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Letting in the light ...and seeing the dust fly!

Last blog, I promised an interior focused blog and I will honour that. This time round let's look at managing the light in your home as the days are longer and at one key spring cleaning focus you may not yet have considered.

Light in your home is one of the most important factors for feeling good. Whether it is natural or artificial light it plays an important role in setting the atmosphere in the room. Bright, fresh daylight brings optimism, joy and productivity. Shadowy corners and yellow pools of light from a lamp or flickers from a fire or candle create a cosy place to snuggle and relax.

Other than the light sources themselves, we can control how we filter the light in our homes through curtains and this is arguably the most important time of year for adjusting your curtains to suit what you need in each room.

With dawn breaking earlier each day you may want to consider blackout blinds or indeed curtains incorporating blackout linings for your little ones or yourselves. Of course this is an all year round concern for shift workers who have to trying and regulate their sleeping rhythms. The high street caters well for this and John Lewis' Anyday range like many other retailers offer blackout linings which can be hooked along with existing curtains. (John Lewis Anyday range blackout linings £12-£60.00 at time of blog going live.)

Of course you may want to increase the light flooding in to your living areas now the quality of light is improving and heavy curtains look too clunky and uncomfortable at this time. A bit like wearing a wool gaberdine in summer - just not right! So if you still need coverage but want a brighter look perhaps a natural inspired fabric like this Bamboo print from Marks and Spencers... It avoids being too colourful or floral if that's not your vibe.

M & S Online: Bamboo £45 - £95.00

However, if you like pretty modern florals there are many available at the minute like that shown on Interior Design Masters this week. The now finalist Amy Davies is a brilliant print designer and Illustrator and this week she used a sketched floral on a pale pink background. This style is in abundance on the high street so Amy was leading the trend as this would have been filmed a year ago. If you like the look here are some options all available from online retailer an online made to measure curtain site with affordable prices and an order to dispatch time of 4-6 working days.

Top row: Summerby Corn Silk and Seascape

Bottom row: Acquitaine eau de nil and Carlina Ochre

all from

I wonder what trend Banjo would start in interiors? - he's fun isn't he? I'm looking forward to next week's final. I think Banjo has the lead for me though because he can really get inside the head of his client and know their every move, their last holiday, their favourite cocktail etc and this really brings the detail touches into his designs which seem more authentic. That being said Amy's design last week was her best, I felt, as she considered the space planning which I'm surprised the others overlooked. I didn't like the black and white kitchen units though... And wouldn't some wispy Miami vibe curtains have been lovely to keep the wee beasties out at night when those lovely patio doors were open? Just saying...

There are loads of voiles and nets out there and always have been to dress windows for summer breezes and to filter bright light. Zara Home are currently doing a lovely natural range featuring linens and open textured panels. Prices start at £39.99 for a panel at time of blog going live.

Image credit: Zara Home Online

It seems obvious but keeping your windows sparkly clean this season is the best way to maximise the light. I recommend not trying to do all the interiors in one day - its exhausting, and once you clean windows the dust will be more obvious everywhere! Many i know recommend using a whizzy window tool like the Karcher one. For me its more simple, I use water, washing up liquid and a good rubber blade. Same can be said for exterior windows but I do have a great window cleaner. We've high windows and the salty swirls on the outside are hard to keep at bay after a storm. So I control just what I can inside and then if swirls appear day after the exteriors are cleaned I don't feel personally slighted!

We've had some unseasonably cold weather until this past week so the boots and big coat that were on their way to back of cloakroom were kept to hand and used! So I think we're all forgiven for not getting the spring cleaning zeal under way until this week... maybe that was just me! The satisfaction of a clear out and a clean kitchen at last now the kids go back to school is very rewarding. And of course, we'll be thinking about getting our outdoor areas spruced up too, the optimists that we are!

With that in mind I'm sure most of you are well underway with clearing and seasonal swapping out but here's a detail I'd like to bring your attention to. I read an article recently in Real Homes* about washing cushions, in it *Anna Cottrell says we should be washing our pillows twice a year at least to keep them in healthy condition and that's when using pillow protectors. But they can be washed up to once a month preferably if they're getting stained or smelly, or worse if you've kids involved. I've always struggled with washing them no matter what balls I put into the tumble drier they are never quite the same after the whole process! The article is informative and advises us to read the labels, hope for the best that they won't all clump up and use pillow protectors because there are some you just can't get wet like memory foam for example. I was delighted to hear that an old wive's tale is true (maybe that's because I'm becoming one myself?) If you lay your cushions, blankets, duvets, bedspreads out in the sun for a good few hours the 'ultra violet rays do kill bacteria and freshen bedding'. *Anna Cottrell, How to wash pillows? 20/4/2022. Fantastic!

When we holidayed as children in Donegal there was a wee white cottage near the road that used to lay their bedlinen out on the gorse and heather bushes in the summer. Now that might get a bit prickly for me, but for foam cushions or huge bedspreads I think its a good option to have. I'll never stop using pillow protectors, but sometimes you just can't beat fresh air and I'll have my pillows out the first predictable sunny day I can find. And I'll probably be out there with them to be honest!

Enjoy the season!

Next time round I hope to be updating you on our kitchen extension - wish me luck!

Heather. X

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