Now is the best time to turn to home maintenance before winter sets in. September is a good month for us to sit back and breathe a sigh of relief, the children go back to school, the weather is getting cooler and the shops are a little less crowded. On the other hand, by the time we have caught our breath, we realize that winter and even Christmas are just around the corner.
September and October are the ideal time to think about sprucing up the family home. For almost three months the children have been running amuck together with the fact that, on long hot days, all you wanted to do was lie in the shade and not even think about the household chores, all contribute to the fact that our homes can, like ourselves, look a little jaded after the summer.
Changing the colour of the walls or even just painting over the bad bits can make a real difference to the whole look of a room. Why not go for a complete colour change? The temptation in Spain is to go for an entirely white background colour (because of the cooling impression) but during the winter months, white walls throughout the entire house can make the place seem cold and uninviting.
There are some fantastic Mediterranean colours available in the shops and supermarkets, that as well as being traditional can also create a cosy look for the colder months.
Once the place is looking bright and fresh again, you can turn your attention more easily to what needs to be done to the rest of your décor. Is your furniture looking a bit tired or past its best? If so, maybe its time to replace it.
With Christmas not so far away and bringing as it does an increase in visitors to your home, your furniture will see extra traffic, as well as extra scrutiny. Sometimes we can ruin the whole look of a freshly decorated room by leaving old and shabby furniture on display.
The Costa del Sol has some superb furniture stores with a huge range of styles and materials to choose from, not to mention price ranges. Leather is a good choice for sofas and armchairs; not only is it resilient and good looking, it suits the Mediterranean style very well.
Whether you go for a lighter more contemporary shade or a darker traditional or rustic suite, you cant really go far wrong choosing leather for a Spanish style lounge. Now that the evenings are a little cooler we can catch up on our sleep!
So how comfortable is your bed? If it is sagging in the middle it is probably not very comfortable or good for your back. You can choose traditional turned wood headboards, leather headboards or even rattan or cane, depending on the style of the room. There is a huge choice of bed shops in this area and many offer a complete bedroom package that includes wardrobes, bedside tables, beds, headboards and even rugs and lamps.
The garden may also be looking sorry for itself after the summer; some of the plants will appear tired and spent. We tend to be a little sentimental when it comes to plants, especially those we planted some time ago, but the ruthless approach is sometimes the best. Clearing those borders and starting afresh, is one way of giving the garden a new lease of life, also by replacing some plants you can introduce different colours, heights, or even change the shapes of your borders and flowerbeds.
The winter in Spain, although a little kinder on the garden then the English winter, nevertheless still requires some work. Strong winds are not uncommon and shrubs and trees that have had a burst of growth during the summer months may be a bit top heavy. This will cause too much movement to the plant on windy days and can cause root damage. Be sure to give larger plants or fruit trees a clipping to avoid them being battered by the wind. If some of the plants in your garden are a little unfamiliar to you and you are uncertain about pruning, seek the advice of a good landscape gardener or even ask at your local garden centre.
With the children returning to school this month and the weather being a little cooler, you may find yourself with a breathing space before winter and Christmas to really get your house in order.