Quick ways to spruce up your home
Easy ideas from experts
Check out our tips for easy-to-do fixes that will give your living space a revamp – from adding bold colour accents to rethinking the lighting.
We just can’t get enough of doing up our homes. Recent research from Barclays reveals that a massive 79% of homeowners made home improvements in the past two years. Whether you’ve just moved in or are planning a few updates, some quick and inexpensive adjustments can make all the difference to your living space, and they needn’t cost the earth. We asked six experts to share their top budget decorating fixes to help you create a look you’ll continue to love long after the paint has dried.
Add a colour boost
Stylist and author of Happy by Design: How to create a home that boosts your health and happiness, Victoria Harrison, recommends adding sunny colour to give a quick and affordable mood-boost to any home.
It’s easy and inexpensive to introduce accents of colour with small accessories, such as vases, crockery or textiles
she says. "Try choosing a yellow lampshade, upcycle a piece of second-hand furniture with a coat of citrus paint, or frame windows and doors with yellow to magnify the effect of sunshine streaming in.”
Use light strategically
“How you light your home can dramatically alter its mood, so it's worth putting a little thought into getting it right,” says Clare Morton, creative director of interior design firm Studio Morton1. “Adopt a three-tier lighting system by using a combination of ceiling, wall and table or floor lights,” she advises. “That way, you can create different levels of light for different tasks throughout the day.” Clare also suggests using lights with multi-bulb fittings rather than a single pendant to brighten a gloomy space, such as a dark corridor.
Bring the outside in
For Alice Vincent, urban gardener and author of How to Grow Stuff: Easy, no-stress gardening for beginners, plants provide a quick and affordable way to add instant decoration and breathe new life into your home.
Make an impact with one or two large plants, such as a cheese or rubber plant, rather than lots of smaller varieties,
Alice advises. “Or brighten up a dim, humid space, such as a bathroom, with a hardy fern or bamboo. These varieties are inexpensive and easy to grow, making them perfect for beginners.”
Revamp your windows
“Giving your windows a quick revamp is a surefire way to freshen up a room and add instant style,” says interior stylist and WeLoveHome2 blogger Maxine Brady. If new curtains or blinds are beyond your budget, give existing curtains a facelift by buying a new curtain pole, or by customising them with tassels or trims (this is also a good way of giving inexpensive high-street drapes a bespoke finish). For a modern, clean-lined look, try window film instead. It can be simply peeled and stuck on to windows or doors. There’s a range of affordable designs available, including frosted film for instant privacy.
Fix up your floorboards
If you’re looking to revamp a worn or scratched wooden floor, try sanding and painting the floorboards. You can either hire an electric sander and do the job yourself, or get a professional in. “It’s a quick and easy way to transform a room,” says Ruth Matthews of interiors blog Design Soda3, “and it does away with the need for dust-grabbing carpets.”
“Giving sanded floors a simple wax finish or painting them will give any room a fresh new look,” says Ruth. “In our home, we chose a dark blue-black paint for the upstairs floors, which gave our calm and neutral bedroom exactly the visual punch it needed not to feel boring.”
Watch our video to see more of Ruth’s renovations.
Go for easy upgrades
Instead of ripping everything out and starting again, think about giving things you don’t like an inexpensive makeover. “It’s easy to update soft furnishings without spending a lot of money,” says Rebecca Holt of Studio Holt4. “By replacing cushion covers, for example, you can breathe new life into a tired sofa.”
Rebecca also suggests updating cupboards and drawers with new knobs and handles, or refreshing unit doors with a lick of paint.
And don't forget you can get cashback paid into your Barclays account when shopping online and in store at a range of retailers (terms, conditions and retailer exclusions apply). Plus, if you’ve switched on Barclays Blue Rewards, you get an extra 1% cashback5.
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