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Start 2016 with a blank canvas

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A new year presents many opportunities to start afresh, with new approaches to health, fitness, eating and work all being a key part of people’s resolutions.

In 2016, why not apply the same thinking to your home, and use it as an opportunity to create a blank canvas that can be built upon throughout the year?

Out with the old

If the festive period has resulted in your garage being filled with boxes and the spare room being taken over by toys, machines and even more boxes, bite the bullet and make a resolution to clear it all out.

You would be surprised at how different a room can look simply by clearing out a few items, and although it can be tempting to keep boxes for certain products to increase the resale value, try to weigh this against how long it will be before you actually do so, and the aesthetic impact it will have on your home in the meantime.


If you have several items that you no longer use but are still in perfect working order, consider advertising them on a collection site such as Freecycle or Gumtree, which can ensure that it is going to good use and also saves you the hassle of having to remove it from the house.

A fresh coat of paint

A canvas is only truly blank if it is clear, so after clearing out your unwanted items think about giving the room a lick of paint.

Painting the walls white or a light colour can create a feeling of space and make it seem larger, which can then increase the number of opportunities to add to the room and transform its appearance.

Adding wallpaper to a single wall can give the room a focal point – our blog on the top 3 DIY decoration tips can show you how to do it and add another dimension.

Alternatively, wall art is still very much in vogue and can offer a more subtle means of enhancing a surface and adding something a little extra to the room.

In with the new

Once the foundation is in place, it is time to start adding to your room, and the best approach is generally to start from the ground up.

Choose a colour scheme and let this run through your décor, particularly accessories such as cushions, rugs and lampshades.

It is easy to go overboard in these situations by choosing too many items in the same colour, so aim to be conservative in your choices and think about how each item will not only complement other things in the room, but will fit in with the style of the rest of the house.

If you are making a major purchase such as a large piece of furniture, minimise the chances of having to buy new in a year’s time by investing in a piece that is likely to stand the test of time and could easily be relocated elsewhere in the house if you decide to have another change at the start of 2017.

Think of the future

While some people enjoy a full redecoration every year, others may not have the time or the desire to upheave their home on an annual basis.

If you are in the latter group, aim to minimise the amount of work you will have to do in the future by keeping your decoration simple and resisting the urge to fall into old habits.

Rather than keeping boxes and other clutter as the months progress, try to recycle them or throw them away on a regular basis, to prevent the junk mounting up.

Another proven tactic is to keep the paint you have used to cover the walls in the garage or garden shed, so that you can quickly apply a lick to any walls that become scuffed as time goes by.

Not only does this help to keep the room looking fresh, it also reduces the need to start the process all over again in a year, and frees up your time to concentrate on enjoying your home.