New year, new home


Have you ever thought: “I want a fresh start. I want a house I’m proud of. I want hygge. When my home is sorted, my life will be too.”

So have we. And, given the drab start to the year, what better time revamp your living space? Here are some easy ways to give your home a face lift for 2017.

"Turn generic flat pack furniture into unique pieces and modernisecharity shop finds."

Discover yourstyle

Firstly, decide how you want your home to look.

Are you into modern or mid-century? Retro or rustic? Get style inspiration from design sites such as Houzz, Pinterest, Homify and Tumblr. Many weekend papers have an interiors section: grab a copy or have a look online.  

Instagram is another option, plus you can join in the conversation (search hashtags such as #interiordesign, #interiors, #interiordecor, #interiordecoration).  

Find new furniture

Can’t find your style on the high street? Online retailers and allow you to style some pieces to your taste, but you’ll pay a premium.  

Junktique lovers can rifle through eBay, Gumtree, Freecycle or second hand stores. But it’s important to know your stuff: don’t pay a fortune for an Eames if you’re not certain it’s the real deal.

If you’re not bothered about labels, Voga has designer-inspired pieces at a fraction of the price.  

Choose colour(or not)

Are you into colours or neutrals? Your decision will depend on your style.

From blankets, throws and cushions to rugs, walls and ceilings, correct use of colour can be magical… but too much can leave you off balance. Conversely, too plain can be boring.

Painting and wallpapering can have a huge impact on style and feel. A big room feels cosier with dark, patterned wallpaper (commitment-phobes and tenants should look into removable wallpaper).

A small room seems bigger when painted with light neutrals. A feature wall can transform a tired room, add a focal point and create an illusion of space. And have you considered painting the ceiling?

See what the experts have to say on how to work with colours and neutrals in the home.


Not only does decluttering make a home feel bigger and brighter, it can make you feel more in control, productive and could even increase the value of your property.

Organising consultant and author Marie Kondo advises: ask if an item brings you joy. If it does, keep it; if not, throw it out.

Think about investing in furniture that serves as a dual-purpose storage solution for simplicity, such as coffee tables, beds and benches. Put loose items in accessible boxes.

The devil’s inthe detail

Even small changes can have a big impact.

Drawers and doors look completely different when you change knobs and handles. Go uniform or mix-and-match, the choice is yours. You can turn generic flat pack furniture into unique pieces and modernise charity shop finds.

You could also swap curtains for blinds, invest in some funky lighting – light candles or put fairy lights in a vase for an easy, effective statement piece, and visit student art shows to snap up one-offs for the walls. Who knows, they might turn out to be the next Banksy.

Get greenfingered

Enjoy some of the outside inside, with houseplants, succulents and indoor kitchen gardens.

Not only do plants make a house feel like a home, they are also said to make us more creative, less stressed and purify the air around us.    

Finally, before embarking on any redecoration project please make sure you’re on the same page as your husband, wife, partner or housemate. You don’t want to start 2017 with a row about style and budget!

And then all that remains is to kick back, survey your handiwork, smile with well-deserved satisfaction, and hygge to your heart’s content.

  • stephen-morris-square

    Stephen Morris, Deputy Editor

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