5-minute tricks for a beautiful home

5-minute tricks for a beautiful home

In between work, travel, the gym, socialising and looking after the kids, there often isn’t a lot of time left for planning or creating a stunning interior. We Brits work on average 1,647 hours a week, but we want to have fun too.

Making inspirational mood boards and trawling Pinterest for creative ideas and then spending whole weekends and evenings transforming your home simply isn’t possible for most of us. You’ve probably tried the obvious fixes, such as new cushions or a throw on the sofa, but there is a lot more you can achieve with very little time or effort.

1. A subtle theme

Firstly, choose a theme for the room you want to improve. It doesn’t have to be outlandish or lavish, or something that anyone else would pick up on. You don’t need to go totally tropical (unless you want to of course!), just bring a little unity and cohesion to the space. It might be as simple as thinking ‘monochrome’ for the kitchen or ‘nature’ for the lounge.

Select three items that reflect this theme; that might be cushions, an ornament and a rug, or curtains, light shade and vase. Try and keep this approach in mind when considering all the below options too – it can help avoid that overwhelmed feeling when faced with so many choices.

2. A great piece of art

If you can’t be bothered with feature walls or fiddling with wall paper, a quick but incredibly effective way of bringing character, colour and interest to your room is to choose one picture, vase or sculpture that you love. This doesn’t have to be pricey – there are lots of affordable but striking options on the market. Etsy.com is your friend here for stunning, original photos, prints, paintings and sculptures without having to trawl the next art fair.

3. Reflections

A beautiful, large mirror adds space and light to your home. And if you’d rather not get out the drill to fix it in place, then embrace the art of propping. A mirror on the floor, placed against a wall or mantelpiece looks wonderfully bohemian and works for a contemporary or classic interior – just choose your mirror accordingly. This is perfect for the no-DIY transformation.

4. Foliage and flower

You’re probably thinking how on earth flowers and plants will work when you won’t have time to care for them. Luckily, there is another way! The new generation of artificial plants are a revelation, both in how they look and how they feel. Best of all, they won’t shrivel up and die because you were on holiday.

Sophie Robinson, of BBC Two’s The Great Interior Design Challenge says that she has a large collection of faux flowers, and explained to Good Housekeeping that “The way to keep the look modern is to go for big blousy styles, like peonies or hydrangeas, and pack one type and colour into a large vase.”  Potted orchids, normally challenging to keep alive, work brilliantly faked as well, providing colour and delicacy all year round. 

Bringing artificial greenery into the home will also create a relaxing and calm environment; look for the dramatic cycas palm or yucca. All you need is a minute every month or so to remove any dust from the leaves, to keep them looking fresh and realistic.

5. A clean sweep

The trend for decluttering has gone global, with ecstatic proponents sharing their stories of how they’ve discarded 12 bin bags of stuff from their homes. That takes serious time and dedication, so most of us fall at the first hurdle.

If you don’t have time to read Marie Kondo’s book, the international bestseller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising” let alone implement it, then try this quick version instead.

In your main living space, select two surfaces and commit to keeping them perfect. Take any clutter off them and if you don’t have time to sort it then just remove it from sight. Now choose two or three attractive vases, books or photos only to adorn this area. Try and be strict with yourself! It will create a feeling of space and calm that is priceless – who knows, you may even be inspired to do more.

None of these ideas will take you long, or require ongoing maintenance. Just a little investment in your home can make an incredible difference to how it looks and importantly, how it makes you feel.