Interior designer Lorena Gaxiola shares 5 cost-effective tips to refresh your home this New Year, from painting a blackboard wall to incorporating the colour green.
“Our home is the perfect place to start when it comes to kicking off a successful new year. It’s our bedrock, our retreat and for many of us, the centre of our universe. It makes sense to spend some time making it a place we feel good about,” says Lorena.
Try one or more of these five ideas!
1. Create a personal masterpiece
Our homes are extensions of our personalities, says Lorena. “Simple DIY jobs like re-birthing an old bookcase with a splash or paint, reframing old photos, or reupholstering a chair if you’re feeling really adventurous, are so satisfying.
“You can make them social projects by including friends or family.” When it comes to colour, Lorena says go bold! “Brights make us happy and feel energetic.” Transform a favourite piece of furniture and make your mark. Look to brights to lift the mood – and take a lead from the catwalks and consider a splash of neon to add vibrancy.
Dulux Wash & Wear Indoor Paint in Species, RRP $44.45 per litre. Available from Bunnings.
2. While we’re on colour… green is the new black
Green is so hot right now that Pantone has elected Emerald as its official 2013 colour of the year. Green generally symbolises prosperity, fertility, nature, self respect, wellbeing and life itself. “Green is BIG this year in all its forms and there’s a hue to suit everyone. Think laterally about how to bring it into your home. Make it work for you.”
Introduce luscious green plants inside to invite nature indoors; review your soft furnishings and see how you can incorporate a sheen of green into cushions or throws; scour junk or secondhand stores to create a mashup of green items to create an eclectic collection.
Boskke ceramic Sky Planters. Small pots RRP $49.00. Buy online at Design for Use.
3. Create the new world order
Even in a matter of months it’s easy for clutter to build up – including knick-knacks that may have no real ‘home’. Clean up and throw out! Then focus on the precious things worthy of highlighting.
“Collections are great, but often not given the credit they deserve. Put them front and centre. Whether it’s framed photos of loved ones or favourite places, stamps, snowglobes, teaspoons, owls, old playing cards – create a special display that keeps them in order and shows them off,” says Lorena.
Try displaying your collectables on modern white shelves to enjoy them every day or create a wall-mounted display by using the same coloured frames and grouping them in a favourite spot.
Corban & Blair ‘Mixed Frames Collection’ in black, RRP $273. Available from Corban & Blair.
4. Honour the inner child
Create a space for tapping into some whimsy and fun. “Life can be really serious, so dedicate some space for letting your hair down creatively. I’ve loved watching how much the kids in the house let loose on the blackboard wall in our kitchen. It’s not only an artistic outlet, but it becomes a place the whole family leaves messages for each other.”
Paint a wall in your kitchen with black chalkboard paint and encourage everyone, young and old, to use it. It’s a great spot for simple masterpieces or beautiful messages of love, inspiration and affirmation – even from you to you.
White Knight Chalkboard Paint 250ml in black, RRP $12.90. Available from Bunnings.
5. Resolve to turn your travels into a new art collection
Travel for fun is one part planning, one part experiencing and one part reminiscing (and that can often be the best part!), says Lorena. “A long time ago I resolved to bring a piece of art home with me from wherever I travelled and now I have a really eclectic collection.”
Travel doesn’t have to be to farflung places for the art to be worth hanging onto either, she says. “Sometimes a simple weekend away a couple of hours from home will unearth an unexpected gem. There is always a story attached somehow.”
Dig out the treasures you’ve brought home from a trip but may have left languishing in a dark corner somewhere. A carving, painting, sketch, postcard, statue or oil painting are all enough to get your personal collection started.