5 ways to (almost) instantly perk up your décor

Vintage décor in a sitting roomcredit

Ever feel like you’d like to give your home a jump-start in the style stakes but think it would take too long or be too costly? Here are five cheap, quick and easy ways to (almost) instantly perk up your décor.

Jug of flowers on a table

Buy some flowers

Plants and flowers are an inexpensive and easy way to change the look and feel of a space. Fresh flowers add colour and fragrance to a room. Check out the large range of bouquets you could display. They can also be used to soften hard surfaces such as concrete and stone – and bring nature indoors which is a useful tool in uniting interior and exterior living – a strong current trend in home design. The containers that you put your flowers in also offer opportunity, whether it be traditional vases or jugs, or perhaps experimenting with colourful vintage tins and bottles.

Grey and white feature wall decorated with triangles

Make a feature wall

Wallpaper, paint, stencils and decals are all possible ways to create a feature wall. All of these options can be completed in a couple of hours and offer dramatic results. A feature wall allows the introduction of bold colours and strong patterns without over-powering a space.

Fairy lights inside a fireplace | H is for Home

Update the lighting

A string of fairy lights gives a magical feel to the room; drape them over a mantlepiece, hang them from the ceiling or bundle them inside a fireplace. Set them to twinkle mode to imitate the flickering of a real fire.
Installing up and down-lighters can quickly change the focus of a room. They can be used to avert the eyes from less attractive corners onto strong features.
Old fashioned filament light bulbs are really popular at the moment. They radiate a soft, warm glow or candle-like flicker; a quick and easy way to enhance the mood of a room.

Handmade woollen throw over a leather sofa | H is for Home

Add soft furnishings

Soft furnishings such as cushions, rugs and throws can bring an instant shot of colour to a room – and can be very successful in adding highlight tones to neutral colour schemes. They introduce softness, texture and warmth too – perfect for that comfortable, cosy retreat.

Oil painting above a fireplace | H is for Home

Hang some art

Display prints, posters or paintings easily – it just takes a hammer, nail and a bit of string or wire. There’s no end of possible sources – inherited pieces, vintage market finds or online bargains! You could frame your children’s artwork – you never know, they may become a world famous artist when they grown up!
You don’t even have to go to all the effort of hanging it on the wall – art can often look great propped against a wall – or sitting on on a shelf or an easel.

If you’ve done any of these – or have any other ideas about adding a burst of freshness to your home – tell us all about it below.

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Tips for transforming your home on a tight budget

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Eclectic loft apartmentcredit

Renovating a home is a lot cheaper than moving to a new one. You can spend as much or as little as you like to refresh old rooms or even add new ones, but if you don’t have a lot of spare cash, you need to look at strategies to achieve the maximum effect for as little as possible. Luckily there are lots of cool ways to do this.

Budget renovation projects can include this desk and shelves made from wooden cratescredit

How much can you afford to spend?

Before you begin, do an honest appraisal of your budget. It is pointless starting a project and then running out of cash halfway through. Work out what you can afford to spend and then do some cost calculations. After all, there is no point looking at expensive materials and furniture if you can’t afford to buy them. That would be torture!

Little girl painting a wall redcredit

Cheap labour

Labour is often a significant part of any renovation or building project. Say, for example, you’re intending to fit a new kitchen. Kitchen cupboards are not always terribly expensive. Indeed, it’s possible to pick up relatively cheap ones if you have the time and energy to shop around. However, the cost of fitting a kitchen can be very expensive, so there’s plenty of money to be saved by using cheap labour.

Cheap labour isn’t always to be recommended, but if you have friends or family who can do the job and are willing to help you out, enlist their services. Offer to cook them a meal or organise a BBQ to feed everyone at the end of the job. You can hire specialist tools such as Lincoln plasma welders from local hire shops, so no long-term investment in equipment is necessary.

Chair and table made from upcycled palletscredit

Inexpensive materials

Some materials will need to be bought new: timber, plaster, electrical components, etc. Other items can be picked up cheaply second-hand. Furniture is a good example of this. Why buy new when you can find good quality vintage pieces?

Look online for cheap or free materials for your project. Old pallets are a good source of wood for furniture projects, so ask local businesses if they have any going spare. If you need a bag of plaster or cement, see if a local builder has any half-used bags he no longer needs, or check Gumtree or eBay for unwanted extras left over from other people’s renovation projects. It’s amazing what you can find if you go out of your way to look!

Chest of drawers decoupaged with mapscredit

Make do & mend

Don’t buy new when you can give something old a makeover. We are all too quick to throw away items of unwanted furniture in favour of new pieces from high street shops. New is nice, but if you don’t have much money it makes sense to restore an older piece of furniture and give it a shabby chic makeover instead.

Budget renovation projects can be fun, but always adhere to health and safety guidelines. And if you need to hire tools to get your renovation project up and running, check out what’s available at Welding Outfitter.

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