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When Redecorating, Work With What You've Got

Fancy a new mood chez vous, without breaking the bank? Reworking that which you already have, explain Colin and Justin, could be the perfect solution to seasonal adjustment...

Fancy a new mood chez vous, without breaking the bank? Reworking that which you already have, explain Colin and Justin, could be the perfect solution to seasonal adjustment...

You know you wanna. Switch it up a little, right? Aye, in a quest to refresh, you fancy the best. On minimal coin, bien sur. Of course you do. And who could blame you? Economics as they are, it's more than sensible to tighten one's purse strings wherever possible. But without sacrificing style. Damn right.

So where to start? With the basics. Paint or paper, for example, are the easiest mediums with which to adjust domestic mood. If you analyse our pedigree, you'll observe that, as much as we're known for highly coloured schematics, our default mechanism is actually white. Or cream. Or sand. Or beige. Our work, in fact, is significantly lower low key than it might initially seem. Indeed the majority of C&J 'pop' comes from moveable feasts such as textiles, accessories and artwork.

Bone tones are a perfect backdrop for seasonal adjustment (try Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore) and can be easily enlivened with pretty much any other shade. Add schematically relevant brown, ochre and grey to warm things up as winter settles, or sling in pops of yellow, green or zingy orange in an allusion to spring.

Light up your life

Lighting is another key aspect which, properly played, provides decorative flexibility and a means with which to seasonally adjust the home environment. Planned correctly, it can be moody, enlivening, sexy and dramatic (or a mixture of all of these aspects) as, and when, required.

Remember task lighting; invest in an attractive table lamp to illuminate a corner where you might read or tackle a spot of crafting. We love the whole "angle poise" trend and the original Anglepoise is available at Verso or you can get the look with the Swing Arm Desk Lamp, $19.99 at Canadian Tire.

In the kitchen, we're championing the arrival of TOP of cabinetry lighting. Sure, designers the world over have been adding UNDER cabinet illumination since the year dot, but over-cupboard endeavours are a similarly effective mood setter which will brighten in the same way a wall washer might in typical application. Visit Bateman Furniture for a clever solution to all kitchen lighting issues.

Hang an attractive ceiling fitting over your dining area; "washing" the surface of your table adds immediate drama and is a great way to enhance overall mood. One of our favourite lighting suppliers is Living Lighting, Their international inventory keeps then constantly switched on...

Here's a bright idea; invest in a twenty buck dimmer switch from your nearest big box store - with the twist of a knob you can tailor ambient mood to requirements. It's one of the first things we specify, whether on screen or off, when tackling lighting plans for clients in Britain, Canada and America.

Wood you believe it?

While perhaps not an aspect that comes immediately to mind when discussing seasonal adjustment, now is the perfect time to think about updating flooring. As Christmas approaches, there are great deals to be had across the market. Big box stores, for example, often clear space for festive inventory -- and for the arrival of new stock in spring -- so head on in to your nearest 'shed'... and prepare to be floored.

It's worth noting, however, that genus and product construction vary and that wood that's good in one zone may be entirely wrong in another. Kitchens? Stick to hard lumber like oak, teak or bamboo; more stable than soft woods (such as pine) they react better to moisture and spillage. In bedrooms, because traffic is lighter; a good quality laminate may suffice. In basements, we recommend 'engineered' board; this is constructed with a layer of genuine wood set atop composite board and, should moisture issues occur, it's less likely to warp.

In living rooms, when budgets permit, we usually specify solid wood for our paymasters. A good supplier is Kentwood; market leaders for a host of reasons (not least quality, choice and price) they have a particularly dreamy range.

Regardless of flooring type, it's good to add a secondary tactile layer, especially as seasons change. During bedroom projects we enjoy specifying a cosseting rug, whether tufted or flat weave. Check out Korhani for a superb inventory and prepare to be surprised; these guys have an amazing collection at rock bottom price points.

Lounge Wizards

As the mercury dips, it's time to whip down summer's diaphanous blinds and opt instead for warming drapery. Ikea have super deals and as do custom manufacturer Amazing Window Fashions AWF are one of our major go-to suppliers and their standards and turn around service are second to none.

Another way to switch up living room mood (especially if you're scared of colour commitment) is with upholstery. Everyone's favourite discount retailer Homesense have astoundingly good inventory of feather filled toss pillows and knobbly woollen throws - go wild in the aisles with savings of up to 60% off MRRPP.

Freshen your bathroom

Bathrooms suites can be any colour as long as they're white. End of. This in mind, ignore any 'counsel' by any commentator who suggests that avocado (or worse still 'chocolate') tones are making a comeback. Bathroom design should be carefully considered as its realisation is something you'll have to live with for a long time. This observed, it's relatively simple to update a lack lustre bathroom with the addition of faucets vanity counter or perhaps a shiny new basin.

With a modicum of imagination, even the most dated interiors can be given a 'tweaked' new lease of life without breaking the bank. It's simply a matter of plotting schematic reversion without going crazy. And remember; it's not how much you spend but how you spend it that makes the biggest difference as the seasons close in. So draft out your ideas, create mood boards and focus on the best way forward. As we often say; "To fail to plan is to plan to fail."

A Living Room Before:

A Living Room After by Colin & Justin:

A Box Room Becomes A Bedroom - before:

After Colin & Justin's Transformation

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