How to make your room look classier without throwing anything away

Bright, modern living room

You may have recently been looking at the glossy home decorating magazines and finding the recommended room makeovers to be hugely expensive. Without breaking the budget, you’d probably prefer to find a way to make your existing room look classier and perhaps include the odd addition to jazz things up for that finishing touch.

Here are a few suggestions for improvements and upgrades that look upmarket without being exorbitantly expensive.

Plant on a bedside table

Go natural

Adding some plants or freshly cut flowers to a bedroom brings new colour, vibrancy and air purification into the room. Look for a vase that you haven’t used in ages. Maybe it’s in storage or tucked away at the back of a cupboard. If you’re unable to find an attractive one, look at a local charity shop to see if there’s something affordable that someone decided they didn’t like any longer.

Watch a YouTube video on flower arranging to get an idea how to put fresh plants together in an attractive arrangement for your bedside table. And there you have it; a fresher looking bedside table that brings a little nature into the bedroom.

Grey buttoned sofa with collection of throw cushions

Rethink the throw cushions

Older cushions, and particularly their covers, tend to look a bit weathered over time. The colours fade a little with each washing cycle and the fabric isn’t as interesting any longer. Changing cushion covers for new ones with an interesting pattern is inexpensive to do. Anyone who is a dab hand with a sewing machine can take some fancy fabric and turn it into a usable cushion cover. If you’re not this handy, then consider buying separate covers but keeping the existing fillings.

With cushions that don’t feel plush, consider adding a second foam or fill to the inside of the cushion to double its size. There are many new, inexpensive fills for cushions delivering refreshing comfort even to an older sofa. And when your sofa’s fabric or leather has seen better days, consider a long throw to cover the length of the sofa adding that touch of luxury and increased comfort without needing a complete replacement sofa.

Grey buttoned ottoman bed

Knowing when it’s time to replace the bed

Older beds lack suitable under-bed storage options and don’t necessarily provide the simple luxury and elegance that’s much needed. Wooden Ottoman beds provide new options for home-owners who feel it’s time to replace their tired bed frame with a more complete, modern one. Made from wood and covered in attractive fabrics or leather, these Ottoman beds offer something different than the typical brass bed frame we’ve all seen before.

Minimalist whitewashed room

Reduce clutter

Reducing the amount of clutter is often the last thing that anyone thinks to do; however, it’s effective in making every room look larger while giving the existing decorations and furniture a better chance to get noticed. Many of us collect too much of everything over the years. By cutting back on what we actually need to keep hold of and finding places to discretely store items out of sight, it transforms a living space and opens it up for further refinements to entirely change how it feels.

Adding a touch of class to every room doesn’t have to cost the earth. In many cases, it takes some re-imagining of each living area to determine how to get the most out of it along with a few small additions to bring something new.

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How to create a stylish bachelor pad

How to create a stylish bachelor pad

Do you want to create a sleek and stylish home to complement your lifestyle? We’re going to show you how to put your money to good use by offering interior design tips that can transform your home. Read on for advice on how to create a stylish bachelor pad.

Bedroom with emerald green wall

Pick the perfect colour scheme

Bachelor pads are commonly full of dramatic blacks, sophisticated navy, or a cool grey hue. Yet, you don’t have to follow the typical colour palettes to create a stylish interior design. For example, you can stick with the common bachelor pad colours whilst incorporating brighter shades, such as emerald green or crimson red.

Man reclining on a sofa reading a magazine

The sofa

The sofa is undoubtedly where you’ll spend most of your time within the home. You must therefore ensure that it’s not only stylish, but comfortable, too. We therefore encourage you to think carefully about how you’ll use your sofa. What you do in your downtime should determine the sofa style you choose. For instance, individual armchairs are great for gamers, whilst a corner sofa is perfect for bachelors who love to put their feet up when watching a film or Netflix.

Open plan sitting room with L-shaped sofa

A sleek TV and stand

Impress your friends with a sleek flat-screen TV that will provide the ultimate viewing experience to watch a big game. You can also take your home’s style to the next level by choosing stylish, modern TV stands, which should complement your sofa, flanking furniture and colour scheme.

Man's bedroom with clothes rack and tall plant

A contemporary bedroom

The bedroom is more than an area to rest your sleepy head. It’s one of the most personal spaces within the home, as it will house your most precious belongings, such as keepsakes, clothing and photos. You must therefore invest both time and money into creating a comfortable, modern space that will welcome you home, whilst also impressing your guests.

Of course, the bed is the biggest focal point within the bedroom, which is why you must select the right style for your interior and comfort. Don’t underestimate the importance of bedding, either. Never settle for cheap bed linens that can impact your style and sleep. Instead, opt for luxury bedding that will accentuate your contemporary bed and décor.

Apartment with artwork on shelves and on the wall

Hang artwork on your walls

Express your personality across your home through beautiful works of art. The artwork will add a splash of refinement to your bachelor pad, as it will show off your cultural side. If you’re on a tight budget, incorporate famous prints into a beautiful frame, or develop an appreciation by browsing beautiful works of art from local painters.

Model vehicle toy collection

Incorporate memorabilia across the home

Are you a movie buff? Love music? Class yourself as a big sports fan? Prove how much you love a film, band, or team by incorporating cool memorabilia across your home. For instance, you can frame movie posters, vintage sports shirts and album covers to hang onto your wall, or can display figurines or props in a group.

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Home decoration: How to use framed art the right way

Framed art above a desk

Purchasing and hanging framed art in your home so that it makes a good design statement is as much an art form as it is an expression of the things you love. You may choose framed pieces in similar colour schemes or maybe one or two pieces in an accent colour to add interest or to brighten up a dull room. In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips for hanging your purchased pieces.

