Making Your House Looks New, All The Time
Having had many guests surveying our apartment, people usually comment about how new everything looks. The apartment building is almost 3 years old (ok. it’s fairly new …), and we’ve only lived there for 16 months. But not all of our furnitures are new. We still use some of our old bed sheets, wooden furnitures, and wall paintings.
Those who sleep over, with an eye for details, then usually notice the extra measures we take to make the house look new and fresh.
None of these things below are expensive or rocket science. Just need a bit of effort 🙂
1. INVEST IN SCRATCH / FELT PROTECTORS – We make sure that every chair we buy has a rubber or felt protector at each leg so they won’t scratch our marble and parquette floors when moved. We also stick a scratch protector at the bottom of every basket, flower vase to prevent them from scratching our floor or precious wooden table tops.
We also stick a scratch protector at every point in the house where the door handle would bump into when open (see picture). Without the protector, the door handle would eventually create a dent on those points.
2. USE WOOD MARKERS TO FIX DENTS AND SCRATCHES – We fix dents and scratch on our wooden furnitures with wood markers. It basically looks like a board marker, but comes in different shades of brown … from the light pine wood, reddish mahogany, to dark oak. In Singapore, you can get these for S$2 each at Daiso. In the US, I’ve seen this product at Bed, Bath and Beyond. It’s a wonderful instant fix … no guests notice the little dents and scratches on our furnitures 🙂
3. USE COASTERS – We hate cup marks on wooden and marble tops … and if you leave these marks for too long, the damage would be permanent. So use coasters under every cup, and under every pans and pot in the kitchen and dining table.
4. ENSURE YOU INSTALL BASE BOARDS AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR WALLS – See picture on the right … we have base boards all around the house. Not only that this looks pretty, but it also prevents furnitures from touching the wall and creating a mark or collecting dust that would stick permanently on to the wall
5. KEEP A SMALL CAN OF PAINT AND A TUBE OF SPACKLE – Little kids always think that the wall is their drawing board. Guests accidentally bang their travel bags on the wall, chipping a bit of paint or causing a black scratch mark on your yellow wall. Even at the absence of kids and guests, walls will have hairline cracks after a while. You can either spend money to invite a painter to fix all these, or you can save money by filling in chipped wall with spackle and then repaint them yourself. It’s a fun activity that even my son enjoys 🙂
6. POLISH YOUR WOODEN FURNITURES – We wipe our wooden furniture with Pledge Furniture Polish every week. This maintains an even shine throughout our counter tops, and protect the wood from moisture or extreme dryness. Every few months, we also rub our balcony furnitures (deck chairs and a side table, all teak) thoroughly with teak oil to prevent mould or cracking.
7. USE 3M TO HANG PICTURES AND PAINTINGS – We stock up 3M picture hanging strips and hooks at various sizes because they’re very easy to mount, very strong, but won’t leave any marks on the wall once you take the strip off! At S$4.95 a pack, this is an absolute gem. No more nail holes and chipped paint 🙂
This rule applies to posters too. NEVER tape them on the wall – the paint will come off when you strip off the tape! Use 3M poster strip or blu tac instead. I prefer 3 poster strip, simply because blu tac looks like a gum that you just spat out 😀
8. DISPLAY FRESH PLANTS – Whenever we have guests arriving, I make a little extra effort in trimming my plants so they look fresh and healthy. Then I would place the nicest ones strategically at spots where guests would notice and enjoy them. The fresh plants can be some cut flowers, which will cost more and last a few days only, or – my preference, some potted plants that I can move around the house.
I have loads of potted plants in the house (orchids, anthurium, herbs and spices), and would display only those that are blooming or spread a special scent to the room.
It looks like a lot of effort … but each task actually takes a few minutes or even seconds each time. When you put this into practice and see the state of your house in three or five years, believe me, you’d be glad you do these 🙂