Don't move, improve

Why leave the home you love when you can reinvent the space you live in? Lynnette Peck offers inspiring ideas for seeing new potential in old rooms.

Should you sell up or put up? Should you stay or should you go now? Is it smarter to move or improve? Decisions. Decisions. Let me help you get your decisions into focus.

Why do you want to make a change?

We tend to consider moving home when our lifestyles go through the biggest changes:

  • You might be recently retired
  • Your last child might have just left home
  • You might now be one instead of two

However, selling your home involves a lot of expense and emotion. Could it be simpler to just have a good think about how to rework the space you currently live in?

Start by pretending that you have a blank canvas and create your dream home from scratch. Home spa? Tick. Cinema room? Tick. Yoga room? Tick. Library? Tick.

10 big-impact changes you can make easily

Renovating your entire home might not be practical or affordable but here are some tricks to make smaller, but effective changes.

1. Why not tackle your hall first? Try a bold colour (hot pinks and reds are on trend for 2016). Then add a console table with a giant lamp on each end – a common interior design tip and adds glamour.

2. Have a proper clear out. Paring back excess items also frees up space and makes a home feel larger.

3. Do you have a super-large cupboard to spare? Simply remove the door, paint the interior and install glass shelving to create a new alcove.

4. Make the most of a large spare bedroom. Why not break up the space with a curtain and use one side as a guest room and the other as retreat to read and relax?

5. Have a box room that is no longer in use? Transform it into a walk-in wardrobe. Who doesn’t want one of these?

6. Rooms don’t have to stay one way forever. If you don’t need a dining room for big family meals any more, add a casual table in your kitchen and rethink this spare space.

7. Reupholster for a totally different look and feel. Give new life to existing sofas and armchairs with natural materials like linens and cottons, or just change your cushions. I like to alter mine with the seasons – nautical stripes in summer and animal prints (thinks squirrels and deer) for winter.

8. Create space for your youngest guests. Why not devote one area of a room to your grandchildren? Buy a long padded bench (for one or more grandchild to sit on) and underneath the bench place various plastic storage bins. These will then be at child level and each bin can contain different play items: one for cuddly toys, one for crafting accessories and so on.

9. Try stripping internal doors. This adds a relaxed, rustic feel. New doorknobs refresh the look, too. But one note of caution: get any pre-1960 doors stripped professionally as the paint may contain lead.

10. My fashion-forward tip… I offer up this slightly mad but very effective idea. Create the illusion of higher ceilings by painting three-quarters of your wall from the ceiling down in white and the last quarter a colour. It works.

More home makeover inspiration

To get more design inspiration there are some great apps out there.

  • Pinterest – use the online scrapbook to collect and organise your ideas.
  • Room Planner Home Design – create virtual floor plans of your home.
  • Homestyler – upload your rooms into 3D models and simulate ideas by adding colours and objects.
  • Ikea Catalogue app – augmented reality allows you to place Ikea items in your home virtually to try before you buy.

Just remember one thing…

You are the most important person to ever step into your home. Ensure it is exactly how you want it.