No matter where you live, your home is your sanctuary. It can be tricky to manage our spaces well, though, especially nowadays when many of us are working, studying and relaxing at home. As things slowly get back to normal, we have a great opportunity to spruce up our spaces with some basic home improvements. These four simple steps from FBD Insurance will help you make the most of your house, turning it into the warm and inviting home you and your family deserve.
1. Take back your space
Some homeowners and renters are lucky enough to have walk-in wardrobes, floored attics and adjoining garages. For the rest of us, storage is an ongoing challenge, with overflowing drawers, piles of papers and boxes of toys dotted around the house.
Installing built-in wardrobes and smart storage solutions is one way to deal with this problem, but there are simple, less expensive options too. IKEA has a large range of bookcases, shelving units, cabinets and cupboards, along with smart tips, display ideas and detailed instructions for those of us who aren’t handy with a screwdriver (www.ikea.com). Their Circular Hub has lots of ex-display products, discontinued furniture and preloved items – helping to reduce waste, and your shopping bills too!
2. Upgrade your garden
We’re spending more time in the fresh air than we’ve ever done before, so why not make it a comfortable experience? There are lots of home improvements we can do outside that don’t require a big budget or major renovation skills.
One simple solution is to add colour with trees, plants, flowers or a carefully-managed lawn. Speak to the experts at your local garden centre if you’re unsure what will grow well in your area. If you have a small space, try planting vertically, with wall trellises or hanging flower pots. Wooden pallets, old ladders or even forgotten furniture like dressing tables offer a cool and quirky way to upcycle rather than buy. Add extra comfort with outdoor rugs, cushions and blankets and build or buy a waterproof chest to store them in.
3. Bring the great outdoors inside
If you don’t have exterior space, there are still lots of ways to bring the outdoors inside. Introducing natural products and textiles to our homes can be a great way to borrow a little of the sense of calm and relaxation that we get from being immersed in the natural environment.
You could start simply, with a couple of indoor plants or a vase of seasonal flowers. If you don’t fancy a regular watering and tending routine, there are great quality fake versions available nowadays that offer colour and cheer without any need for maintenance.
Sheepskin cushions, seagrass rugs or leather seats all remind us of nature, adding interest as well as comfort. Reclaimed timbers and distressed materials lend character to furniture, particularly when used in centrepiece coffee or dining room tables. If you feel like getting creative, keep an eye out for interesting pieces of driftwood at the beach or a curiously-shaped fallen branch in your local forest – these are great ways to add unique style to your home.
4. Freshen up your kitchenThe kitchen is the heart of most homes: there’s always plenty of warmth, comfort and craic to be had there. As a result, they’re often busy places, filled with food, servingware and family flotsam and jetsam. One great way to clear some space is to add hooks to the ceiling or cabinet undersides, using them to hang herbs and store the bigger pots and pans that mightn’t get used every day.
Pouring cereal, rice and pasta into clear glass jars adds a sense of sophistication to the space, while changing out the hardware (knobs, handles and taps) is a simple and often inexpensive way to freshen up your design, adding a splash of colour or a sleek new look.
Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, a first-time buyer or an apartment-dweller, you’ll need to make sure you’ve got the right home insurance for you. Find a great value quote from FBD Insurance now to get peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is protected.