The new year is a wonderful time to bring fresh intentions and create more space in your life for the things you love, especially if 2018 left you feeling a little lost. Now is the perfect opportunity to establish a new direction in which you want your path to head. Even if you’re pretty satisfied with life, it’s still useful to reflect on what’s been going well and reconsider the things that haven’t quite been serving you in the way you hoped.
And as well as turning inwards, January is an opportunity to look up and evaluate the space you have around you. I have long believed that your home should reflect you. It should be a physical embodiment of your personality, character and story; or at least a part of it. You should feel connected to it, like you can instantly relax and restore as soon as you step through the front doors. But sometimes, you naturally outgrow your home interior, even if you connected to it at one point in time. We’re human beings after all, and we’re constantly growing and changing as time moves forward.
If you’ve entered the new year and you’re not completely happy with the home you have, then now is the time to do something about it. It might feel daunting - believe me, I spent a lot of time and effort creating our home, transforming it into the space I wanted - but it was so worth it. I wouldn’t change the challenges or processes we had to go through for the world because now I’ve got the most important thing of all; a home I can feel myself in, a space I can truly love and cherish.
And thanks to today’s technological advances, I’m pleased to inform you that planning a house renovation, whatever scale you want to go to, has never been easier. If you’re creative with lots of ideas but you don’t know how to bring them to life, then I’ve got plenty of tips and tool suggestions that could help you. Whether that’s nailing the dimensions, devising the perfect complimentary colour palette or simply finding some inspiration, I’ve compiled some resources below to help you.
Before you even think about renovating your home, seriously reconsider everything you have in it. This involves asking yourself a series of questions: When was the last time I used this? Do I have anything else the same or really similar? Do I really need it? They might seem simple, but these kinds of questions can be difficult to answer honestly. We’re all guilty of getting attached to things for no apparent reason, but once you rid your home of the unnecessary stuff, you might just have a clearer idea of how you want to redecorate or renovate it this new year.
Have a look at Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ for more tips, or check out Jessica Rose Williams and her post ‘How To Declutter The Sentimental Stuff’ if you’re struggling. And remember, if everything’s in good nick, don’t just throw it away; sell it on eBay, donate it to your local charity shop or see if your friends need anything. It’s always nice knowing something you don’t need anymore can be of use to someone else.
In this day and age, there are plenty of sources for inspiration; sometimes a quick scroll through an Instagram hashtag is enough to get your creative juices flowing. But if you’re a little stuck for ideas, I always suggest Pinterest. A wealth of design and decor suggestions, this site really helped me gather a breadth of ideas, drawing on current trends, colour palettes, furnishings and layouts to really put together my own unique mood boards for every single room. It’s a visual paradise, especially if you’re keen to get advice off family, friends or a professional because you can easily share your vision with them.
If Pinterest isn’t for you, then I definitely suggest doing some reading. Moorea Seal’s ‘Make Yourself At Home’ is great if you need some help designing a space that connects and reflects your inner self.
Plan your dream home
Before you start planning, don’t rule out a notebook and pen. When I set to task and designed our new flat, I jotted a lot of my ideas down in a journal, sticking in magazine clippings, fabric samples and writing down my thoughts as they came to me. Plus, when I was out and about visiting other places, I made sure I had my notebook in my bag, ready to take out and use if something caught my eye.
It was a really great way to get creative and whilst I love having a physical remnant of the process, there are also lots of apps you can also use if you don’t fancy it. The Dulux Visualizer App is particularly handy because you can create a colour palette out of a photograph; for example, if you like our wallpapers and want to find out which colours would suit, simply upload an image of one of our designs or take a photo of one of our wallpaper samples and the app will match it. Of course, please double check the colours using their tester pots as we all know digital colours appear different on different monitors.
Buy the perfect pieces
Now all the plans are in place, you’ll want to start transforming your space and making it into the home you desire. And this might require purchasing new furniture or homeware. Whilst you might want to head out to a physical store and shop that way, you may struggle to visualise pieces in your home there and then. That’s why the IKEA Place app is so incredibly useful. With 3D and true-to-scale models of actual IKEA products, you can virtually place different items in your home to see how they will look and function in the space available, before purchasing via the app also.
Of course though when curating your dream home this year, it’s important to shop around. Good job the market is awash with some really incredible interior brands right now. Here are just some of our favourites:
Make it happen
Finally, after all that prep, the renovation can take place. Depending on how far you plan to renovate, you'll need to choose between DIY or calling in a professional. If you’re keen to do it yourself, then there are lots of handy tools available at the click of a button. The iHandy Leveller is useful for all sorts of things, particularly if you’re looking to spruce up your walls this new year with some new artwork, shelving or hanging plants. The Measured app is also super helpful because you can save accurate measurements of your space using just your phone camera and take them with you when you go furniture shopping. And then there’s Handymobi, an app in which you can completely organise your renovation, browse ideas and share your vision. It also includes a unit converter, a level tool and a calculator, so it’s pretty nifty
But if you do decide to get a professional in, be sure to check out either Homewings or RoomLab if, like me, you’re based in London. Each site gives you the chance to work with a talented interior designer to work on your brief, design and eventually execute the project. Plus, they have some really incredible homeware suppliers, with suggestions tailored to your budget, so however you desire to transform your home in 2019, they can help you make it happen!