at face value. You could try to push him into helping you, but that isn’t likely to end well. Likewise, if you haven’t told him you’re redecorating, and you want to do it as a surprise, then you need to know what to do without his help. Either way, you can learn how to create the right look for a teenage boy’s bedroom by following these tips.

Teenage boy's blue camouflage decorated bedroomcredit

The colour scheme

For a maturing young adult, you need to think about moving away from any childish colours or shades. No more bright palettes or TV show-themed wallpaper. Instead, opt for sophisticated tones, like navy, greys and light browns. These muted colours won’t ever offend your son and will give an air of coolness and calm. You can try adding some brighter shades, picking them out in subtle decorations or in soft furnishings – but don’t overdo it.

Storage in a teenage boy's bedroomcredit

The furniture

Now is the time to say goodbye to cramped single beds or bunk beds. As a growing boy, he’ll both need and want a queen or king-sized bed. Choosing furniture in rich wood will ramp up the sophistication levels – as will opting for sets that match, or are at least made from the same material. Depending on your son’s style, you could add in statement pieces, like an antique chair or solid desk. Think about your son’s lifestyle: would he want something like a desk in his room? Or would he prefer a cabinet for his TV and video games console? Is he more likely to hang clothes up in a wardrobe, or fold them up into a chest? Think about how you can enhance his lifestyle, then put it into practice.

Teenager playing video games in his bedroom

The lighting

Keep up with the theme of smart, sleek and sophisticated by installing contemporary, modern lighting. If you can buy LED recessed lighting, you’ll be able to cover his ceiling in spotlights, instead of using feminine lampshades. Incorporating a feature like a dimmer switch is a good idea, especially if your son enjoys watching movies or playing video games – sometimes the glare from bright lights can be off-putting.

Teen-aged boy's bedroom with basketball memorabilia on the wallcredit

The accessories

Now for the finishing touches. Depending on the area you live in, and what the climate is like, you might want to add to any bedding with a decorated quilt or throw. If you choose to have bare floors or wood laminate, a rug might be a nice touch. Likewise, try adding a few framed photographs or pieces of artwork; are there any special posters you can get hold of? Sports memorabilia? Find a few things that will appeal to your son’s interests and get them framed. Little things like wire tidies for his computer and any consoles will neaten the look up. Plus, adding a slow-release air freshener or scent will keep the room smelling fresh for a while to come.

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