Updating your home one piece at a time

Over the past few years we have seen many tv home makeovers where the houses are literally taken back to the bones, everything is binned and the big reveal is amazing, wonderful, inspiring, sometimes life changing, often tear inducing and absolutely nothing remains of what was there before. 

I love a big makeover reveal as much as the next person: Grand Designs, Love it or List It, and George Clark are right up there on my viewing favourites (secret crush on Kevin McLoud, in a professional capacity only of course…) These programmes can be inspiring, and envy inducing. But this isn’t reality for most of us.

 I have some questions.

Is this approach affordable for most people? What happened to that really loved family heirloom? Same goes for adored niknaks and ‘treasures’ from the children. Is binning a sofa a better option than reupholstery? Environmental credentials? Surely, we should be a little better at re-using what we have and updating on a more realistic scale.  

So, I ask you: does your room need a full overhaul, or can you ring in the changes one piece at a time? This is often a great approach to take and keeps a home fresh, evolving and quite often the most successful rooms are made this way. It’s also kinder on your budgeting as no massive outlays are required in one big hit. 

Here are some things to consider: 

  1. Step back and look at the whole scheme. Can you steal things (think artwork, ornaments, furniture) from other rooms to refresh your décor? Go on have a move around. Give your eyes something new to look at. 

  2. Can you update your curtains and blinds to work within the colours you have? It’s amazing the transformation a fresh window dressing can make. 

  3. Where you considered your sofa looked a bit drab, does a fresh selection of cushions pep it up? Need more? Like the shape of your sofa but the fabric is shabby? Reupholstering may be a good option and would give you a seat than can be unique to you. Now that’s a nice thought. Co ordinate with a chair in a happily bold colour. 

  4. Swap the furniture around and make a gallery on a wall. Fresh, vibrant artworks and photos are a fabulous focal point for a room and help us focus on important memories and family. I love painting picture frames to give a slick and bespoke feel to the display.  

  5. I think that many of the Instagram home bloggers actually have a closer grip on ‘reality’ than those lovely TV shows. Whilst of course the shots are staged, rooms manically tidied and then photographed whilst in the background family chaos continues, they do show decoration progression. More often than not they are ‘real homes’ not sprawling manor houses and therefore the budgets are a bit more realistic. They often show a new blind being installed, a new small display with fresh flowers, cushions on a chair. Small things that can make a huge difference. They ring in the changes one piece at a time. 

So next time you’re frustrated at not being able to do a massive makeover maybe look to make some smaller changes and see if it makes a big impact. 

Abigail and Chris Willis set up Willis Bloom in 2018. They believe in ‘real homes not show homes.’ They design and make high quality fabrics and wallpaper designed to be loved by you and envied by everyone you knows. 


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