top of page
  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

Stuck At Home?

For one reason or the other, we all have experienced a must-stay-at-home-day before: the kids are not well... the tradies are fixing something... it's pouring with rain on your day off? Whichever the reason, feeling trapped indoors can be distressing for many, especially for those that are not used to it. So, whichever good reason you might have now, if stuck at home and in fear of going crazy, fear no more! Interior Design can be of great help (LOL). You know that job you’ve been putting off ‘for a rainy day’? Well … that day is here! and here are a few suggestions to help you stay busy and turn your indoors-days into an opportunity for getting things done, and keeping your mood up.

stuck at home?

image courtesy of


The issue: It’s too easy shoving things away, where eventually stuff piles up and gets forgotten just because it's out of sight.

The aim: To make everything you choose to keep, visible and easy to reach, to easily keep track of what you have, as well as gaining valuable space for further storing what else is actually worth keeping. The kitchen cabinetry is always a great place to start, or the pantry, the linen cupboard, the garage... and yes, that wardrobe full of clothes and shoes!!

The process: Start with one cabinet at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed, get everything out of that one space, and start grouping items together, clearly deciding what stays, and what goes! What is to stay can be put to one side ready to go back in place, what’s not to stay, should quickly go into a box (and out of temptation) ready to give away - or perhaps you can you sell it, and make a few $$$! Now, give the empty shelves a good clean before placing back only what is to stay. Repeat this process, one cabinet at the time, one room at the time.

The Result: Decluttering is the best way to quickly achieve the positive and refreshing feeling of renewal (and gain a few dollars?) WIN-WIN!

Is your storage cluttered?


The issue: Over time, it’s very easy for the walls in our homes, especially in the kid’s rooms, to get a few marks or to look a little tired. So, while you’re stuck inside, why not look at sprucing up the place with a fresh coat of paint!

The process: Whilst decluttering the garage you might have found a tin of left-over wall paint. This might be the perfect one to give a bedroom the freshen-up you've been thinking about. First of all, make sure you have enough paint for the entire room, two coats at least are needed to achieve a good result with most colours. If you suspect you might not have enough paint, don't risk the frustration of a job half done, but perhaps consider instead just painting a smaller space instead, like the too often forgotten laundry. Another option is to paint a ‘feature wall’, a good idea to give that touch of new to the bedrooms or the living room.

The result: You have managed to reignite the energy and positive feeling in your home, as newly painted walls create a ‘fresher feel’ which is also about keeping your state of mind positive. Another WIN-WIN situation!

adding a feature wall


The issue: Painting the walls does not excite you, but you’re still wishing to freshen up your home, then re-arranging the furniture is a fun and easy thing to do, and all you need is... what you already have.

The aim: Easily creating a new look & feel in rooms which you spend time in, every day.

The process: Some of us are great at visualising a space, (an integral part of my process), what moving furniture from here to there would look like, and if it does fit. Others take the risk and start moving furniture around and then possibly back to where it started, which is also a great way to do physical exercise when stuck at home (LOL). I suggest drawing a floor-plan in proportion (one cm. per metre) then on another sheet of paper draw the furniture, also in proportion, and cut each piece out. You can then easily slide each piece of furniture around and see what works best. Remember to think of access, doorways, opening windows, and of course practical things like power point locations! By using this way of exploring the possibilities, you will see at a glance what does fit and where.

The result: You’ll be surprised just how effective even little moves can be, especially with larger pieces of furniture, and positively alter a room. The side benefit of course is that while you’re moving everything around, you are also ‘spring cleaning’ even though it’s autumn... yep! that’s another WIN-WIN!

draw a floor-plan

image courtesy of


The Issue: You have lived with the same décor for a little too long or your décor collection has grown into a cluttered and disjointed display.

The aim: To re-energise your home, as you are spending more time within those walls than normal, and the easiest way to refresh your home interiors is to play with the décor items, like cushions, decorative objects and plants.

The process: It’s a combination of moving and decluttering (the same rules apply to exposed surfaces as well as it did to the inside of the cupboards). So, take all the décor items out of one room, and place them on a table where you can easily view and firstly choose the objects you can't do without, like table lamps, and the cushions (if you have new covers in the cupboard, now is the time for a change). Place these necessary items where they are needed, then go back to the table and start selecting the next items to place: larger items first (like a sculpture or a large vase, maybe that oversized pot plant), then the medium and small ones (picture frames, candles, coffee-table books etc). The remaining objects you haven’t used, can be relocated to other rooms as you work throughout the house, (YES, don’t stop now you’re on a roll!) or decide if you keep and store them in your newly decluttered cupboards, OR let them go.

The Result: A sparser way of decorating is easier to keep clean and dust-free, it’s more elegant and it comes at no extra cost! WIN-WIN-WIN!

a sparser décor

If stuck at home, it’s very important we keep the mood positive and upbeat, not just for ourselves but also for those around us and keeping busy is one sure fine way to do it. Depending how long the reclusion is to last, these positive actions also make positive changes to our environment, keeping us visually and mentally stimulated. Of course, there are many other ways, besides Interiors, to help us stay sane, like keeping up with basic exercise, gardening, reading books, playing music and board games with family... I find a glass of wine and a good movie are also perfect way to conclude another day! We all need to keep up to date with the relevant government and health messages, but instead of focussing on the ugly and repetitive news, let's remember to stay positive and patient. Ultimately, we’ll all grow much stronger from this very strange time.


James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has 3 decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to homes through clever design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.

bottom of page