The current economic downturn and the fact that housing prices are likely to fall by a further 15% or 20% during 2009, according to the most pessimistic estimates, dictates that for many people moving home does not make economic sense. By the same token, the credit crunch means that the amount of disposable income available for home improvements is limited so the emphasis for 2009 is likely to be on affordable, practical improvements.
Even something as simple as a new coat of paint on exterior woodwork can vastly improve the appearance of your home, not to mention providing essential weatherproofing of say timber window frames. Exterior paint is available in a number of different finishes – gloss, matte, eggshell, etc. – and while you are likely to err on the side of caution colour-wise on the exterior of your home, 2009 is likely to be all about bright colours and bold patterns when it comes to the interior. Warm, autumnal colours – natural greens, yellows and reds – are destined to be popular, as are fig or aubergine. Furniture is likely to be rounded and more comfortable although there may also be moves towards abstract shapes, geometric patterns, and, of course, bold colours associated with a retro Fifties look.
Small but carefully chosen flourishes such as cushions, vases, lamps, curtains, and blinds – complete with interchangeable covers, shades, etc. – can be used to brighten up an interior without breaking the bank and with green energy very much on the agenda, make sure you opt for energy efficient light bulbs. A colourful piece of furniture can likewise form the focal point for a room, and be complimented by affordable, but stylish, accessories spread throughout the room.