Maharashtrian New Year, Punjabi New Year, Bengali New Year, Tamil New Year, Chinese New Year, English calendar new year – admit it. These are just reasons for us to shop for new things – clothes, cars, jewellery, gadgets, kitchenware, and even furniture. But amidst all our preparation to make our lives easier and to look better, there is a Grande dame that is usually neglected. She’s important in our lives, very much so, but is often paid attention only when she’s in some kind of trouble.
The grand old thing being referred to here is none other than our homes! Don’t you think it’s time to up the style quotient of our home too, but her some fine old jewellery in the form of fittings and furniture, give her a spa makeover with new painting and varnishing, cleaning all the mouldy corners, and making the garden in front of her pretty again? We’d all love to stay in a good-looking house now, wouldn’t we? House improvements and renovations are admittedly expensive things, but here are a few decorative tips that you could use with a limited budget and make your house look better! Some of them are good enough to even make use of the old, unwanted things lying in your house!
- Plump up some cushions! – Cushions big and small covered with cool covers – jewel toned, Indian heritage print, geometric printed, striped, or with appliqué work – they all look wonderful. Throw in a few of them colour co-ordinated with the interiors of your house and see what a difference they make! You can keep changing the covers o your cushions too just to keep some variety in the decor from time to time. A great way to make use of the old clothes and bed stuffing you have lying around your house would be to make hand-sewn cushions! Make the cushions and buy beautiful covers to reduce costs.
- Personal Art – You don’t have to buy paintings worth thousands of rupees if you have some creative ideas of your own! Make your own paintings, fit them in well-polished wooden or shining metal frames and hang them where the light hits them just right. Sketching, drawing, or any other form of art that can be hung from walls should be used optimally. Even heavily worked upon fabrics can be framed and hung on walls. There are some urban ideas of creating your own artwork though. Use materials such as thread spools, matchsticks, seashells, pins, or even chocolate wrappers and create your own wall art!
- The art of hiding – Now-a-days, there is no end of modern, small gadgets that we need to fill our houses with. Modems or routers, air purifiers, white noise machines, bulbs – it’s quite a long list! Rather than hanging out plain plastic boxes in boring colours like black, white, or beige, you could try placing them in bigger, artistic objects which could be used as show pieces too. For example, you could place light bulbs in large earthenware lanterns, or you could hollow out a big, thick book that’s no longer in use and place your router in it. Just be sure the designer cover doesn’t harm the gadget in any way and there is free flow of air from and to the device to prevent overheating.
- Small objects d’arts – Ladies, you’d love this one! Do you regret buying that large brooch that’s all gold with large red metallic berries on it? Or do you have an artificial chain that has a hideous design and which you no longer wear anymore? Time to stop mourning about money lost on them and instead put them to good use! Make small objects – such as fridge magnets, rope ends for ropes that are used to tie curtains, decorations that can be fixed to curtain roads, make vases out of them by sticking them on plain mud or ceramic jars. There are several ways in which you can use jewels and make them look really pretty.
- Painting – You don’t need to hire lazy painters to give our house walls an uplift! With the help of rollers and easy to use brushes, you can learn how to do the job yourself! You may need help in getting flaking old paint off the walls, or getting rid of hideous wallpapers using steam, but the rest should be easy enough to manage!
- See through glass – there are so many beautiful cards and pictures that we have lying around our house and which we don’t have the heart to throw away. They instead lie in some dark, forgotten corner, or gather dust as they’re proposed against a wall like show pieces. Well, gather them and place them on your tables or counter tops that aren’t used too often. Then, take a large, thick sheet of glass cut to the dimensions of the table top and with rounded edges. Place the glass pane on the colourful pictures and voila! You’ve got yourself some table top art!
- Shop from flea markets – Sales, flea markets, fairs, and exhibitions are great places to buy home decor items are great prices and after you’ve selected from a larger variety than you’d usually find in shops. So, keep your eyes peeled for advertisements for such events and make it a point to visit them. Select from cottage industry and indigenous items so that you do your bit for the country while you are sprucing up your home too!
Not all damaged things need to be given or thrown away. Some can be fixed a little or given a makeover and reused. Faded or stained rugs simply need to be cleaned well and then re-used in a proper manner; place large furniture pieces on those parts or cut the carpet into smaller pieces so they can be used as rugs or rooms! Use a little creativity, brush up on your bargaining skills, find alternate ways in which you could use cheap items like paints, lights, and wood to give your house a total makeover!