Photo credit: (with permission) the beautiful home of Michelle Matangi via Instagram | Please note that this post contains affiliate links
Unless the walls are literally falling down around your head, or you’re wringing the curtains out with damp, it’s a shame to feel you hate your home. But, do you have bits about your house that you just don’t like very much? Lots of us do – whether it’s putting up with breeze block walls that haven’t ever seen a whiff of plaster, nasty light fittings that mean you just can’t relax, or a sticky second-hand extractor hood that has what looks like years of dust stuck to it, we can all point out something we don’t like. That’s why I’m sharing a few tips on how to improve one or two things, just incase there are bits of your house that are getting you down…
Ugly feature walls
If you’re sick of looking at a purple feature wall chosen by the previous occupier, there’s only one thing for it: break out the paint! If you own your home or you have permission from the landlord, fixing a feature wall is something you can easily do on a rainy weekend. Just make sure you’ve prepared for painting first. Alternatively, you could simply opt for something like a peel & stick wallpaper – a great second option if you’re not allowed to paint over your feature wall, or you could do what Michelle has done so excellently and make a gallery wall instead (see the featured image above).
Michelle’s dark photo frames work perfectly against her trendy peach wall, and I’d guess that it’d look equally as wonderful if Michelle had been working with a purple, turqouise or any other colour of wall for that matter.
If you’re not the biggest fan of your sofa, you’d probably like to get another one. But they’re expensive, right!? That’s why it’s 100% OK to keep the one you’re not in love with, so long as you can dress it up to make it look nicer until you can afford the sofa of your dreams. So, grab a few throws and cushions and get styling: mix and match cushion shapes and heights, think about your colour palette, and above all else, prioritise comfort.
It won’t magically transform a stylish (but sometimes a bit austere) mid century sofa into a squishy country sofa, for example, but it will definitely soften the edges and give you something comfy to nap on.
I like what Ruth’s done to her (admittedly already lovely) sofa above – with sheepskins and large cushions to curl up on (see above) – definitely something to take inspiration from!
Unless you’re going to find a way to install skylights or floor to ceiling windows in every room, you’re going to be relying on artificial light. But what do you do if you’re chopping vegetables under strip lighting in a kitchen, or sitting in your living room with the overhead lights on all evening?
It’s simple: start adding more sources of lighting. It’s remarkable how much cosier a room feels if you add some lamps, and it doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money. Use a desk lamp in the corner of your living room, pop a floor lamp in another, and perhaps string a set of fairy lights across the mantlepiece.
Treat yourself to candles for your coffee table or sideboard too – the gentle flicker gives off a lovely glow, and a scented candle will make your room smell delicious.
What constitutes an ugly floor depends who you ask, but if you’re unlucky enough to have a 1970s carpet in your house and don’t have tons of cash to replace it, consider laminate flooring. Laminate flooring is basically just compressed MDF with an image laid over the top. So, it’s fake, but looks like real wood, tiles or whatever else you fancy. Or at least the good stuff does! DIY-types can lay laminate flooring themselves, or you can just pick a cheap one and ask a professional to lay it for you. If you can only afford the cheapest stuff, pop to IKEA to pick up a few rugs to layer over the top. It will make the room look more homely and it’ll disguise the fact the flooring is on the cheaper side.
So as you can see, there’s a lot that can be done to combat a few common complaints about an ugly home. It’s true that most of these tips are related to styling, so bigger problems are inevitably going to mean redecorating or even ripping things out or knocking down walls. But make a start with candles, throws, rugs and lighting – it might make enough difference and spare you the hassle and cost of renovating for the time being. (But if you do want to renovate? Check out what Amanda had to say on the matter first).
p.s This is not your standard magnolia new build home…