There comes a time when you know you just have to do something to give your house a boost, but you can't or don't want to spend a lot of money doing it. Happily, there are a few simple ways to make your home a more pleasant and relaxing place to live in, without spending a fortune.
Clear the clutter
I'm not suggesting that your house is a mess, but I'm guessing you have quite a few things that don't really have a proper space of their own. This is a situation where you might want to take the advice of William Morris, the artist and designer, who said "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." If you sort out your possessions, eliminating those things that don't fit into these categories, you can sell, give or throw away everything unnecessary, leaving a beautiful and useful home.
Use the light
Having new lighting is quite an expensive undertaking, but replacing old, dated lightshades is a different matter. If you change dark, fabric shades for lighter, frosted glass or paper shades, you can brighten the atmosphere considerably. Additionally, strategically positioned mirrors will reflect light into dark corners, making your rooms look larger and more open.
Indulge the senses
Don't restrict any changes to what is visible. Remember that sounds, scents and sensations are important, too. Hang wind chimes by a few windows so that their gentle jangling will fill the house when a breeze blows. Choose sensuous fabrics, like velvet or silk, for cushions and throws, to dress your chairs and sofas and make them a more enjoyable place to sit. Our emotions are heavily affected by our sense of smell, so make sure your house is filled with wonderful aromas. Of course, you don't want to get rid of the dog or the children, but there are a number of ways to give your home a special scent injection. Use essential oils sparingly by putting a few drops on some tissue in a small vase or decorative container, place scented flowers strategically to catch the breeze from a window or buy some scented candles, which are available in a surprising number of scents and look elegant, as well as smelling delightful.
With a bit of loving attention, your home will have a new lease of life. And so might you!
Tim Aldiss writes for Yankee Candle the home of perfumed candles.