Be house proud with Darren Palmerâ€™s tips
March 01, 2016
The interior designer and judge of The Block provides his top tips for making your house your home.
Clear the clutter
Think “reduce, reuse, recycle”. Reduce the amount of things you are keeping by being brutal. If you didn’t remember you had it or know you haven’t touched it for over a year then it needs to go. I say in over a year as there are seasonal things that get used once a year that you need to keep, but if the object doesn’t get used year on year, whether its clothes, appliances, containers, boxes, bags or whatever the belonging find a way to shed it.
Look at your walls; do you have screws or hooks hanging out of them that don’t have artwork or pictures on them? If so either find something to hang on them or remove, patch, sand and touch up the paint over them.
Give your walls and ceilings a spot clean where necessary. Get some cleaning products or a bucket of warm water and sugar soap and clean those small or medium sized marks and scuffs off walls or ceilings.
If you have some really ‘trouble-painted’ areas though that just don’t liven up consider giving it a new coat of paint. A wash with sugar soap of the wall, and one coat is often enough to simply refresh the look of the room, it takes little prep and there’s no dust from sanding. Of course if you’re painting a room properly you need to sand, undercoat and do 2 top coats, but a simple refresh is far more straight-forward.
Look at the grout in your kitchen and bathroom tiles. This is also another really quick upgrade. If you have cracks, gaps or greying, you can simply grout over the top or spot grout any problem areas to extend the use and look of these areas.
Does your couch or upholstered furniture look a little sad? You can spot clean them with spray upholstery cleaners available at the supermarket or hardware store or for the pieces that were really well used throughout the year get a professional steam or drycleaner in to give them a thorough going over.
Is your coffee table awash with toys and remote controls, magazines and whatever else the daily use of your home throws on it? Sort that out. Start with a clean top by putting everything away in its place and then consider your coffee table as a central decorative place, put an orchid, succulent or bunch of flowers in the centre or off to one side. Place your favourite coffee table books on it, either in a stack or laid out one next to the other.
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