The last four and a bit months have been the most unusual in any of our lifetimes. Our way of life has been restricted, our freedoms curtailed and we have been forced into a monogamous relationship with our homes and gardens in a way we could never have anticipated. Whether you are an extrovert who never wishes to see your home so much again, or an introvert who will miss it when life gets back to normal; our homes have never had to do quite so much for us. Dining rooms, spare rooms and kitchens have become offices, schools, playgrounds and leisure facilities, in fact, does anyone actually have a ‘spare’ room anymore? Those who were hoping to move to accommodate a growing family, or downsize have had to revisit plans and the construction of outside offices and loft conversions has never been so prevalent. How has the love for your home changed during lockdown?

What this time has told taught us that our relationship with our homes is complicated, that whilst a monochrome interior looks very pretty on Instagram, it actually isn’t fun to live with on a day to day basis. People are wanting to bring more colour and life into their homes, to give different areas different personalities. Rooms for working, eating, sleeping and relaxing should look and feel different, it makes perfect sense. I am finding that interior design and in particular murals are playing a huge part in how people are feeling about their homes and how their homes are making them feel. Here is some ways your home can help you :-

 

SPACE

In a recent survey, space (or lack of it) was the number one problem that people were experiencing in their home. There are a few really simple things you can do to make even the smallest of rooms feel larger.

-Paint the ceiling the same colour as the walls. Having a white ceiling, particularly when there is no other white in the room actually makes your room feel smaller, whereas painting it the same colour as the walls has completely the opposite effect, making the room feel larger and airier.

-Choose lighter and warmer colours. These will automatically make rooms feel larger and lighter.

-Use colour to correct room proportions. Lighter colours make things look further away and darker colours bring them closer, so you can use this to make rooms appear more evenly proportioned.

-Giving one wall over to a view tricks the eye into making rooms appear larger, this can be done with a large canvas or of course a mural.

 

OUTSIDE AREAS

The next most annoying problem, after the lack of natural light which requires skills more akin to knocking holes in walls, than painting them, was the lack of green space. Many people have small gardens or gardens that have been designed to be easy to look after and therefore not as green as perhaps they could be. Painting pots different colours is a simple way to bring colour to your garden, adding ornaments or mosaics to create a focal point also works well, as does using lighting to create mood and interest.

Murals can be used to bring colour and form to a garden whatever the season, weather or gardening prowess.

In this recent project, my client divides his time between two homes and wants to be able to come back at short notice to a colourful garden. The side of his garage made the perfect canvas to achieve this and he now has a garden full of his favourite flowers without the weeding and watering.

They can also work well as a view from the house if positioned thoughtfully. Perhaps the thought of a mural in the home is a step too far, but to view one from a window is perfect. This client’s shed was ruining their view, so they asked me to paint it.

In homes without a garden at all, why not give over one wall to a natural scene, whether that be beach, mountains or woodland, especially as it might be a while before we are able to visit these places for real. It can do wonders for your mental and emotional wellbeing, particularly if it is somewhere you particularly love.

PERSONALITY

One of the biggest changes I have noticed is the introduction very personal elements to people’s homes. When other routes to express our personalities have been removed, our homes become our way of saying who we are to the world. I have had a number of instances recently, where clients have been thinking about a mural for a long time, sometimes years and have suddenly thought, yes, let’s do it. I have also had a number of clients who have contacted me a said how their mural has made lockdown more bearable and brought them joy on a daily basis. Sometimes, however hard you try, finding the right thing just isn’t possible, so you have to create it yourself and at Charlotte Designs, that is what we do best.

This client knew that she wanted a cherry blossom tree in her bathroom once she got a house of her own and had been planning it for many years. I am delighted that she chose us to paint if for her.

You could try creating just a little corner of your home that reflects your personality, and gives you a little place to go and relax when you feel you need it. I think in this house, I would go and sit on the loo for a bit!

Whatever this pandemic has done for your relationship with your house, I think we will all view our homes very differently going forward and try to work with it’s constraints and limitations to achieve a compromise that we can live happily with.

Charlotte Designs continues to work on both interior and exterior murals with our modified working arrangements and we are currently booking for mid September.