Let’s face it: the outside world is fairly intimidating these days.
There’s civil unrest for all manner of reasons, a pandemic that we just can’t escape, and the encroaching darkness that invariably appears once summer has ebbed away. For all these reasons and more, the sensible thing to do is stay at home whenever you can, only breaking the isolation with occasional shopping trips.
Now, we’re far better equipped to deal with that than ever before. You probably don’t live in a palatial estate, but there’s a solid chance you have reliable internet access, plenty of food and water, the ability to work from home, and some video games to get lost in. That’s hardly a terrible situation. Even so, there’s only so long you can endure that solitude before your daily routine starts to feel horribly stale.
You can’t eliminate every facet of that staleness — the nature of your workload, for instance, is probably beyond your control — but you can do something about your environment. After all, you might have spent all your evenings for the last few months lounging in a room that never changes. Wouldn’t you like to switch things up? Wouldn’t you like it to feel like a new place?
Well, if so, you’re in luck, because in this piece we’re going to look at five cheap and easy ways in which you can spruce up your home during this arduous autumn. Here they are:
Bring in some plants
Few things are as reliably effective at refreshing a space as the introduction of some new plants. They freshen the air, provide some interesting shapes, and can pop the colours already present if you choose them carefully (the mention of colour-popping is the unavoidable result of choosing to discuss interior decoration).
Additionally, having plants gives you something else to be responsible for, and responsibility is great for staving off anxiety and listlessness.
Again, which plants you should choose should largely come down to price. Better to load up on cheap plants and create a miniature garden in your kitchen than to spend a solid sum on one fancy plant that might not just wilt from dissatisfaction with the precision of your watering.
Convenience is another thing: if you spot some plants while you’re shopping, just grab them.
Put on a fresh coat of paint
If your walls have been ineptly laden with paint, leading to ultra-thick layers of varied hues, then you should really strip that paint before doing anything with the wall.
There’s a great chance that you have at least one wall with just a single layer of paint on it, in which case you can simply choose a suitable paint to be applied on top of it.
If you’ve never dabbled in DIY, then you might not be aware of how radically the addition (or subtraction) of some paint can change how a room feels. A pale blue can be extremely calming, while a sunny yellow can lend a feeling of warmth. And if you’re simply looking to make the most of the available natural light, then slap on a coat of glossy white paint and be done with it. Note that paint is cheap if you’re not fussy (just go with whatever’s on offer when you shop).
Install a hefty plush rug
Image credit: Unsplash
Why do you suppose people talk of being as snug as a bug in a rug? The rhyme, yes, that’s part of it — but the rug element is also important (the bug element is not). Rugs are decidedly comfy.
Even better, they don’t require the grand upheaval of your room structure. You don’t need to tear up the carpet, deal with lethal gripper rods, or spend heavily on replacements.
Instead, you can find a thick rug big enough to cover much of your room, plop it below your furniture, and enjoy sinking your toes into its toasty strands. Buying new might be expensive, but eBay is full of second-hand deals and cheap imports (they might not have the finest materials, but they’ll do very nicely on a budget).
Distribute air fresheners
Maybe what really needs refreshing is the scent of your home. Now that it’s getting cold and you can’t keep your windows open all the time without your cat frosting over, your home can easily fill up with the musky aura of gathered dust and last week’s dinner. It’s really tough to feel satisfied with your home life when you lack the simple satisfaction of taking a deep breath and feeling a lungful of pleasant air spread throughout your body.
Air fresheners are extremely cheap, easy to procure, and tremendously effective. They also offer strong variety, whether you want a potent citrus whiff or a delicate hint of coconut on the breeze — and you can choose different scents to match different rooms. Pick up some packs, wheel them out throughout your home, give them some time to kick in, and enjoy the marked improvement in your air.
Get rid of unneeded boxes
We all know how it goes. You buy something (usually an electronic appliance) that you intend to use for a long time, and you don’t want to throw away the box because you might need it again. Perhaps you’ll move and it’ll be useful for transport, or perhaps the item will develop a fault and you’ll be called upon to send it back for repair or replacement. So you keep all the boxes, and they slowly start to stack up as you buy more and more things over the years.
Then one day you notice that you’ve built an enormous monument from your packaging largesse, and all the products for which you’ve kept the boxes have long since left their warranty periods.
You’re not going to use the boxes for returns. In all likelihood, you’re not going to use the boxes for anything. They’re just sitting there, taking up space. So get rid of them. Slice them up and add them to your recycling, and you’ll find your home much roomier.
These are five easy — and cheap — ways to refresh your home this autumn. All can be done in the space of an afternoon — so what are you waiting for? Revive and refresh your house this autumn.