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WORDS: MARANA BRAND  •  IMAGES: THE HOME STUDIO & SHUTTERSTOCK

For homeowners who are looking for ways to keep motivated in these challenging circumstances, a change in your own environment can help boost morale and make a space feel like new.

“Being trapped in your home for this long can highlight those small irritations that you’ve been ignoring for so long. And you don’t have to spend a fortune to revamp your space; sometimes small changes can make a big difference,” says Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO, RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

Consider the following:

Get organised

A space can feel incredibly different simply by decluttering and reorganising. To start, go through all drawers and create piles for the things that will be kept, donated, or thrown away. After decluttering, homeowners can regain some sense of control by organising the storage spaces in the home.

Rearrange

Rearranging your current furniture can give your living space a whole new look. Establish the focal point in the room and work from there, leaving enough space for easy circulation within the room. “Even if you’re not able to change the position of your key pieces – like a sofa and media unit – switching out and moving around the additional items and accessories make all the difference. If this is the case, our trick is to take everything out of the room, just leaving those key items in the correct position, and then bring it all back into the room one by one. This blank canvas gives you the opportunity to look at the room in a new way, and think about how you can mix and match what you already have. Remember, less is always more! Don’t crowd the room,” says Karen Steyn, founder of The Home Studio.

The power of paint

Paint has to be one of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to make a major change in your living space. Whether you’re giving white walls a fresh new coat, or going for a complete change with a darker, dramatic look, or painting a feature wall or just a door, paint has the power to completely change the overall style and feeling of any room. “We always suggest swatching first to see how the colour looks in your space, and don’t be afraid to go darker than you think. Rich, saturated colours add so much warmth to a living room,” Steyn says.

Even if you’re not able to change the position of your key pieces – like a sofa and media unit – switching out and moving around the additional items and accessories make all the difference. Karen Steyn, founder, The Home Studio

Bring in some life

A simple basket planter and plant can make the difference needed to make your living space feel alive and welcoming. Using a basket for your planter has the additional benefit of introducing added texture to the living space. The responsibility of having to take care of plants can give homeowners a small sense of purpose, which can be helpful for those who are struggling to cope. “We prefer one large plant to maximise the visual impact,” Steyn says.

Seasonal updates

People say it all the time, but swapping out scatter cushions really can make your living room feel like a completely different space. For those low on cash, even try swapping items like curtains, rugs, and scatter cushions from one room to the other. “For the upcoming winter months consider bringing in cushions in deep, saturated colours, as well as having a mix of fabrics for the finishes. We currently have a deep love of rich earthy colours, such as rust, terracotta and burgundy. A well-placed blanket or throw will tie it all together – and keep you warm!”

Something old

So you need a new couch, armchair, desk, table…? No need to get alarmed by prices. Search through Facebook Marketplace or a local buy-and-sell Facebook page, or put on your mask and go on a treasure hunt in the neighbourhood second hand store. You might just find the perfect previously loved piece looking for a new home.

A bit of DIY can turn it into a statement.

See the light

The right lighting can do wonders to lift the mood of a home. “This may sound surprising, but remember to layer your lighting too. Good lighting is a must – day or night – and it pays to have a mix of ceiling, wall, table and floor lamps. Obviously you don’t need them all, especially in smaller spaces, but two complimentary styles should ensure your living space can be either fully illuminated, or indirectly lit through ambient and reading lighting,” Steyn suggests.