Come the 1st of January, we’ve found that people tend to fall into two categories regarding resolutions. One: being outrageously optimistic about all the things they’re going to achieve that year, perhaps climb a mountain or row the Atlantic. These are likely to be the people that have sprung out of bed on Christmas morning for a “quick 5K” before the indulgences of the day begin. Two: those who reluctantly fall into the “give up” category. The ones who aren’t too inspired by the premise but will gallantly attempt Dry January or Veganuary (for a couple of days at least).
This year, we have an alternate suggestion, regardless of the category you fall into: better your home instead. It’s a much more satisfying and long-term option. We’ve compiled a list full of inspiring ideas to get you started, from big projects to those little things that never get sorted.
With all the hustle and bustle of the festivities it’s almost impossible not to incur some scuffs in the hallway and around the house. This year, instead of sighing every time you see one, get the decorators in—or you could even take on the challenge yourself if you’re feeling daring. And in the spirit of trying new things, rather than opt for a traditional paint, why not try a natural one instead? We love to design with Edward Bulmer paints; they’re leading the way in creating truly eco-friendly yet luxurious options. Made up of non-toxic raw materials such as plant extracts, chalks, earth minerals and linseed, the paints are kind not only to the environment but you and your home too. As the paint is microporous it’s extremely breathable, meaning it doesn’t trap moisture and mould—especially important if you live in an old or heritage building. Available in a range of calming tones, they’re perfect for everything from touch-ups to feature walls. Read our Q&A with Edward Bulmer to find out more.
At OKA we just adore cushions. They’re comfortable, tactile and a simple way to transform the look of a room. If you’ve got a whole host of beautiful designs stowed away, consider switching your sofa arrangement from season to season. It’s an excellent way to refresh a room, as well as making sure each of your carefully chosen cushions gets some time in the spotlight. Add texture in the winter with cosy pieces, like the Chyangra, then come summer introduce colour and pattern with bold cushions like our Ophelia.
LED lighting is one of the most effective and attractive ways to be more energy efficient at home. It is thought that around 20% of the world’s electricity output comes from lighting, so choosing LED bulbs, which use up to 90% less energy than other choices, has the potential to drastically reduce carbon emissions. As well as being eco-friendly, high-quality LEDs offer a range of light colours which make them ideal for creating mood lighting.
There are three types of colour temperature produced by light bulbs: soft white, bright white and daylight—have a look at our handy guide for more detail. Most of us will be used to soft white light characteristic of incandescent bulbs, which create a warm, cosy glow. LEDs, however, can create all three of these types of light, allowing you to alter the atmosphere from room to room in your home.
If you’re always green with envy when you see your friend’s blossoming ferns or peace lilies but have never quite had the confidence to become a plant parent yourself, resolve to make your home verdant this year. House plants have lots of benefits; acting as air purifiers, creating a sense of wellbeing and adding natural beauty to a space. However, if they’re too much of a commitment we have the perfect alternative: faux plants. Our collection is incredibly realistic, opt for a potted tree or exotic orchid for a leafy look with minimal effort.
Maybe your New Year’s resolution year after year is to spend more time with friends and family, but find that in reality leaving the house on a bitterly cold January evening is far from what you desire. Whilst alone time is wonderful, spending time with loved ones is good for the soul, so vow to turn an unused room into a space for socialising. If book club is your thing, invest in new armchairs and wine glasses for a sophisticated affair. Alternatively, if you love nothing more than a good old-fashioned games night, make sure that your home is always ready to play if people pop in—this checkered card table is an essential.
For more ideas on how to revamp your home, have a look at our Inspiration page.