1. UV and heat protection

Framed art on a radiator

UV light will eventually fade your artwork so try and hang it on walls that don’t get much direct sunlight. Heat and humidity can also cause damage to your framed pieces over time so avoid hanging in humid environments such as bathrooms or even the kitchen. Alternatively, if you do want some pictures in these rooms swap them with other pieces on a regular basis so they’re not exposed to the heat and humidity for extended periods.

2. Effectively group your art work

two rows of framed black & white artworks

Grouping smaller pieces together can be a very effective home décor design feature. Before you hang your pictures, lay them out on the floor in the way you’d like to hang them on the wall. Try to maintain some kind of symmetry by creating a rectangular or square display and space your frames about 3 to 4 inches apart.

Once you’ve laid your artwork out on the floor and you’re happy with the display, cut out paper templates of each frame and tape these to the wall so that you’ll get an exact idea of how the finished collection will look. Mark the picture hook locations with a pencil and then you’re ready to hang your art.

3. Make sure the pieces are consistent with your home décor

Framed oil painting above fireplace

You want the selected pieces of framed art to reflect your own personal style and also add character and charm to your home.

Before purchasing any piece of artwork, look around your home to evaluate what kind of pictures would best suit your décor. Consider your dominating colour scheme and your available wall space. You want your art pieces to compliment your décor, not dominate it. You can find a huge collection of interesting and eclectic framed artwork from places like Fine Art America which are sure to suit your particular decorating style.

4. Mount your framed art at the correct height

trio of framed artworks hung at different heights

To maintain the symmetry of your room and its furniture, ensure that you hang your artwork at the correct height. In standard 8-foot ceiling rooms, the middle of your picture should be about 5 feet off the wall. If your room has higher ceilings, you can hang your artwork a little higher.

If you’re hanging a picture above a sofa, it’s a good idea to leave a space of approximately 6 to 8 inches between the bottom of the frame and the top of the sofa. If hanging above a tabletop, you should leave a space of about 10 to 12 inches but this can be adjusted to account for lamps or other display pieces on the table.

Conclusion

Art on the floor propped against a wall

To make the most of your framed art pieces it’s important that you choose and hang them correctly. Choose pieces that not only match your personal style but your home décor as well. Consider the light, heat and humidity of each room before choosing pieces that you want to hang.

Group smaller pieces of art in a nice symmetrical shape by using paper templates to first consider their positioning and ensure that you hang your favourite art pieces at the correct height so that it’s pleasing to the eye.

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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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Home Tones: Petrol blue

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Petrol blue bedroom wardrobecredit

We’ve chosen a very dramatic colour for this week’s Home Tones post… petrol blue. It really grabs your attention. It’s often used quite sparingly in room schemes so as not to overpower it – perhaps a feature wall, furniture upholstery etc. People are being quite brave about embracing darkness now however – note the trend for dark greys in interior design – so we think this shade could be used quite liberally in a space – perhaps in conjunction with the aforementioned greys, fuchsia and violet. We often see flocks of starlings on nearby farmland and their feathers are very beautiful when you look at them close up – an iridescent combination of purple, green and this petrol blue. Take your colour combination cue from nature!

Sitting room in Blue Petrol housecredit

Petrol blue vignette containing artworks, lighting and vasescredit

Petrol blue sitting roomcredit

Black painted bedroom with petrol blue soft furnishingscredit

sitting room with petrol blue sofas and carpetcredit

Petrol blue painted spiral staircasecredit

Violet and pertol blue beddingcredit

How to bring the outside in

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modern slate-walled bathroom

Outdoor elements have a way of making us feel relaxed, refreshed and calm; so why wouldn’t we want to imitate this in our own homes? You’d be surprised at how easy it is to create a natural, calming atmosphere; and one room in particular that can often benefit from the influence of the great outdoors is the bathroom.

A space to relax and unwind after a hard day at work; ground your mood with a few of these simple steps.

The material

Instead of opting for plastic and other man-made materials, choose natural elements instead. Using substances such as cork and bamboo for flooring creates a bathroom sure to look and feel warm & inviting. Combining this with stone really maximises the outdoor to indoor theme. Try adding stone washbasins and other features such as the warm, earthy designs created by Bella Bathrooms, where they have combined grey slate effects with sandstone flooring.

Cork flooring in a bathroomimage credit

The colour

The colour of your bathroom can really make or break it. Although white is often popular for those looking to make a small bathroom feel much bigger, it can often show up any water marks and scratches much easier than colour, so can end up being quite a frustrating option to keep on top of. Be brave and venture out into using mother nature’s own colour palette. Mossy greens, duck egg blues and rich tones of mocha can create a pleasing ambiance.

modern bathroom with light wood furniture and moss green wall

Decoration

Referring back to the colour scheme, continue the theme of nature by bringing elements of the outside in. Putting stones and sand into vases and adding greenery such as ferns or bamboo is a popular way to bring a little Zen into your space. As the bathroom can be a damp and humid room, ensure to research the best plants that will suit the bathroom so that you can feel inspired. If you don’t have the room for flowers or plants why not try hanging pictures of them up on your bathroom walls instead? There are many ways to accessorise your bathroom with a nod to nature, even if you’re limited for space.

modern split-level bathroom with wooden flooring and walls

The extras

It’s the little things that count. Making sure you have natural light in your bathroom is another great way of making it feel much more fresh and spacious; sunshine bouncing off the walls makes it look much more inviting too. Let’s not forget candles and incense; ignite all of your senses with accessories that you can touch, see and smell to bring a relaxed feel to the room.

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