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25th May 2016

3 Tiny Little Changes That Will Have A Huge Impact On Your Home

Trine Jensen-Burke

It’s funny what we think of as the important moments in life; like holidays, parties, or big nights out.

But what about the little moments in between these special occasions? The ones that happen every day; like having breakfast with your family, enjoying a morning snooze, or even a simple cup of tea. Maybe the little things in life really are the big things.

Home is where you will experience a lot of the most precious moments in your life, the little ones, the bigger ones, and where you will spend time with the people you love the most. All this, I think, makes it even more important that your home works for you. That it is functional. That it is easy. That it makes you smile.

We recently sat down with top Irish designer Aoife Rhattigan from Restless Design, known from popular TV show “Design Doctors” for a chat about the small changes that make a big difference to your home.

1. Use the lamps, not the overheads for a more relaxing evening together

“Many are not aware of it, but lighting has a huge impact on our mood and sense of well-being,” Aoife explains. “Lighting a space incorrectly can actually make you feel down and tired.”

Many of us stick to ceiling lights, like spots or central ceiling pendants, when we pick lighting, but Aoife points out that these are really just to be used for when you need bright light (like when you are cleaning or working), and that indirect lighting and lamps are a much better choice.

“Lighting is always more attractive when it is varied & indirect,” she explains. “There are so many beautiful lamps that will create lovely, soft lighting, and you can create different moods and zones far more easily using nothing but varied lighting.”


2. Add personal touches to express yourself through your home

Our homes should be as much of a reflection of who we are as the clothes we wear. And this does not mean cluttering it up with old memorabilia or five thousand pictures in frames, Aoife explains, it is more about letting a little bit of you – and the other people living there – shining through and giving your home the “you” treatment.


“Even people who claim to be minimal and who like a very bare approach to interiors, they don’t realize that that is also a statement, a look into who they are,” Aoife explains. “And everyone wants their home to be special and particular to them; they might just not know quite how to achieve this.”

Personality when it comes to decor can take many forms, the designer explains: “A pop of your favourite colour, be it on a cushion or a piece of art, a gallery wall of family photos, a unique wallpaper, even something as small as a fun or quirky kettle, these things will all contribute to your home feeling more uniquely yours.”

Aoife explains how she likes to use art and colourful textiles to inject her personality and taste into her home. “Another little area where I sometimes see people being a little more playful is their bathroom,” she says. “Like, you walk into someone’s house and it is all quite neutral, and then you get to the bathroom and they have this crazy, colourful or whatever shower curtain, and all of a sudden you see them in a slightly different light, you see a little bit more of who they really are.”


And personality doesn’t have to mean bold colours or huge statements either, Aoife explains. “Anything personal, an heirloom, an old family chair that you have re-upholstered, some family photos, they all add a little bit of you to your home.”

3. Add freshly laundered sheets for a better sleep

Our bedroom is the room that, statistically, we all spend the absolute most amount of time in. And yet often the one that tends to get the most ignored when it comes to both decor and details. Go figure.


Personally, I have always claimed that investing in your bedroom means investing in your sleep and downtime, something that surely can only be a good thing, and luckily, it seems the expert agrees. “If we are lucky, we spend eight hours a day in this room, so everyone should have a nice cosy bed and bedroom,” Aoife explains. “There really is nothing like the feeling of freshly laundered sheets at the end of a long day.”

The designer claims she often opts for neutral and white shades when it comes to the actual bed linens, but adds colour with throws and cushions, things that can be more easily changed and updated should you feel like a change.

“A sumptuous bed is such a great way to make your bedroom a much more inviting place to spend time in,” Aoife explains. “Just because it is a room that guests rarely see does not mean you should skimp when it comes to making your bedroom lovely.”


She also thinks many people could benefit from better storage systems in their homes, and especially their bedrooms, where clothes and shoes tend to be kept. “Make your life easier by having storage solutions that work for you,” she explains. “Get your clothes more organized in a functional wardrobe, have baskets around for more fluid storage, where you can keep spare cushions and throws and also random bits like magazines and misplaced toys.”

Aoife Rhattigan will be taking over the IKEA Facebook Page to do a live Q&A with IKEA fans @ 16:00 on Wednesday 25th May 2016. So head on over to with your questions. IKEA will be giving away spot prizes for people involved in the Q&A and don’t forget that the little things can really make for a #WonderfulEveryday

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