The struggle to elevate and truly bring something new to your home becomes real when the holiday season rolls around. Home proud people start posting their holiday decorations as early as November. During the Christmas advent season, a colleague had her work space decorated for two months before Christmas. On the other extreme are those who just will not change a thing in their homes or workspaces during the festive period. You do not have to go to either extreme; just a few strategic changes will revitalise your home and spread the Easter holiday cheer to your family and friends.
Peter Epenu, a décor expert, says the trick to revitalising your home properly is proper planning. “Take a good look at your property in its entirety and note those spaces that need to be cleaned up. Is your living room cluttered? Does your kitchen need deep cleaning? How is your compound? This should give you an idea about how much work is needed and how to budget for it,” says Epenu.
Clean the compound
Epenu recommends starting with the compound. The compound, if given the right treatment, can give your home a new and festive feel. “Make sure your compound is clean. Take the time to rake those leaves and twigs, or scrub the pavers or simply sweep and water the ground to reduce dust,” he advises.
Incorporate trees in your decor
If your compound has trees, you can incorporate them in your décor. Just trim and add a few strands or baubles for decoration. To create a festive feel, make an outdoor entertaining area by adding seats and tables where guests can lounge freely and enjoy the breeze,” the expert says.
Fresh coat of paint
A fresh coat of paint has the power to transform any room. So, one way to bring fresh energy to your spaces is painting. Hannington Wasswa, an interior decorator notes that while the ideal would be painting the entire house, sometimes circumstances might not allow. He therefore advises focusing on the rooms where guests are most likely to spend more time. The kitchen, living room, family room, and dining room should get priority before moving onto other parts of your house. He recommends warm colours such as reds, greens and bronze, which make any space inviting. “Paint sheen is also a factor when choosing the best paint for your home. As a rule of thumb, the glossier the paint, the easier it is to clean. You can also add colour, pattern and texture using wallpaper. There are some stunning modern patterns on the market that will make your home impressive,” Wasswa shares.
If you are one of those people who do not see any practical purpose of most decorations, Wasswa recommends choosing functional décor. The idea of Easter décor seems to be adding as much as trinkets and bells as possible. Functional décor is the opposite of this. “For instance, instead of an Easter tree, you can get colourful throw pillows and accent blankets to bring that festive feel without cluttering up the space. The tops of dressers can be decorated with table lamps, clocks, candles, statuettes, vases, plants, etc. Walls can also be decorated with mirrors, pictures, photo galleries, and shelves. It helps to free floor space keep these decor elements that are tucked away so you can move freely but still enjoy seeing them,” Wasswa tips.
Make a light switch, literally. A simple way to refresh your living room or any other room is switching out your current lamp for a new one. Most people are not aware that each room should have its own independent light. Ellen Katumba says the most effective way to get perfect lighting to each room is considering how you wish the room to feel and the atmosphere you wish to create. Tired of that light bulb that makes you living room look dull and outdated? Why not update it with a modern chandelier? “A chandelier will give your room a focal and a talking point. An oversized pendant will allow you to add colour and variety to your room, operating as an artwork on your ceiling. Adding dimmer switches will allow you to adjust the light temperature depending on the task at hand,” she notes.
Bring life into your living space with indoor plants. Plants have been scientifically proven to improve your mood and even clean your air. Succulents, cacti and orchids are very stylish and are easy to care for.
Thorough general cleaning
Last but not least, give your home a good and thorough cleaning. Tinashe Sibanda says she usually has little time to prepare for the holidays because of her job. But over time, she has mastered the easiest way she gets her home ready for visitors in the shortest time possible.
“I start by putting fresh linen in the guest room because in most cases people are worried about where they will sleep. Get some fresh air and space in that room for their comfort then clean up any personal mess from the bathroom to make it clean and fresh for the guests. I make sure everything in there would be stuff that they can use and remove my personal toiletries in there. Then off course rush to the kitchen and make sure it’s very clean, prepare a light welcome snack for them. I clean the sitting room rag and straighten the chair cushions. Make sure all windows are open or thus providing fresh air for my guests. Avoid strong and irritating scents just in case any of my guests has allergies,” she shares.
Time savingleaning hacks
Maria Murore, a housekeeping expert, gives you hacks that will cut down your cleaning time and money. • Line the tops of your kitchen cabinets with newspapers
The tops of kitchen cabinets are not usually cleaned on a daily basis and tend to accumulate a lot of dust and grease over a period of time. Lining the top of your cabinets with newspapers, will reduce the time you spend cleaning this area, as the dust and grease will accumulate on the newspapers, which can be removed and thrown away, reducing your cleaning time to less than half. Another advantage is that the newspapers cannot be seen.
● Remove tea and coffee stains
Save hours of scrubbing brown tea or coffee stains from the bottom of mugs by using a little white vinegar. Just swish the vinegar around in the mugs and wash as usual. For long standing stubborn stains let the vinegar cover the stain for a little longer, before washing the mugs.
● Use citrus peel
After roasting chicken, beef or fish in an oven the smell can linger for days. To get rid of these smells, chop the peel of two oranges, lemons or tangerines and bake them on an oven rack on medium heat for 30 minutes, to leave your oven smelling nice and fresh.
● Prevent kitchen sinks from clogging
Apart from scraping scraps off plates, pots and pans before washing them, pouring hot water down the kitchen sink regularly will help push down all the grease from these utensils. This will prevent the sink from clogging and save you hours unblocking it.
● Homemade wood furniture polishes
Make a cheap furniture polish for wooden items by mixing olive oil and lemon juice in the ratio of 2:1 (e.g. two teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon lemon juice). Put the mixture in a clean bottle and shake well. Apply a little of the mixture to a cloth and rub it over the wood. Buff with a clean cloth to for a beautiful shine.
● To deal with rust
Although items labeled stainless steel are not supposed to rust they sometime do. When this happens, soak the rusty part in lemon juice for a few minutes. The lemon juice will loosen the rust so that you can scrub it off. Dry thoroughly with a dry cloth to prevent it rusting again. Maria Murore gives