Seven tips to perfect your home

Angela Scanlon knows a thing or two about homes. Having presented the brilliant Your Home Made Perfect and the more recent Your Garden Made Perfect, it seems highly likely she’s picked up some good advice along the way.

Plus, she was a stylist before becoming a TV presenter, so she knows how to make a space look good, too.

Hailing from Ireland but now living in London with her husband and three-year-old daughter, Ms Scanlon reveals how to transform your house into a home you can fall in love with all over again.

1. Ask yourself what you need from your home
“My biggest tip is to ask yourself questions. Think – whether you’re an individual, couple or family – about what you need from the space. Sometimes, you’re taking things that aesthetically work, or you like the style of, but you’re not really thinking about what you need from a home.

“It’s about really tuning into what you like, what you value as a family, what you spend your time doing, and then thinking about how your house can support that.

Read: Seven small space mistakes you might not know you’re making

“So, if you’re into yoga, why not turn your spare bedroom into a little yoga studio, or if you work from home all the time and would value a home office rather than the kitchen table, put your money into that. Think about how you want to spend your time, and then start looking at how your house can facilitate that.”

2. Find your own inspiration

“Use Instagram, Pinterest and magazines for inspiration. I have multiple Pinterest boards and I’ve saved little folders on my Instagram – different rooms or different areas. Sometimes, you see these things and you think, ‘Oh, I’d love to do that’ but actually, when you get around to doing some changes in your house, you’re slightly stumped for inspiration. So, I collect those as I go, rather than just collecting them when I’m doing a specific job.

“Look at hotels and restaurants for inspiration too, because in those commercial properties, teams of architects are so clever with their uses of space, and that could be really applicable to a home if you think outside the box.”

3. Move your furniture around

“I remember moving furniture as a kid, and then you kind of stop doing it as you get older – it doesn’t even become a consideration. You’re like, ‘We really need to get rid of that chair’, or ‘We need a new this’, or ‘We need to do that’, when actually, maybe something just needs a new home.

“So, switch up furniture, change the position of the chair or a table or whatever has a really big impact, without spending any money whatsoever. I love doing that. We’ve just recently turned our couch. In the winter, we’ll face it in towards the fire – kind of inward looking and a bit like a cocoon, and then when it’s spring or summer, we’ll turn it to the garden, so you get that light and feel connected to the outside. It’s a really easy thing to do – just chuck it all in the middle of the room and start again.”

Read: Key to happiness may be how older adults arrange their living space

4. Bring the outside in

“More and more, we’re becoming aware of the value of having a garden or outside space. I’m big on how using houseplants can blur the lines between the inside and the outside, so whether it’s on a windowsill or wherever, it feels like you’re in the garden, even when you’re not. It brings the eyes straight into some greenery, which is gorgeous – in a living room, especially.”

5. Reupholster your furniture
“We have an amazing couch that we spent a bit of money on, but we stupidly bought it in cream linen, and we have a three-year-old, so that was never going to end well. But those kinds of things can be reupholstered and given a new lease of life or a new purpose. That’s something you don’t think of, unless you’re really handy. It takes time and it can be pricey, but it’s always going to be cheaper than getting a new one – and it feels much more sustainable.”

6. Buy second hand
“Not always buying new is something I’m more conscious of now. So, whether it’s Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace or eBay – ideally somewhere local or not too far away – you get some amazing things that people are throwing out, because they’ve grown out of it or are moving away – there are loads of different reasons why people get rid of perfectly good stuff, and you can get some really, really special pieces. So, I check what’s available in the local area before hitting the high street.”

Read: Improve lighting in your home

7. Have a place for everything

“I worked with an organisation expert who helped me with the Marie Kondo method. I’m a bit of a sloth, so I started the process, and I never finished, so they came in and helped me find a place for everything. It just means you know where everything is, and when there’s absolute chaos, it’s just a little bit easier to manage.”

Have you redecorated or carried out any renovations this year? What’s next on your to-do list? Why not share details of your favourite room in the comments section below?

– With PA

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Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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