By Guest Blogger: Natalie Langston, Spring’s ‘Girl in Focus’ TV Host + Lifestyle Reporter
Spring is the perfect time to renew, refresh and revive yourself and your home. Home design is about so much more than trends and a sense of style. From furniture placement to tones, colours and textures, the way we perceive our environment has a significant impact on our day-to-day emotions. Your surroundings have a huge impact on your mood and it’s important to feel both comfortable and at peace while invigorating your senses and igniting inspiration. Home, sweet home indeed. To make your home the perfect combination of comfort, style and functionality these are my top 10 tips on how to renew and refresh your home, closet and yourself as well this Spring.
Pick one part of your home to decorate and concentrate on that one space to create greater impact. If you like to work from home, have a little nook dedicated to running your business that’s organized and efficiently set up. If you don’t want to have anything to do with work at home, create a tranquil atmosphere to feel at peace in. Maybe an area with a yoga mat, some candles and a pink Himalayan rock salt lamp. If you like to entertain at home create a space that is conducive to having groups of people over with a bar area where guests can mingle and move around easily instead of having a dining room table for example taking up unneeded space
Creating the feeling of a warm, inviting atmosphere that is spacious yet cozy is always the goal when designing your home. You don't want to crowd the home with unnecessary ornamental objects. Be selective before bringing items into your home and prioritize what’s important to you and declutter relentlessly. You can incorporate accessories and add personality into your home without clutter. My advice… ask yourself, do I really need this? Do I have room for this? Will I miss it if it was gone? If you don’t need it get rid of it or donate it.
Stick to one décor theme in a small space, it will have a much greater impression on your guests. Combining décor styles in a tasteful way works too, just be sure the styles complement each other. I have a grey couch that I use as a focal point and I inject a different colour each season. An easy way to do this is to change up the pillows and throws to spice up your space. Limit the accent colour to one area of the apartment to avoid overwhelming the eye.
Don’t be afraid of wallpaper. It can make a room look more complete. Give smaller rooms a punch by wallpapering in a bold print. Black can also have an interesting effect. Black walls or ceiling can create visual space in a room. With black matte paint you can create drama and make the walls appear to disappear. My good friends Janette Ewen and Jeff Hancock from Parker Barrow Creative Studio have some really cool and colourful wallpaper designs that I highly recommend like 'Lobster Lattice' and 'Sacred Geometry'.
Energy Saving Tips
I love to create ambiance with candles over lights which will create a warm and inviting setting. Janette Ewen is one of my favourite Canadian interior stylists and has a ton of energy saving tips. She gave me the idea of keeping thin blankets out for those who might get a little chilly rather than cranking up the heat. This can also create a more layered and personalized space and can be an easy way to add a punch of colour and texture.
Make Use of Dead Space
Make the most of dead space. Be creative and look over, under and behind your furniture. I store my suitcase under my bed, I use baskets under my bathroom sink and I store my pots and pans in my oven. I know I know, so Sex and the City.
Get yourself a few plastic storage units… I store clothes, shoes, paperwork, hats, scarves, blankets and photo albums in there and tuck them under my bed or under my couch.
This is a never-ending struggle especially, for someone who works in the media and lives in an 800 square ft apartment! I use a rolling rack for the clothes I'm wearing that week for TV segments, events or appearances. It’s out in front of me so I know what I have scheduled and available for the week. Prioritizing and organizing so that you can clearly see what you have is key. I’m meticulous when it comes to my closet, because it's is part of my job. Everything is colour coded and divided by season. Keep in mind the old adage, out of site out of mind… because good luck finding that sweater your grandma gave you last Christmas.
I have a very open concept with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the main living space that bring in a lot of natural light. I always keep my curtains open to let in as much sunlight as possible ... it's so bright that I'm often sporting shades in my living room. You can create more natural light by removing overdone drapes and keeping window coverings simple and chic. Janette taught me that if you are looking for something a little more stylish consider a single swag drape, it's ornamental but still lets in plenty of natural light. This makes rooms and windows look dramatic and draws eyes out and up.
If you want 2016 to be your year, don’t sit on the couch and wait for it to happen. Get out there and make a change. Try smiling and laughing more. Be excited. Challenge yourself to do something new each week. Unfollow negative people on social media. Get to bed early and be one of those people who tackles the day ahead. Some days I get more done before noon than I do the rest of the day. Be fierce and unapologetic. Show more gratitude and have extra patience for the people that matter. Be brave this Spring and tell me about it - @langstonnatalie on Twitter and Instagram!
Photos courtesy of Ed Ng Photography and Natalie Langston