Eimear Hutchinson: Time for some more lockdown DIY

EIMEAR HUTCHINSON shares some ways to mix up your home to keep it interesting and working for you
Eimear Hutchinson: Time for some more lockdown DIY

Eimear says she is busy doing some cleaning, tidying and DIY as she distracts herself from the ways of the world right now. Picture: Stock

SO, if looks like we are not going anywhere for another while yet!

There is no doubt that some of us may be getting weary by the sight of our own four walls, that is only natural when we have spent so long at home. But fear not, I am not about to let you get bored with your home just yet when there are so many simple ways to change up the feel of a room or even add a pop of colour to a wall you pass by every day.

None of these changes have to cost any money and sometimes we don’t see the simple changes that are right under our noses. Here are some really easy ways to breath new life into even one little area of your home that might make it function better or even just feel better.

I think lots of us hang pictures, prints and artwork on the wall and then we walk away and don’t touch it for years. 

In my house I feel like I put frames up when we moved in and they have stayed the same for the past three years.

There is a darkish hallway upstairs where I had three pieces of art side by side which were largely white (and boring!) and they just didn’t catch my eye or spark joy in the least. I raided the children’s art box and found three bright sheets of card, to which I added a little quote on each and popped in the frames. Now the pictures catch my eye and make me smile when I walk past. So simple, so colourful but so effective.

Another good tip is to spray paint pictures frames — how many of us have either black, white or wooden pictures frames on every wall in the house?! You can breathe completely new life into a wall by simply changing the colour of the frames.

"Lots of us hang pictures, prints and artwork on the wall and then we walk away and don’t touch it for years," says Eimear. Stock
"Lots of us hang pictures, prints and artwork on the wall and then we walk away and don’t touch it for years," says Eimear. Stock

Another easy but maybe under-utilised way to mix up the feel of your home is to move furniture around in a room. You would be surprised how effective it can be. I did it with both of my youngest girls’ rooms recently, something as simple as moving a bed up against the wall created so much more space in the room.

Now she chooses to play there more than she used to because previously the space felt crowded. We used that room every day that way for the last three years and that simple but effective change never dawned on me till now.

I love to upcycle furniture and again, it is a great way of making a piece of furniture become part of the room when before it may have just served a function without making any great impact. I always say, never underestimate the power of a lick of paint, you can use one bright, bold colour, or do the frame one colour and the drawers another, there are so many ways to get creative.

Perhaps we are sick of organising our houses at this stage but if you did it in the first lockdown and haven’t done it since, it might be a great time to revisit those toy boxes and a useful time to rediscover old toys!

I have overhauled all our children’s bedrooms and the playroom in the last few weeks and one thing I have found that seems to be working consistently well is labelling. We had boxes of toys that just became full of random mismatched toys, bits of games or a handful of dolls and it ended up that nothing got used properly. Also, if something has a place it is easy to tell a child to put it back to try and stay on top of mess. Three weeks in and once forgotten toys are getting used again and our playroom looks as good as the day I finished tidying it, which I can tell you is an achievement in itself with four kids at home all the time!

Can you tell I have been on a serious cleaning buzz over the last few weeks?! 

I think subconsciously it was a way to distract myself and keep me busy while I process the ways of the world right now.

However, there is nothing more subliminally annoying as a house that doesn’t function as well as it should and now that we are home for the foreseeable future, it’s a good time to take stock. Figure out what works and what does not, it might be a kitchen cupboard or the hot press. 

Add a pop of colour to brighten up your day to spots you pass all the time; it could be as simple as a bunch of flowers. 

Our situations may not be perfect right now but we can work with we have to bring a little joy to our day.

Perhaps we are sick of organising our houses at this stage, but if you did it in the first lockdown and haven’t done it since, it might be a great time to revisit those toy boxes and a useful time to rediscover old toys!

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