Property guru Kirstie Allsopp shares her top tips for making a house a home.
1. Make your home your own. If you don’t love where you live, everything suffers. Surround yourself with unique items that have a personal attachment. This will ensure you create a home that reflects who you are.
2. Storage is a simple and effective way to clear away clutter, and thus create a new feel in a room. Try boxes and baskets in similar colours to your room scheme. Boxes are also great when kids are around; they’re so easy to stack and you can just throw all the toys away and out of sight in a instant.
3. Channel your inner stylist and create a beautiful display using items you already have. Sometimes all that’s needed to change the mood of a room is rearranging furniture or accessories. If you’ve got the sense that something isn’t right, just shift it about.” Group similar accessories together, and don’t be afraid to mix colours and styles.
4. Don’t be afraid to mix eras. In the 1930s and 1950s people were amazed at new manufacturing methods and materials but they didn’t chuck away what they had. Pieces of Victorian and arts and crafts furniture appeared alongside the new glass, steel, aluminium and plastic furnishings. And that’s what I do in my home – merge it all together.
5. Quite often doing a bit of a chuck out and tidy up will have the same impact as knocking down walls. So many people are selling their homes because they’ve outgrown them, but they’re hoarding stuff – so be really be tough with yourself. What absolutely adds value to property is keeping everything super clean and finished. Never try and sell anything half-finished: if you can’t finish it, don’t start it. If you haven’t used it or worn it in a year then sell it, give it away, recycle it…do something positive with it. Somebody will want it.
6. To find cheap items, I would start by joining the Freecycle community – www.freecycle.org, www.gumtree.com and www.ilovefreegle.org Plus, make sure you’re familiar with your local scrap yard, builders’ merchants and your local house clearance firm. Whatever’s being chucked out is very likely going to be of some use to someone. Some Local Authority dumps also allow you to take things away.