- July 20, 2012
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Apologies for a lack of posts recently, it’s been quite a busy summer here so far!
However, one thing which has been getting everyone down is the constant rain and lack of sunshine we’ve been experiencing – a.k.a. the British Summer! Those days of blissful blue skies and unrelenting heat we had back in June (those few days!) seem a lifetime ago amid the total washout we’ve had in July. We’ve now almost come to expect that our summers here are going to be wet and cold.
This has got me thinking about how to make the most of our homes during prolonged periods indoors when cabin fever is likely to strike. When all we want is to get outside and fire up the bbq but in reality we’re housebound due to torrential rain, the sight of our own four walls can become depressing and prison-like – no matter how much we love our homes usually.
One option is of course to use the time to buy a few pots of paint and recolour those four walls in a new, lighter, brighter shade to lift your spirits and mood and help banish darker corners:
- In North facing rooms, use warmer shades to combat the lack of direct sunlight – this will add further cheer to those spaces. For something pale and interesting try Rusling (a peachy off-white) or Linnet (a very pale bright yellow with lime green undertones) by Little Greene; Marble (warm alabaster) by Kevin McCloud at Fired Earth; or Vanity (pale vanilla) by Eicó – if eco credentials are important to you.
- In South facing rooms use cooler shades to combat the brightness of the natural sunlight the room will normally receive. Great White by Farrow & Ball is a lovely dark white with pinky/grey undertones, perfect for an all white south facing room scheme (check out the portfolio pictures of my Boho Blanc bedroom, Great White is the colour on the walls there); I love a pale grey wall and Eicó‘s London Sky is a lovely shade. In the right setting, pale grey can be warm and welcoming, not cold or dull. Welcome by Little Greene is also beautiful and a shade I’m planning on using in my own home soon! For a more “blue” feel try Glass Samphire by Kevin McCloud at Fired Earth, a faded pale grey/blue which would help cool down a bright room.
One thing is for sure, whatever colour you use make sure you love it. For me, I largely tend to forget “trendy” colours or colour schemes and go with my gut for shades I love and know I won’t get tired of in a few months time. This way, you won’t end up repainting a room several times a year nor will it look dated and old fashioned a couple of years down the line. This is the beauty of choosing classic colours which will blend well with your home furnishings and your style. An example of following colour trends: avocado bathroom suites….. need I say more?
Of course if painting rooms seems like too much like hard work, there is always the option of changing the look of a room with accessories. For example, a new rug can completely alter the look of a room, as can new cushions for the sofa or a new throw. Or you could go one step further and find a fabric you love and have removable covers made for your sofa – or even reupholster the whole thing if it needs it! Another idea is to swap your heavy winter curtains for a lighter, perhaps sheerer roman blind which will let much more of the available sunlight through on those darker summer days, and also help shut out bright direct sunlight on those rarer sunny days without making the room dark. A win-win solution!
Giving yourself a home improvement project is a great way of coping with being cooped up indoors on rainy weekends (or weekdays if you work from home or have kids to look after on those long summer holidays). Plus with a little research and imagination it doesn’t necessarily have to be costly.
What’s for sure is that bringing any new item into our homes that we truly love is a sure-fire way to reignite our love affair with our homes and that rule should be the only one that always applies: only ever design and decorate with things we love. It’s the path to (aesthetic) domestic bliss!
But of course is doesn’t hurt to have the bbq tongs on standby for when the rain evetually stops…