How to be more UMAGE

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1 Take your lead from an­other Scan­di­na­vian de­sign tip and have dif­fer­ent tex­tiles for dif­fer­ent sea­sons. Cush­ion cov­ers, throws, bed linen can be eas­ily stored when not in use. Chang­ing your tex­tiles in au­tumn and spring will in­stantly re­fresh a room without you hav­ing to do — or spend — too much. Some Scan­di­na­vians change their cur­tains sea­son­ally, but that might seem a bit too umage.

2 Make a list of any small jobs that need to be done in each room of your house. For ex­am­ple, re­do­ing dam­aged paint­work, or clear­ing and or­gan­is­ing a kitchen drawer. Then set aside a day each month to do one or two chores on the list.

3 A sure-fire way to make a dif­fer­ence to a room is by adding green­ery. A tall, floor-stand­ing plant will add height to a seat­ing area, while a smaller, trail­ing plant adds in­ter­est to a shelf. Most plants will need a bit of look­ing af­ter, but the aes­thetic and air­clean­ing ben­e­fits are worth it.

4 Cre­ate a shelfie. Writer and stylist Martha Roberts has writ­ten a book on the sub­ject called Shelfie: Clut­ter-clear­ing Ideas for Stylish Shelf Art, and main­tains that clear­ing and then re­or­gan­is­ing a man­tel­piece, book­case or kitchen shelf is a calm­ing, re­lax­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Plus, once you’ve done it, you’ll be look­ing at a thought­fully ar­ranged col­lec­tion of ob­jects, rather than a stress-in­duc­ing jum­ble.

5 You don’t have to buy some­thing new to change your in­te­rior.

Think about mov­ing your fur­ni­ture around from time to time; re­ar­rang­ing it can com­pletely trans­form the look of a room.

6 Put things up on the walls. Pic­tures can in­stantly add char­ac­ter to a space. Frame a col­lec­tion of in­ex­pen­sive prints, fam­ily pho­tos, even chil­dren’s draw­ings. Lay them out on the floor to come up with an ar­range­ment you like, then use mask­ing tape to de­lin­eate where on the wall to hang them.

Re­or­gan­is­ing a man­tel­piece, book­case or kitchen shelf is a calm­ing, re­lax­ing ex­pe­ri­ence

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