Our homes should be a source of comfort, and a refuge from any pressures in our daily lives. We look at some ways to ensure you will gain the maximum lift from spending time in your home environment.

1. Let there be light

There’s a substantial amount of research that suggests the amount of daylight we receive strongly affects our mood and wellbeing. Studies of office workers[1] and hospital patients found access to natural light improves concentration, mood and sleep patterns. The same is true in your home, so make the most of the natural daylight that’s available to you.

Simple solutions:

  • Ensure your windows are unobstructed – particularly during the winter months, when natural light is at a premium.
  • Place a mirror on the wall opposite a window, to reflect natural light back into the room.
  • Keep your windows clean. Whether you use a steam cleaner or vinegar, newspaper and elbow grease – clean windows let in more light.

Big ideas:

  • Consider installing an extra window if your living space is particularly dark. You don't normally need planning permission to insert a new window, as long as it's of a similar design and construction to the other windows in your house – unless you live in a conservation area or a listed building.       Which? Trusted Traders has endorsed builders and glaziers who can give you a quote for a new window, to help bring more light into your home.
  • Maybe it’s time to replace your double-glazing. Old, cracked or steamed-up glass will all make your home feel darker. Which? Trusted Traders has endorsed glaziers who can give you a quote if you want to look into some new windows. Check our guide to what goes into the costs of double-glazing for more information.  If you’re lucky enough to have a back garden, how about opening up the rear of your property to the great outdoors via some sliding, French or bi-fold doors? Creating a large glazed area gives a feeling of space and light. Get more tips from the Which? guide to double-glazing.
  • Clever lighting design helps to make the most of even the darkest space. You can use colour here, too - for example, a strip of coloured lighting can give a contemporary feel to a bathroom. See our guide to lighting design for more ideas.

2. Add more colour

A bright pop of colour can really lift your surroundings. Personal preference plays a large part here, but typically colours on the red, yellow and orange part of the spectrum are ‘warm’ colours, with blues, greens and purples making your space feel more ‘cool’.

Simple solutions:

  • Choose a colour, or several colours. Then either cluster your existing ornaments of the same colour together, or invest in a couple of colourful statement pieces to bring some zing to your surroundings.
  • Bring nature into your home with cut flowers or pot plants. Individually or in a group, these create a bright, attractive feature.
  • Paint is a low-cost way to change your living space. You could try a stencil or create a feature wall in your chosen colour.

If you’d rather leave the decorating to the professionals, we can put you in touch with endorsed painters and decorators in your area who can help to give your home a new look.

Big ideas:

  • Brighten up an old kitchen by replacing the cupboard doors. You could use your feature colour here, too. Or if you don’t want to replace the doors, you could just change the door handles – some bright colours here could really lift the space.
  • If you want to make a bigger change, why not go for a new kitchen? Investing in new units and a clean design is one of the home improvements most likely to add value to your property. Which? Trusted Traders’ accredited kitchen fitters and installers can help you plan your dream project.
  • Go for the big one – a total redesign of your home.  An  interior designer can help you to bring some fresh ideas to your interiors. Which? Trusted Traders has endorsed interior designers who can help you make the most of your home.

3. Indulge all your senses

Luxury hotels and retailers have long understood the importance of making you feel comfortable. Take a leaf out of their book and make sure you’re indulging all your senses with your surroundings.

Simple solutions:

  • Introduce texture into your environment. Chunky throws, fluffy cushions and soft towels all help to create a feeling of luxury and comfort. Clear away clutter to keep lines sleek and simple. 
  • Use scent. Candles or diffusers are a low-cost way to introduce sweet smells into your home, or invest in some scented flowers.

Big ideas:

  • Invest in bespoke storage – new cupboards, shelves or a walk-in wardrobe. Which? Trusted Trader-accredited carpenters can help to create a five-star solution for your belongings. 
  • Keep the air clear throughout your property by installing a ventilation system to remove any unpleasant odours, control temperature and supply you with pure, filtered air.
  • Create your dream bathroom. Whether you’re thinking of a white, minimalist wet-room or an elegant day room that just happens to contain a roll-top bath – there’s no question that the bathroom is the one room that really benefits from a dash of luxury. Which? Trusted Traders has endorsed bathroom designers and fitters who can turn those dreams into reality.

More on this…

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4031400/