Designers offer tips to lighten the mood at home

Janelle De Souza

Being at home for weeks can seem confining, or you may get tired staring at the same four walls for days on end.

If this is the case, it may be time to change things up and lighten the mood in your home. Two local designers suggested some quick and easy tips to do so, although some may have to wait until the covid19 health restrictions loosen.

Taurean Latchman, creative director of Taurean Design Studios said people often have a lot of photos but do not know what to do with them. He suggested they print and frame them and then dedicate a wall to them. Frames can be made from dried plants or old wooden items like shelves. The frames can also be decorated so they become a piece of art.

An accent wall, or one wall that is a different colour from the rest, can change the feel of a space.

“Colour affects your mood and emotions and by bringing in a colour that you lean to.”

According to 99Designs website, warm colours can make a person feel happy, optimistic and energetic. According to the shade, yellow, red and orange can also grab your attention or signal danger, and red can increase your appetite. Cool colours are soothing but can also express sadness, and purple can help spark creativity.

Cool colours like shades of green, blue, and purple can make a space feel bigger and bring in more light while warm colours can brighten a space and make it feel cozy.

Another suggestion is to fix or repurpose old furniture. Many people have furniture from their grandparents. They can be sanded and painted or varnished, or repurposed them. For example, a lamp shade could be made into a new light fixture.

“In that way you’re blending it into the environment you have so that the memories of that person are always there.”

Designers offer tips to lighten the mood at home

Decluttering, especially if the space is small, is a very simple way to change the feel of a room. A clean, tidy space can make a person feel more organised and enable them to focus better.

“Remove at least one or two things from the room. Get rid of things you don’t use, put away old magazines, anything that isn’t necessary. Or, find new ways of organising it so it doesn’t look as cluttered, maybe adding floating shelves and making it part of the aesthetic.”

Another simple way is to rearrange a room including changing curtains and chair covers if possible. Doing so can make a person feel accomplished, while changing the look of the space and bringing in a different vibe.

In addition, Latchman advised people to take the opportunity to repurpose small areas. If a person has a large living or dining room, they can use a corner to create a Zen area, pampering zone, fitness zone or an indoor green space.

For children, parents can build a fort using cushions or pillows, sheets or curtains and furniture. They can add Christmas lights to make it fun, and in the tent they can place a tablet, some books, and some toys depending on the child’s age.

A corner can also be delegated to separate a person from their regular living space. It can be equipped with calming music, scented candles, light reading material, comfortable cushions, stuffed toys, crafting materials or anything that brings comfort.

“We’re stuck behind computers and devices and don’t necessarily have enough time to dedicate to our mental health. So dedicating a space specific to that may also help in changing the environment in your home.”

A small area can also be dedicated to organic indoor plants to bring some of the outdoors inside. He said leafy plants can give a cleaner look while flowering plants are more decorative and can be used as accents.

Damian John, founder of Dijon Designs agreed saying, “Indoor plants have a dual role. Not only do they upgrade your living space and add character, it also cleanses the air that you breathe and some plants help fight hidden bacteria.”

He also suggested people recycle one of their mirrors for use as an accent mirror. It can be decorated or framed to match the space in which it is to be used.

“Whether it’s in your entryway or your main living space, mirrors automatically adds sophistication to any space whilst serving as a functional piece.”

Lastly, do-it-yourself art is something that can spruce up boring walls. He said buying expensive art pieces is not necessary. When the health restrictions are relaxed, people can visit a framing centre and browse the local art, select a print, the backing and the frame at a reasonable price.

He even knew someone who took a page out of a calender and framed it, turning a simple piece of paper into art. He stressed that improving your living space did not have to “break the bank.”