An Elegant Home Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth
An Elegant Home Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth
One some level, all of us want our homes to look elegant. Even those of us who don’t see ourselves as very “posh” want an elegant home. Of course, it’s important to understand that elegant isn’t synonymous with opulent or extravagant. Elegance speaks to simplicity, a minimalism that would make the life of any homeowner feel calmer and more confident about their home.
Most people seem to think that elegance requires great expense. But elegance suggests nothing more than a refined, tasteful beauty. In fact, it’s much more synonymous with ‘delicate’ than it is with ‘luxury’! As you’ve no doubt seen yourself at some point, people can throw obscene amounts of cash on their house only for it to seem gaudy by the end of the makeover!
So there really isn’t that direct a relationship between how nice your house looks and how much money you spent on it. Realise that and the doors to rich interior design opportunities burst wide open. (Rich, of course, not used in financial terms!)
Here are some simple and affordable steps you can take to make your home feel
Improving the lighting – especially natural lighting
If the bulbs in your lights are too dim, then it’s going to be hard for people to appreciate your rooms. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should get lights that are too bright. They tend to flood the room with too much of the stuff, and they also generate uncomfortable heat! Experiment with different bulbs in your rooms to see if you can find the perfect shine. Getting a dimming system in place would definitely be the ideal solution.
But even more important than your bulbs is the presence of natural light in your home. Never underestimate how elegant a wash of natural light can make any room. Have the curtains open as much as possible. If there’s anything outside blocking the light coming in, find a way to get rid of it.
Cleaning it up
If you’re concerned at all about elegance, then I very much doubt your house is actually messy. Or, certainly, it won’t be very dirty. You probably already take care to dust it regularly and clean tables and kitchen tops often. But all the dusting and scrubbing in the world won’t help with the elegant feels if your house is cluttered.
Most people have way more possessions that they need. Again, elegance suggests a form of minimalism. It’s about allowing viewers to see pleasing detail in a space that doesn’t feel suffocating. And if you’ve got a bunch of figures, vases, DVDs, unwanted books, stacks of paper, etc.? Then you and your guests are going to end up feeling a little suffocated. Go on a decluttering spree!
Choosing a striking and consistent paint job
Choosing the right paint job for this task is a tricky one. After all, we’re trying to keep things affordable. And the best way to ensure elegance is to have the paint job and the decor match, or at least not clash. So how we avoid prescribing certain paint styles without also suggesting that you update your entire furniture set?
The fact is that the paintwork of the average household may actually do the trick. Most homes have warm, neutral tones on the walls. Cream, light yellow, sky blue – these schemes inherently look elegant. But if you’re looking to redo the paint in your home, then there are ways to ensure elegance. Keeping with soft hues – grey, cream, bronze – will keep things looking beautiful.
Of course, it is impossible to go with bolder colours that don’t take away from a room’s elegant side. Black, red and green can be used to great effect! (Whereas other dramatic colours such as purple and shocking pink may not do the trick!)
Tending to the glass in your home
How elegant can you make glass look, really? Aside from keeping it clean and streak-free, we don’t have much in the way of suggestions for the glass itself. But what we do have are suggestions for the things that are surrounding the glass. After all, the glass in your home doesn’t tend to call attention to itself. (In fact, it’s supposed to do the opposite – either let you see through it or let you see yourself.) That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a helping hand.
The windows in your rooms can look refined if you can get the right curtain or blind setup. A lot of people still have thick, dusty curtains at home because they still do the job they were meant to do. Consider getting some new, lighter ones in. Better yet, replace the whole thing with blinds. Things like bamboo blinds will always look great in any home.
If you have any mirrors, you can give these an elegant touch, too. If you get your hands on the right adhesive, you can put some small gemstones or diamonds on the frame. Of course, I’m referring to imitation ones, here! But those inexpensive stones often look just as beautiful as the real thing. You may want to look into stores that sell both low & high tack adhesive glue dots to ensure you get the right strength for whatever stone you’re using.
Deal with your carpet
Many homeowners think they’re looking after their carpet correctly. The truth is that very few of us tend to it enough. There’s a widespread view that keeping it vacuumed is enough to keep it clean. You may even be thinking that yourself! But vacuuming doesn’t really do the job. It’s actually recommended by many manufacturers that you get your carpet washed at least once a year. If you were to see what your carpet used to look like compared to what it looks like now, you’d agree that it looks more elegant when clean!
There is, of course, a more extreme option. The fact is that carpets aren’t much seen as an elegant feature of a home. Hardwood flooring is now considered the real deal. Along with the hygienic benefits, the aesthetics of your rooms really get a boost when you switch to hardwood flooring.
Of course, this isn’t exactly as affordable a suggestion as the ones I’ve already put forward. But a professional company can do it for less than £1000, which is less than people usually expect. And you can do it yourself for even less if you’re feeling adventurous!