For a brand new look

Teja Lele Desai lists design ideas to experiment with in the New Year

Keen to make some changes around the house? Before you head out shopping or hit the online stores, why not see what magic you can create with what you already have? Sometimes all it takes is a bit of inspiration to see your rooms and spaces with fresh eyes.

Style the open shelving

Glass-front cupboards and open shelving — in the living room, bedrooms, or kitchens — are crying out loud to be styled. Take a look at your shelves, and make a few tweaks: remove the extra clutter, add a candle or a vase of flowers, pile the plates and bowls in matching clusters — and you’re set.

Switch the drapes

Everyone’s always gushing about how turning furniture around the home gives you a new vibe. We have another take — switch curtains and drapes across rooms to create a new look for free (and just a little hardship!)

Change up the art

All those books and magazines that you refused to give away may be the source of frame-worthy illustrations. Just cut out the pages you like and encase them in a set of frames. Changing the picture frames is a sure-shot way to ensure a new look.

Colour things bright

Raid your child’s art supplies and choose a shade of acrylic paint you like. Use it to give your old fan a brand new look (don’t forget to clean it before that!). Also try painting those boring switchboards. Lime green or aqua work well in the bathroom; cream or coffee are ideal for the living room.

Hello, fairy lights

The string of lights you bought for Diwali can be used through the year. Toss it artistically — across bathroom mirrors, over the dresser or even atop the AC (when not in use). Add some chutzpah to the fairy lights by decorating with easy-peasy cupcake liner flowers. Great as a lighting option for open areas, especially when entertaining.

Experiment with paper

Use paper in bright shades to create pinwheels in different sizes and affix them to a wall. It’s an instant décor update that’s ideal for a child’s room, hallway, or staircase landing. A grown-up version would be papering a wall with old maps. All you need to do is decoupage maps on to a freshly cleaned wall.

Use those fabric swatches

Create instant and stand-out art by displaying pretty fabric differently — encase it in smart frames for a modern look or put it in wooden sewing hoops for a bohemian display. Use scraps to create buntings, which add vintage charm to doorways and rooms. Mismatched fabric swatches can create an awesome jar display. Just cover jar tops (cut and stick on with craft glue) with fabric, and display craft supplies, spices, or what you like.

Raid the toy closet

If your child has outgrown her toy farm, spray paint the animals a bright colour (we suggest gold). Glue them as you see fit — by the bathroom ventilator, on a window sill, or atop the bookshelf. Interesting displays are waiting to be created with simple things — pencils with toppers, colourful straws, small dolls, or even stationery supplies.

Think out of the box

Rummage through your cupboards for unusual décor additions. A dupatta can be put to use as a runner, a teapot that’s never used is ideal to hold flowers, and a collection of mismatched serveware works as dresser storage. Give wooden cutlery a rehaul by painting the lower section a bright colour.

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