Completed your DIY project? Don’t forget those allimportant final flourishes, says LESLEY TAYLOR
Undertaking a massive renovation project can be a daunting task. And after days, weeks and sometimes months of toil, there is nothing more satisfying than relaxing in your new living space. But just before you pop the kettle on or stream the latest boxset on Netflix, take one final look around. Is there anything missing from your space? Anything that will take your finished project from beautiful to stunning? A few final flourishes here or there can truly transform your home, and here are my ideas for some inspirational finishing touches.
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You can’t see it, or feel it, but fragrance adds character to the home. Luxury shops and hotels have been pumping their signature scent throughout their properties for some time and now the trend is moving into the home too. In fact, you can hire the services of a home fragrance expert who will create a bespoke fragrance scheme for you and your home. However, if you want to pull together your own signature scent there are plenty of options. Candles are fabulous for bringing together smells and ambience. They work especially well in bathrooms and dining areas and can truly create a mood. For an instant injection of your favourite smell, wax melts are currently the go-to (thanks in no small part to Instagram sensation Mrs Hinch and her love of them). Like candles, they add ambience, but they release fragrance quicker. However, wax burners do require a little TLC and regular cleaning. Diffusers are perfect for subtle background smells. While they are not as strong as their burning counterparts, they give off a constant aroma – just remember to turn the reeds every few days. When it comes to scents, a onesmell-fits-all formula doesn’t need to apply to your home. You may want something floral in the living areas, but something a little more relaxing – such as a lavender scent – in the bedroom. Have a play around to see which suits. Like perfume or aftershave, go for the fragrances you like first and see how they work in a real setting. There are no hard and fast rules, so anything goes.
I hear the word ‘ornament’ and thoughts of pot horses and figurines enter my head. However, ornaments, trinkets, whatever you want to call them, are carefully curated interior treasures you cherish. They may remind you of a family member, a favourite holiday destination or even a career you once loved. And while you might be tempted to hide them away, worried they won’t fit into your new aesthetic, embrace them. Adding personality to your home is never wrong. Find new ways to use them. Forget the traditional, round the fireplace mantra, and pop your favourite pieces in the bathroom, place them under a glass cloche or use as a bookend.
House plants are enjoying a massive resurgence, with homeowners not just loving the botanical breeziness they bring to the home but their calming powers. As we fast approach summer, this trend will not only continue but will evolve with fresh blooms being brought into the mix. Whether you choose a shop-bought bunch or a hand-selected pick from your local flower market, be sure to show them off to their full potential in a striking vase. Choose wisely and the vase will look great as a standalone feature, even when the blooms have been shipped out to the compost heap.
Lesley Taylor is the author of 10 interior design books and has appeared on a range of network TV shows, including This Morning, giving inspirational advice on home styling. For more information on her work, head to lesleytaylor.co.uk
Candles will not only bring fragrance to the home but a sense of ambience too