10 Accessories That Will Make You Love Your Home More
These small touches can make a surprisingly big difference to your house
The humble footstool can easily be overlooked in the living room as we hunt around for the ideal armchair. But it’s an amazingly versatile piece of furniture that also adds relaxed, vintage character to a space. Footstools, ottomans and pouffes work as extra seats, a spare surface for books or tablets, and of course somewhere to put your feet up. Go for classic buttoned detailing for period style, and if you’re a real fan, invest in more than one.
Picture ledges are a brilliant way to display a shifting gallery of art. Kids’ drawings, inspirational quotes or family portraits can shoulder up to more serious artworks. Relatively inexpensive, they also dodge the commitment of hanging a picture frame, and the pain when you realise you’ve drilled the hole two inches too low or high. Consider hanging three in a row, as seen here, to fill a whole wall.
Discover landlord-friendly displays for a rented space
Even in the age of the internet (and the resurgence of pegboard), sometimes nothing beats an old-fashioned pinboard. Whether you use it as a mood board, filled with paint cards and fabric swatches; an inspirational display, crammed with quotes and favourite artworks; or even just as somewhere to pin the plumber’s mobile; pinboards add personality and, of course, they’re useful. Be sure to choose one big enough for your needs. Corkboard is super-cheap to buy, but you can easily paint it with acrylics for a shot of colour, or to match your scheme.
If you have the space, an umbrella stand is just one of those simple things that makes daily life more organised.
If you need a brolly in a hurry you know just where to find it. Equally you know where to stash it again when the sun comes back out. There’s also something rather quaint, old-fashioned and even a little grand about an umbrella stand. It’s the sort of thing you might expect to find in an upmarket hotel or brasserie, especially if you choose a traditional copper or leather one.
So, you like to drink tea and you want to display your collection of nice mugs. You also need to be able to access them fast, when you’re in urgent need of a hot beverage (which is basically all the time). A row of hooks is your answer. They cost next to nothing, look lovely, and they also free up precious cupboard space to boot. Choose mugs that mix and match well for best effect.
Yes, we know you use your mobile to check the time – everyone does. But actually, until you have a a wall clock, you don’t know what you’re missing. A classic design adds a vintage vibe, quirky interest to walls and helps ground a scheme. The bare bricks here would look empty without the bold black and white face of the clock providing a striking contrast.
And, crucially, it means you don’t have to fumble in your bag for your phone to check if you’re late while you’re sipping your morning coffee. Which is a win in itself.
Wall lights can make a real difference to the ambience and functionality of a room. However, they require advance planning (not always easy), an electrician and, inevitably, a certain amount of upheaval.
But, if you don’t want a lamp taking up table or floor space, there is a third way: the plug-in wall sconce, offering all the good looks of a wall light, but using a regular plug socket. With the industrial look fashionable at the moment, the trailing wire only adds to the chic look.
If you want task lighting, seek out utilitarian-style metal lamps you can angle and swing.
Find more wall lights that don’t need wiring in
No more scrabbling around in cupboards for a suitable surface to to dice a carrot on. A handy pull-out chopping board takes up less space than a butcher’s block, but means you’re always prepared, whether you’re slicing a lemon for your G&T or rustling up something more complicated. It also frees up worktop space, which is always a boon. If you’re planning your kitchen from scratch, you could even situate a pull-out unit with compost bin underneath so you can simply sweep the peelings away.
Do you spend half your life pulling your coffee table closer to your sofa, so you can put down your mocha or magazine? Then a coffee table on castors could be the answer. This one was made from an old pallet – ask at local builders’ yards, or buy secondhand online – and adds an interesting industrial effect.
Storage baskets are the easy option for most of us. They give the impression of order without requiring us to endlessly sort out all our bits and pieces into carefully assigned homes. In the bathroom, use them for spare toilet rolls, or to sweep up half-finished toiletries. In the kitchen, use them as a home for kitchen roll and clingfilm or packets of coffee, and in the living room gather up unruly toys at the end of a long day. They also work in hallways for shoes, and in bedrooms for magazines.
Which home accessories lift your spirits? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.