When it comes to decorating your house, apartment or even just one room there are some simple Do’s and Don’ts that you should follow to make the process easier and the make the decoration effort a success. I will try to cut these down to a simple list of “Do’s”.
1. Do Sketch your Floorplan
Take some measurements and do a rough sketch of your room plan. This should include windows, electrical outlets, and special features that will remain in the room, etc. When going shopping for materials, furniture, etc take this with you, which will take the guess work out of the actual dimensions of things. You can draw this up at 1:100, which I know sounds daunting, but that just means that 1cm equals 1 metre, which means you can use a standard ruler for this.
2. Do Some Research
Personal style doesn’t stop at what you choose to wear each day. It also extends to what your living space looks like. Take the time to look around, look at magazines, go to furniture stores and see if there is a specific style, colour, furniture type that you like.
Home improvement need not always drain your bank account. Having moved into my apartment just last July 2 and was having a headache with the DHL delivery (our box was a month and a half delayed) I needed to make an unexpected shopping run to buy some basics for our apartment. I needed just enough to survive till our much awaited linens, cutlery and utensils from the Philippines (all of which were divine quality since they were all practically gifts from our wedding). I was already on my way to Walmart at Wanda Plaza Wujiaochang (given they were famous for bargains) when I discovered a hidden gem right below called Enjoy Easy.
It was thrilling to find “IKEA-looking finds” at very budget-friendly prices (take a look at the pictures for some examples. You can literally spend hours just looking through their different things for the home that are literally almost all below 30RMB. Mugs, plates, cute coasters, jars, buckets, storage boxes, cooking utensils hooks... You name it, they probably have it.
Most of us are renters, so we don’t have the luxury of actually renovating our homes into something special, but there are some ways that you change your surrounds to be more Eco-Friendly. First I guess I should go a few paces back and explain what Eco-Friendly is and why it is good for you.
Eco-Friendly seems to be all the rage these days to save our planet, but there are other reasons why this is a great thing to adapt to your home and that is yours and your family’s health. Have you ever lived in a place in Shanghai where there is a lot of wood paneling scattered around and maybe you always felt a bit under the weather, but couldn’t quite figure out why. All products in your house are slowly (or some, not so slowly) releasing emissions that you are breathing in and when I say all I mean all. Furniture, paints, cleaning products, timber, plants, etc all emit VOC’s (Volatile organic compounds). The reason for mentioning the timber paneling is because I have actually heard of cases in Shanghai where the tenants have become sick because the products used to treat the wood were emitting too much Formaldehyde. That is why a lot of Chinese people will renovate and not move in for months, but you could seriously reduce these emissions by choosing the right materials.