Freshen up your home for summer!

Freshen up your home for summer!

The warm weather has started and summer is upon us, so why not give your home a refresh for the upcoming summer months!

Brighten up

Adding bright colours to your home will instantly put you into a summery mood. Swap your current cushions and home accessories for something more colourful. Hanging up vibrant art work will help to brighten up your home, as will using floral and leafy patterns. Make your home even brighter by strategically placing mirrors around your home, which creates the illusion of a more open space.

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Bring the outside inside

A great way to bring summer into your home is to fill it with plants and flowers! Greenery in your home not only looks nice, it helps to improve your wellbeing. Read our previous blog for loads of indoor garden tips. If you don’t fancy having real plants indoors, opt for fake ones or decorate with floral patterned accessories.

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Garden makeover

Summer is the perfect time to get out in your garden or balcony. If you haven’t grown your garden already, you can buy potted plants and flowers to scatter around your garden or hang off your balcony. If you have grass areas, now is the time to make sure they are neat and mowed, as you’ll be wanting to sit outside more in the warm weather! Create a relaxing outdoor space with seating, and hang up fairy lights to create the perfect mood for evenings outside.

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Defrost and a clear-out your freezer ready for more delicious summer treats. Stock up on summer necessities including sunscreen and after-sun, insect repellent and bite cream. Be ready for spontaneous days out by keeping picnic blankets, beach towels and sports equipment/games in your storage cupboards. Summer means BBQ’s, so give your grill a really good clean so you’re ready for guests, and to make the food taste even better.

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Top summer 2017 decor trends

Bright green was named the colour of 2017, and its the perfect colour for summer! Butterfly prints are also a big thing this summer, so get in on the trend by purchasing some butterfly print accessories for your home. Along with butterflies, any kind of tropical prints are a must have this season. Don’t be afraid to mix clashing prints either, its one of the top looks of the year! Rose gold was the big thing of last year, but this year its all about bronze.

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And when you’ve done all this hard work, why not treat yourself, family and friends to a summer party in your newly refreshed home!

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Give your home a spring update!

Give your home a spring update!

Refreshing your home for spring doesn’t have to mean spending loads of money, and realistically nobody repaints their home for every season. With just a few cheap and simple updates, you can say goodbye to the cold, dark winter months, and welcome spring into your home!

Texture trends

If you’re looking to buy new accessories to update your home for the new season, then try copper, marble and acrylic, the biggest trends this spring. Copper adds a warm but modern touch, while marble offers a sleek feel, and acrylic makes your space feel bigger and fresher.

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Colour palette

Spring is all about pastels and bright colours to mimic the lighter days and flourishing new plants and flowers. Lavender and mint  fit with the pastel trend without being too sickly, and if you prefer more subtle colours go for creamy neutrals. Yellows and greens are also perfect for spring.

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Lighter fabrics

Switch out your thick bedding, throws and curtains for less heavy fabrics to help let the light in, and opt for soft, lighter colours to give a fresh feel and open up your space. You can still use throws to create a cosy feel, but choose ones with more vibrant prints.

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Nature

Spring is the time of year when new life is beginning, so bring this idea into your home with lots of greenery and fresh flowers. If buying new furniture pieces, go for wood and earthy textures. Choose house plants that are easy to maintain such as the snake plant of rubber plant. If you don’t want real flowers and plants, decorate with accessories in floral and leafy patterns.

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Fresh scents

Don’t just think about the visual aspects, scents can play an important role when giving your home a spring update. Having house plants and flowers will create natural scents in your home, but to give them a boost try placing reed diffusers in floral and citrus scents around your home.

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Hygge

The latest home interiors trend is hygge (hue-gah) which is a Danish word which went applied in the context of your home means to ‘decorate cosy, live simply’. Whatever makes you feel cosy, whether its cushions and throws or strings of fairy lights, add these to your home along with a more simple approach to home decor to avoid clutter and create a calming environment.

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Decorating on a budget!

Decorating on a budget!

Decorating your home is one of those tasks that often gets left behind and forgotten due to other priorities demanding your attention, and money! But it IS possible to decorate your home on a budget, just read our list of tips!Decor4

You don’t have to buy all the most expensive decorations; look through second-hand shops, vintage stores and independent boutiques for cheaper and unique items. High street budget stores have also started to do much more stylish and better quality home decor, such as Primark, Wilko and Home Bargains. You can also find new furniture cheap at scrapyards and give them a makeover, or even auction houses.

If you’re just wanting to give your home an upgrade, there’s no need to be buying big, expensive pieces of furniture. Update your home with accessories such as cushions, throws and rugs which are much cheaper. And if you’re furniture is in a good condition but you’re just a little bored of it, give it a revamp with some paint or new upholsteryDecor5! Upcycling old items and repurposing furniture is a great way to make use of something old to decorate your home.

Some decorating can even be done for free! Take a look at what you already have and see if anything can be changed around; simply rearranging things in a room can give it a new lease of life! Also try going through all your old stuff, you never know what you might find in the depths of your storage that can be brought back out. And instead of keeping your belongings hidden behind cupboards, have them out on display as decorations; you could do this with mugs, books or pretty perfume bottles.

Decor3Getting creative can also be a great way to decorate your home on a budget. Instead of buying pictures or artwork to hang up, cut eye-catching pictures out of magazines and put them up using colour Washi tape (a great idea for not leaving marks in a rental home). Personal touches in your home are the best kind; print a load of photos of family and friends and create a collage with them. Use your imagination and pretty much anything can be turned into decor; used jam jars, cereal boxes, wooden crates, the list is endless! Try using nature as well; we’re not saying go steal flowers from someones garden, but pick up things such as shells from the beach, fallen leaves and branches, flowers, acorns and pine cones, which can make great decorations for your home.

