Quick fixes with a big impact

Words: Scott Dodds | Photographs: Il Retallack |  Stylist: Charl Edwards

As we stumble towards the end of a busy year, a holiday season spent enjoying the comforts of home in solitude seems more appealing than ever, venturing out only to catch the summer sun when absolutely necessary. It’s usually when you’ve cleared your schedule, approved your leave-days and finally renewed your Netflix subscription that the text arrives – it’s that family member/old friend/person you knew you’d regret oweing a favour to, and they desperately need a place to stay over the holidays.

Once you’ve exhausted your list of convincing excuses and accepted the inevitable, you’ll likely glance at the state of your place and deem it unfit for anyone except the most understanding of friends. For the majority, this will mean offering up your own bedroom, depending on the guest, where a few subtle refurbishments might be required. Those lucky enough to have a spare guest room have most likely left it neglected – kitted out with an ad hoc assortment of items not considered good enough for their own space, so an update could be in order regardless.

If you’re looking for a quick fix to your refurbishing woes, you can’t go wrong with an elegant bedside or hanging lamp. Choose a complementary colour or aesthetic to bring the room together, and angle the light itself to offer a new perspective on a neglected part of the space.

When it comes to the furniture you tuck away in your room, it’s easy to stick with function above all else. Instead of going for a bland and simplistic side table, opt for something with an industrial aesthetic, or a colourful storage tower that works with the palette of the rest of the room.

Start thinking of any flat surface – such as shelves or small tables – as a display. Populate them with delightful decorative accessories such as candles, ceramics, collectibles and figurines to bring an air of organisation to what was once a messy space.

A quick and effective update if there ever was one, adding a few prints and illustrations requires little effort but makes a noticeable impact. Hang them on particularly bare walls or group them on a shelf together.

Make sure your guest feels at home with an organised assortment of creams and soap dispensers. They’ll feel the love, so there’s no need to splash out on the expensive stuff. Find bright dispensers and products that fit the colour palette of the room, then wait for the five-star Airbnb reviews to roll in.

As well as adding texture to the ensemble, a carefully selected rug has the ability to bring the many elements of a room together. Whether you’re just stuck over what to do with a particularly barren patch of floor or need something to bring a little colour into a bathroom, a rug will make an immediately noticeable improvement.

If you’ve not yet incorporated scatter cushions into your place, you’re missing a trick. Endlessly versatile, cushions and throws are not only easy to style, but they also work as vibrant pieces to complement an already established aesthetic.