Sometimes we feel the need make changes in our homes without having to take on a large construction project or spend a lot of money. For this reason we’ve put together a set of guidelines to help you understand the all the different possibilities you have at your disposal.
Before beginning, it’s always useful to ask ourselves why we want to make a change in our living space: Will the change help you adapt the space to new needs that have recently arisen? Did you suddenly get home one day and realize that the way your living space is arranged no longer makes any sense? Do you want to update your living space because it now seems out of date to you? Has spring arrived and you feel like giving your home a more summery look? Are you organizing a party in a couple of weeks and you want your home to have that “wow” factor that will impress your guests?
The motivating factor behind this renovation will, in turn, affect the final outcome and its degree of intensity and prominence.
We must take into account the fact that these types of transformations are ones that can be carried out without professional intervention (interior designer, colourist or lamp dealer), and can be done at an affordable cost. Our guidelines are arranged in order of intensity, starting with those that can make the biggest and most lasting changes to a space, and ending with those that can offer a more subtle and temporary change.
The spaces in our homes are composed of basic elements that define them and give them shape: roofs, walls and floors. Firstly, we must consider whether the change we want to make will have an effect on these basic elements, or if we simply want to make superficial modifications that involve changing the furniture and decoration.
If we’re aiming for a more profound transformation that will provide our living space with a new function, based on newly arisen needs, it’s undoubtedly convenient to intervene in these basic structural elements. In this way we are able to modify volumes and shapes, by eliminating or adding fixed furniture (shelves, bunk beds, wardrobes, etc). To achieve this, we must often dismantle existing furniture and purchase other, superior furniture options. Although each case is different, these situations usually arise when children move out of their parents’ homes, when a married couple separates or when a situation requires us to share our living space with another person.
Oftentimes, making adjustments to volumes and spatial functions also implies making changes in the lighting. This usually calls for buying new lamps, with either more or less light intensity, with a more direct beam for reading or other specific uses, or lighting that provides a wider and more general beam for a homogeneous illumination of the room.
As for the floor, the easiest option has always been to use rugs, or carpeting that doesn’t require specialized installation. Another simple option includes installing easy-to-assemble parquet flooring or even painting the floor with a heavy-duty floor paint.
Changing the colour of the walls in a space is a very effective and inexpensive option. It is well known that colour can have an effect on our moods, feelings, and actions. Colour is a variable that offers a wide range of possibilities, from the subtlest to the most risky. In this way, you can either add a bold pop of colour to a single wall, or subtly change the tone of the entire room. In any case, when choosing a colour it’s important to keep in mind the function the space is used for and what sort of ambiance you want to create in the room.
On the other hand, we must remember that changing the colour of your walls isn’t limited to solely applying a new coat of paint. You can also choose from countless wallpaper and vinyl mural possibilities, with options for all kinds of budgets.
Customarily, is the type of furniture that defines a space’s basic function (table, chairs, sofas, etc). At the same time, the materials and colours used to fabricate these types of furniture often express certain values and statuses. For this reason, a melamine table and a natural marble table both provide the same basic function; yet they give off completely different feelings. When we want to make changes to these pieces of furniture, we must consider what it is we want to express, who and what we identify with and what cost we are willing to invest. Normally, people tend to change this type of furniture when their current pieces break or when they realize that the furniture they have has become too old or outdated.
Textiles are elements that are easy to change, add, or remove from a space and can make a big contribution at a low cost. The most complicated textile option involves the upholstery of sofas, armchairs and chairs. This is more complicated because this option often requires the work of a professional upholsterer and a good fabric is not exactly cheap. However, it’s undeniable that the result can make a very substantial change, and even more so if accompanied by a change in the wall colour (with paint, wallpaper, vinyl or fabric), and can truly makeover a space. At the same time, we can also replace curtains, cushions and rugs to create a very remarkable result. Changing linens, sheets and duvet covers provides a more temporary or precise experience, focusing around a specific situation or event.
Lastly, another way to change a space and give it a new look is by adding new details and small decorative objects such as paintings, photo frames, candles, vases, flowerpots, plants and flowers, lampshades, floor or desk lamps, etc. Normally these small (or not so small) changes provide us with a sense of satisfaction and can instantly put us in a better mood.