If you do have a bit of money to spend, there are budget-friendly items you can buy to decorate your home. Mirrors create dimension in your home as well as acting as a decoration and making your space look even bigger. Big, patterned wall canvases are a great affordable way to brighten up your walls, especially living in a rented home. Try switching out your lamp shade Decor2covers to something a little brighter, and hang up strings of fairy lights for a warmer, more romantic feel. Buying potted plants for your home is also a great idea as they are cheap, add life to your home, and are even good for your health as they purify the air and make us feel happier!

No garden? No problem! Gardening for rented homes

No garden? No problem! Gardening for rented homes

You may think because you live in a rented home with little or no outdoor space that you can’t enjoy a garden. Well you’d be wrong! You can create lush indoor gardens, utilise balcony space, and if you do have a garden in a rented home, there are still ways to transform your green space.

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Indoor gardens

Creating an indoor garden and scattering house plants around your home not only makes your space feel fresher and more lived in, they also help purify the air, suppress bacteria, help counteract central heating by adding humidity, and can even make you feel happier and more relaxed. Growing plants indoors is actually easier than outdoors, as you don’t have to deal with bad weather conditions or diseases.

Low/medium light plants:

  • Chinese evergreen, Pothos
  • Snake plant, Zeezee plant
  • Peace Lily, Bird’s Nest Fern
  • Spider plant, Rubber plant
  • Dracaena, Prayer plant
  • Parlor Palm, African Violet

 

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You can fill empty spaces on bookshelves or in corners with potted plants, or create a no-mess terrarium to use as a unique table centre piece by putting small rocks, soil, live moss and low maintenance plants into a large, wide-mouth jar. Bathrooms are great spaces to grow plants as they provide warmth, moisture and light. If you are accident prone, opt for woven and material planters to avoid disaster, or if not you can choose quirky glass or ceramic pots to add decoration.

Unique ways to display houseplants:

  • On a repurposed, decorated ladder
  • In old light bulbs filled with water (for indoor hydroponics like English Ivy and Philodendron)
  • In small vintage teacups
  • In an small, recycled drawer set
  • In a range of different coloured pots with different materials and textures
  • Create a fairy garden in a small wooden crate
  • In repurposed mason jars, decorated if you want more colour
  • Hung up vertically to save space

 

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Home central heating can really dry out plants; in this instance most people would be tempted to water them more, but this can damage and kill them too! Instead what they need is to have the leaves misted with water daily to add humidity again. However, if you don’t have a great track record with growing plants, these are the hardest to kill: Aloe, Kentia palm, Arrowheaded vine, Golden pothos, Zebra Haworthia, Ghost plant and Geranium.

Succulents are also a great choice of plant to grow in the home: use loose cactus soil, expose to medium sunlight, only water when soil is completely dry, use plant food to input nutrients, let air get to them, and repot occasional in large containers to give them room to grow. The best succulents for rooms that receive a lot of light are Aloe Vera and the Jade plant.

Best purifying plants:

  • Aloe Vera, Areca palm
  • Baby rubber, Bamboo palm
  • Boston fern, Chinese evergreen
  • Mass cane, Ficus alii

 

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Herb garden

Herbs are great for your indoor garden as they also can be used for flavourings in your cooking! To plant herbs: soak seeds for a couples of hours, fill plant pots with soil/coarse sand mixture, plant seeds 3 times deeper than seed width, water only when soil is dry to touch. Herbs are ready to harvest when flowers bud; cut 4-6 inches above the base of the plant and harvest in small amounts.

The best herbs to grow on your kitchen windowsill are: basil, chives, coriander, fennel, lemongrass, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme; and they’re also best for seasoning your food. A great way to display them when ready to use is hung up vertically so they are easy to reach up for when cooking; unique and practical!

 

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Balcony/back garden

If you are lucky enough to have a balcony or a back garden, you have more choice, but you still have to be careful in a rented home! For balconies, vertical or hanging gardens are the best option as they leave room to put seating and a table so you can sit and enjoy the nature. It’s also a chance to get really creative without making any changes that would lose you your deposit! You can hang baskets on the balcony railings, and if you want to create more privacy, put in a trellis and grow climbing plants to create a natural barrier. You don’t have to splash out on new things to display your plants; you can reuse old items such as a ladder for great vertical display, a decorated shower caddy or hanging shoe rack.

The key for back gardens is to avoid digging anything up; instead use pretty plant pots to grow flowers, or set down wooden crates and fill with soil to plant, which will blend in more to the natural surroundings. Balconies and gardens also offer the opportunity to grow a little vegetable garden in containers.

 

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Best container vegetables for beginners:

  • Tomatoes, Peppers, Lettuce
  • Chilies, Onions
  • Beans, Peas
  • Eggplant, Carrots
  • Radishes

Even on tiny balconies you can add a couple of seats and a chair to create an outdoor space you can enjoy, or throw down loads of cushions and blankets for a chilled vibe. As well as plants to create your garden, decorations are just as important; fairy lights and lanterns look stunning at night on balcony, as well as a back garden. With a house garden you will usually have more space to be creative and to add seating and tables, or be a little different and put in a swing seat or hammock! Rented back gardens can tend to be a little plain, so add anything to give it personality and make it your own space, just no digging or serious landscaping!

 

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