Last Friday one of my close friends called up rather late at night. She got late information that her parents are coming to visit her on a surprise trip. They will stay with her for about three weeks so that they can spend some time together this holiday season. My friend stays away from home, so this was a rather happy occasion for her. But why did she sound so concerned? She sounded desperate over phone!
As it turned out that her parents are coming on the following Monday and she had only two days’ time to put her “house” in order. I knew, she never practiced orderliness at home yet in only two days time she was to give her reasonably sized apartment a new look. This sounded an impossibility to her and, frankly, I too was somewhat at a loss while trying to give a few useful suggestions. So I requested for some time and advised her to get busy tidying up her apartment in the meantime.
Later the same evening I mailed her a detailed to do list which she needed to follow scrupulously. I got the report today. Her mother is thoroughly impressed with her beautiful apartment and her skills of maintaining the house. In fact, she was positively surprised at her daughter’s “changes” since the early days when she would hate even keeping her own room in order!
So I thought it appropriate to share the list, after a few minor alterations, with you. If you are late on starting your refurbishments plans for the new year, or do not want too elaborate a program, this is the ideal recipe for you.
Begin by painting only one wall of your living room. Anyone entering your apartment will come here first. Alternatively, you can upgrade the look of your dining or bedroom wall. My friend redid her guest room wall. If painting the entire wall seems too cumbersome, paint only the lower half of it with a vibrant colour.
Keep it skilfully carefree to give your room a shabby chic feel. You can also consider covering up the wall with suitable traditional or 3D wallpaper. Remember, to clean the surface thoroughly, scrub the residual paints before applying a fresh coat or covering it with wallpaper.
Decorate the walls further by hanging prominent paintings or photographs that go with the overall décor of your room. Keep it bright and cheerful. No major investment is necessary to arrange these. You can coat a large framed canvas in a single colour and make it the focal point of the room. Draw a simple geometric maze in dazzling colours. This will intrigue anyone who steps into the space.
Collect a few dried branches of trees, twigs etc and arrange it into an abstract form. If none of these suits you buy fine art posters in large format to deck up the walls. You can even hang mere photo frames in various shapes and sizes. This will be an artwork in itself!
This point cannot be stressed enough. Only an organised space is a healthy and happy space. So, take time out to do away all the clutters of your apartment. Arrange the books in a specific order – alphabetically, according to the topic, author or anything else depending on your preference.
Keep a few very basic show pieces on the book shelves. This would give your study a really stylish makeover. Do not disregard your closet. Give away clothes, shoes and accessories that are no longer in use. This will free some more space. The principles of 5S (sort, set, shine, standardise and sustain) also apply to your home.
Buy a new piece of furniture or decorative element that would give your apartment a real boost – functionally and look wise. How about buying a new chair for your home office or a corner table for the living room? Perhaps your kitchen requires a new shelf.
See if your dressing room mirror needs replacing. Think of buying a new lighting fixture, such as a beautiful new table lamp that will help to brighten up the ambience by its mere presence. If all of these seem unnecessary, change your cushion covers to give a refreshingly new look to your apartment. The chic lighting fixture by Marty Häuser AG adds a refreshing touch in the interiors of this home.
Give your old furniture a new lease of life by altering their looks, shapes and colour. You can create stools or side tables out of partially worn out chairs. Old wooden or ottoman boxes could be reused as additional storage, console table in the hallway, centre table in the living room or bedroom chaise lounge chair. Add a cushioned cover in case you are using it as a bench.
This need not be limited to furniture only. You can frame old tapestry, shawl and other such intricately embroidered fabric into wall art. New cushion covers, aprons, kitchen gloves, table runner and lamp shades could be made out of old – but not faded – bed linens, scarves and evening gowns. Look around your apartment to see what you can recycle to dress up the interiors and decrease clutter.
Having potted plants and vase full of flowers is the quickest and easiest way of creating a merry vibe. This can hide many flaws and usher such jolly spirit that makes everyone feel at home. If you do not have much time for maintaining an indoor garden think of having plants that are inherently hardy in nature.
Spider plant, aloe, rubber tree, peperomia, jade plant and a few of the palm species are very easy to care yet add beauty to our homes. Fresh flowers in a vase or glass jar, ikebana or floating flowers and candles are also good enough to enhance the beauty of your apartment.