Friday, April 9, 2010

Harmonising your Decor and Lifestyle

If you've been living in your house for a while and life's adventures have taken a toll - you may have moved in as a single and now you're the parent of two children - then your décor needs will have changed dramatically over the years.

Your furnishings will be the first to show it. Now is the time to customise the décor to your current status and you don't have to spend a bomb to do it. There are lots of basic things you can do to tweak your furnishings. If your treasured possessions have been displayed behind glass-fronted cabinets and now have to be secured in cupboards with solid panel doors (you have kids, remember?), then choose a colour or timber veneer which is stylish and eye-catching from the huge variety on offer. 

Is your sofa comfortable enough to sleep on (teens fall where they stand!)? Now might be the time to invest in a sofa bed. Are there better ways you can store your children's books and all that technical stuff that integrates a little better than plastic crates? Can you make your humble shelving unit a 'glamorous' fixture? And weren't you thinking of eventually buying a BIG flat-screen TV. Where would THAT go? Those gorgeous dark-stained bare floorboards you admire in other people's homes, would they be suitable now you have a 'grown-up' family?

First, identify what pleases you and satisfies your needs and then back-track from there, finances permitting.
Think about:
  • You certainly loved those bare, minimalist windows. But it makes sense to have them covered with small kids around. Spring-loaded adjustable curtain rods are ideal when you can't, or don't want to drill into the wall. Now you can experiment with some of the lovely sheers and groovy cotton fabrics you've been admiring
  • Storage generally has become de-structured. Which means having a great storage unit where everything works for your family is easier than you think. With the availability of the 'component' (separate shelves, brackets, doors, knobs, etc) you can design and create for yourself (hey, forget those expensive professionals) a unit that keeps law and order in your living room
  • Stuff seems to have crowded out your living space but you really want a more appropriate place to keep all the 'technology'. You have been saving up for a new entertainment unit. With what's on offer these days, it's a piece of cake to personalise your very own 'entertainment centre'. Shelves, brackets, cupboards, doors and panels can be fashioned to fit your requirements. No worries
  • You can create a work space which truly suits your needs and budget by buying a separate table top and base - there's a choice of trestles, legs, even individual storage/filing cabinets. The flexibility of this is brilliant because you've got a stable surface for eating, and the kids' homework, too
  • Don't forget those indispensable slipcovers. They can give a tired old sofa a new lease of life - maybe you are into florals now, go for it. Just zip them off and throw them in the wash
  • Love the look of a timber floor but not the budget for it? You CAN find a floor to match your style. Check out what's on offer in laminated flooring which is exceptionally easy to lay. The built-in underlay will dampen sound but why not buy a couple of gorgeous inexpensive rugs at the same time to create a whole new look.
Making minor adjustments to your décor as your lifestyle changes is not going to cost a lot, but it will give you enormous pleasure. And your family will be thrilled, too. 

Article by Rose-Marie Hillier from Australian Women's Weekly


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