When the Christmas decorations have to come down, all of a sudden your house can look a little tired and definitely deprived of sparkle. Because all the glitter is gone, it's the perfect time to change it up and transform your home to a place you never want to leave this year. Here are five ways you can do just that:
Revitalise spaces that have been taken over with clutter by powering through it in small chunks and bagging it up ready to take out of the house. Remember what Oscar Wilde said: "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful". I live by this mantra and will only have useful or beautiful things in my home. Charity shops are crying out for your unloved clutter.
A CHANGE OF COLOUR
One of the best ways to keep changing the appearance of your home throughout the year is by starting with a neutral palette. If you've fallen into the trap of brightly coloured themed rooms and are sick of the colour, instead of changing from purple to green or blue to yellow, switch to a neutral palette of white, grey, eggshell blue and light browns. This way, you can bring in colour throughout the year with cheap accessories such as books, vases and photo frames and change your colour theme whenever you need a change.
If you're already all over the neutral palette and feel that a colour pick-me-up is needed why not be bold and introduce some neon accessories.
Save the planet a little bit and save yourself some hard earned cash (ok, in the long run!) by making your home a more eco-friendly place to live. One of the easiest ways to do this is through insulation. Keep the heat in, keep your bills down, save the planet. Loft insulation can save you the most money on average and you might even qualify for a freebie, check the Energy Saving Trust.
There's no excuse not to use energy saving light bulbs - the light produced looks the same as standard light bulbs, costs you a little more, lasts you so much longer.
CAPITALISE ON THE SALES without bargainitis
We’ve all been there; the lure of the 70% off sale ticket does funny things to our heads and we end up with a coat/lamp/pair of stilettos/dog food when we don't even have a dog.
If you can avoid the curse of bargainitis by considering that nothing is a bargain unless you need it, then the sales can be your best friend.
Some of the best homeware buys can be found in the sales and because lots of essential homewear items such as throws, rugs and cushions are considered to be seasonal and have a particular sales push in Winter, these are the items that you're able to pick up for a bargain.
UPCYCLE, THE CHEAT'S WAY
Everyone has something a bit knackered in their homes that can be brought back to life. Whether it's an old desk, chair with a wobbly leg or a photograph frame that's been knocked over one too many times, those items can be upcycled and restored or decorated to become objects of beauty. My toolkit consists of just two brilliant DIY finds: heavy duty glue used by joiners - sticks anything together and fixes even the wobbliest of table legs, chalk paint - paint anything: glass, ceramic, wood, metal without bothering with sanding down or preparing it. A miraculous discovery made for the laziest of us.
Whether you decide to go big (like me with my 17th Century cottage renovation) or small by painting a photo frame, every home deserves a New Year spruce.
Heather runs www.ayorkshirehome.com, a blog documenting the painstaking renovation of a 17th century cottage up north. Find her on Twitter @ayorkshirehome.