BETTER LIVING: Check out these tips for helping seniors get more enjoyment out of the inside of their home.
BETTER LIVING: Check out these tips for helping seniors get more enjoyment out of the inside of their home. RUBEN RAMOS

Spring off the couch and try these refreshing living ideas

MOVING into a smaller home doesn't mean you have to compromise on how you live, but it may mean you need to rethink about better ways to make your home brighter and happier.

Swinburne University's Interior Architecture course director Kirsten Day has some great tips for helping seniors get more enjoyment out of the inside of their home.

Surface colours

  • Aim for light colours on walls and ceilings which will better reflect light. The same can be said for furniture covers and even rugs - light colours will increase the perception of space.

"Most paint companies will have a whole range of whites," Ms Day said. "The pure white is quite stark and monastic. You can also get ones that have a shade of grey." The idea is to avoid the starkness of pure white by having a slight shading of grey, white, pink or even blue to the paint.

Position of furniture

  • Instead of facing all your furniture towards the television, utilise the nearest window or balcony which can guide your eye out of the living space. They don't need to be large areas to create a feeling of more space.
  • Ensure you place the furniture so that you can easily move around it.

"There is evidence that having a view to nature enhances the perceived quality of space," Ms Day said. "You will enjoy being in that space if you can see something outside."

Shades of light

  • Consider replacing the upholstery dark furniture with much lighter colours, or putting a light colour throw rug and bright coloured cushions across dark lounges.
  • Place a mirror opposite the window or balcony, or even the entrance to another room, to reflect another view ultimately creating a feeling of more space around you.
  • Use a lamp shade that shares the light around the room rather than forcing light down.
  • Refresh your home layout by changing the location of the living room, study or bedrooms. It might be time to swap a few rooms around to utilise the summer light and warmth.

Less may be better

  • Are you really using all the furniture in your home? Spring is a good time to get rid of what you no longer really need, particularly bulky items, which will help free up space around the home.

Better lighting

  • Consider replacing heavy window drapes with a light-weight material which will still give you some privacy, but also let in more light.


  • Use rug patterns and colour in different ways to impact on the perception of your space.
  • Look at the way you place a rug that has a pattern so that it creates a special effect that suits the size and shape of the room it is in.
  • Don't forget to weigh down the corners of your rugs to stop them becoming a trip hazard.

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