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10 ways to make your home lighter and brighter

Posted: 09/04/14 10 ways to make your home lighter and brighter

Want to give your home a makeover that will make it feel like spring all year round? Here’s how.

1. Swap neutrals for pastels

Creams, soft browns and spicy shades are great for making your home feel welcoming in colder months, but once the sun comes out, replace them with sugary pastels to make a room seem lighter and more vibrant. You needn’t spend a fortune – simply re-covering one of our headboards and swapping white duvets and bed throws for colourful ones will do the trick.

2. De-clutter windows

Heavy curtains blocking out the light? Nets or voile filtering out the best of the sunlight? Windowsills packed with clutter? Rethinking the way you dress your windows can make a huge difference to a room, whether you choose light-coloured curtains or frosted window film, or simply clear windowsills of everything but your favourite pieces.

3. Re-think your display

Dormy House display shelves: thanks to Country Homes & InteriorsWhile you’re decluttering your windowsills, have a look at your shelves – over winter, while we’re indoors a lot, they tend to get overloaded and a little messy. So take the time now to reorganise them – and show off your best pieces.

Thanks to Country Homes & Interiors magazine for this picture, featuring our decorative shelf.

4. Lighten up floorcoverings

If your flooring – whether carpet, wood or tiles – is on the dark side, a light-coloured rug over the top can make a surprisingly dramatic difference. If you are going for a pale shade and the rug is to be in a high traffic area, choose one that can be easily vacuumed, wiped or sponged.

5. Hang a mirror

Got a dark corner in one of your rooms? Hang a mirror or, better still, a group of mirrors to make space seem bigger and brighter. Floor-standing mirrors make a big difference, but even a small one that reflects a view – perhaps of the garden – can be transformational.

6. Transform dark furniture with paint

The Dormy House dining table and chairsIf your furniture is wooden, it’s perfect for a makeover – and because repainting it is a job you can do yourself, it won’t cost a fortune to give it a totally new look. Our advice? Use an eggshell paint for all but the table top – keep the wood on show there for contrast and easy-maintenance. Or, of course, you could just buy one of our dining sets, choose the paint and wood finish and we’ll do the hard work for you. Oak Kitchen Table, from £640; Bannister chairs, from £365.

7. Swap plains for pattern

Plains – in fabrics, wallpaper and flooring, particularly light coloured ones – can go a long way to making your home feel brighter. But if you want to add interest to the room, and a fresh, invigorating new look, pattern is the way to go. You needn’t spend a fortune on fabrics: even new cushion covers, a throw or picture will give the room a new slant – check out our green fabric collection range for inspiration – it makes the perfect spring moodboard, too.

8. Choose light lamps

We spend much of our time indoors in the evenings, so ensure your lighting has a brightening effect both during the day and at night. That means picking shades in pale colours to both reflect light when they’re off and to allow it to filter through when they’re on.

9. Find your focus

One way to make a permanent impact on a room is to cover a favourite chair (or footstool or sofa) with a pretty floral fabric. It will give the room a fabulous focal point and add instant character. Our Victorian armchair (from £995) comes in a range of fabrics – or you can provide your own and we’ll cover it in that.

10. Cut down on furniture

No… we’re not joking… If your house is packed with pieces, it will feel smaller and darker – so if you’re going to buy new furniture, buy clever. In other words, reject bulky one-trick ponies for versatile finds that do more than one job at a time – we’re thinking display console tables with drawers and handy shelves beneath; footstools with hidden storage inside; TV cupboards with room for DVDs.

Looking for more ideas? Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ for lots more hints, tips and inspiration.