40 easy style up­dates

Clever tricks and smart buys

Ideal Home (UK) - - Contents -

1 Put colour on the walls

GET OUT OF NEU­TRAL AND GIVE YOUR LIV­ING ROOM SOME CHAR­AC­TER WITH A COLOUR MAKEOVER. A DEEP, VI­BRANT BLUE LIKE THIS FEELS COSY AND COM­FORT­ING IN WIN­TER, BUT COOL AND FRESH IN SUM­MER. PLUS IT’LL MAKE YOUR FUR­NI­TURE AND FLOOR LOOK AMAZ­ING! WE LIKE EA­TON SQUARE EMUL­SION, £44 FOR 2.5LTR, MY­LANDS.

2 Re­think your win­dows

IF YOU’VE GOT DRAUGHTY WIN­DOWS, TRY FIT­TING A THER­MAL-LINED BLIND. MAKE YOUR OWN WITH A RO­MAN BLIND KIT, FROM £63.50, WITH A LAYER OF THER­MAL LIN­ING FAB­RIC, £6.50 PER M, BOTH JUST FAB­RICS. YOU’LL JUST NEED TO SUP­PLY YOUR OWN MAIN FAB­RIC.

3 PERK UP PLAIN WHITE CHINA

If your plain white din­ner set could do with some colour, or you’ve lost a few pieces over time, mix and match it with a sec­ond set. Go for a bright plain or cheery pat­tern and com­bine the two.

4 Ar­range groups of mir­rors

HANG VIN­TAGE-STYLE MIR­RORS ABOVE A BED AS A COLOUR-FREE AL­TER­NA­TIVE TO ART­WORK. DIS­PLAY TWO OR THREE AT STAG­GERED HEIGHTS, OFF-CEN­TRE, FOR A RE­LAXED DIS­PLAY.

5 GO FAUX WITH GREEN­ERY

If you’ve got an area that doesn’t get much light – or you lack the green-fin­gered touch – fake it with faux green­ery. Cre­ate a mini hang­ing gar­den with th­ese re­al­is­tic-look­ing suc­cu­lents in glass jars.

6 COOK UP A SPICY AROMA

Sim­mer ap­ples, cin­na­mon, or­ange peel and cloves in a pan to spread a de­li­cious aroma through­out the house.

7 MAKE A RUS­TIC TA­BLE CEN­TRE­PIECE

Use a slice of log to make a cen­tre­piece for the ta­ble. Stand a glass jug in the cen­tre with a sprig of fo­liage from the gar­den and group pine cones, nuts and berries around it.

8 Cosy up your cush­ions

BEAT THE BIG CHILL BY SWITCH­ING SUMMERY CUSH­IONS

FOR MORE TAC­TILE ONES. PLUMP FOR CHUNKY KNITS, FLEECY FAUX FURS AND PLUSH SUEDE TO SNUG­GLE UP ON WHEN YOU’RE BINGE­ING ON A BOX SET.

9 Get the light­ing right

AVOID HARSH OVER­HEAD PEN­DANTS AND CRE­ATE SOFT LAY­ERS OF LIGHT IN THE LIV­ING ROOM TO ADD AM­BI­ENCE. PO­SI­TION LAMPS AT DIF­FER­ENT HEIGHTS AND DOT THEM AROUND TO RA­DI­ATE LIGHT INWARDS.

10 HANG PRINTS PER­FECTLY

If you’re ar­rang­ing two or three pic­tures, treat them as one to get the spac­ing right. Po­si­tion at eye level (about 1.5m from the floor), spaced just a few inches apart so they don’t look dis­con­nected.

11 SQUEEZE IN AN EX­TRA SEAT

If you’re pushed for space but could use an ex­tra seat for the oc­ca­sional guest, try this chair. It’s nar­rower than a stan­dard arm­chair and has no bulky arms to get in the way.

12 Cre­ate a stylish dis­play

USE THE WALL SPACE ABOVE WHEN YOU’RE AR­RANG­ING ITEMS ON A TABLE­TOP. HANG A PIC­TURE ABOVE THE TA­BLE AND ADD LAMPS AND VASES TO GIVE YOUR DIS­PLAY HEIGHT.

13 DIM THE LIGHTS

Put lamps on a dim­mer so you can eas­ily ad­just light lev­els in a room. Buy a plugin dim­mer switch, £3.99, Clas Ohlson.

14 Re­fresh the dining room

SMARTEN UP A MIS­MATCHED TA­BLE AND CHAIRS BY MAK­ING A CO-OR­DI­NAT­ING TABLECLOTH AND SEAT PADS. USE WOOL FOR WARMTH, EDG­ING A LENGTH OF STRIPED FAB­RIC WITH A PLAIN BORDER AND US­ING A CHECK FOR THE CUSH­IONS.

15 DEC­O­RATE A GAR­LAND

Make a gar­land with leaves. Paint with PVA glue to give leaves a sheen and sprin­kle with glit­ter in rus­set, gold and cop­per – try Hob­by­craft’s glit­ter shak­ers, £12 for 24.

16 FIND A HOME FOR KIDS’ CLUT­TER

Cre­ate a wall of mini cub­by­hole shelves for stor­age in a child’s bed­room – th­ese lit­tle houses are the per­fect size for dis­play­ing a col­lec­tion of dolls, cud­dly toys, books and small keep­sakes. Paint the wood in a bright shade to co-or­di­nate with the room’s dé­cor and line the backs of the shelves with colour­ful origami pa­per to add a splash of pat­tern.

17 Keep your toes toasty

WOODEN FLOORS CAN NEVER HAVE ENOUGH RUGS IN WIN­TER. DON’T SKIMP ON THE SIZE – IT SHOULD BE LONGER AND WIDER THAN YOUR SOFA, AND BIG ENOUGH THAT THE FRONT LEGS OF YOUR FUR­NI­TURE SIT ON IT.

18 JUST ADD CAN­DLE­LIGHT

Cre­ate a glam cen­tre­piece for din­ner par­ties with shim­mer­ing glass and cop­per table­ware. Ar­range glass lanterns on a cop­per tray (£10, Tesco) in the cen­tre of the ta­ble, with in­di­vid­ual can­dle votives at each place set­ting.

19 MAKE BON­FIRE LANTERNS

Use ap­ples to make can­dle hold­ers for Bon­fire Night. Cut off the tops of the ap­ples first, then carve out a shal­low hole so you can slot a tealight in­side.

EM­BEL­LISH 20 your TA­BLE LINEN

Add a trim to a tablecloth. Hem a strip of fab­ric all round, sew two rows of but­tons and join them by adding cord loops to se­cure.

21 Add a splash of colour

THREAD­BARE TOW­ELS IN MIS­MATCHED COLOURS WILL DO YOUR BATH­ROOM SCHEME NO FAVOURS, SO DO­NATE THEM TO THE DOG AND UP­GRADE TO A PLUSH NEW SET THAT WILL CHEER UP WIN­TER BATHTIMES.

22 Spruce up the back­yard

GIVE THE GAR­DEN A ONCE-OVER TO KEEP IT LOOK­ING TIP­TOP UN­TIL SPRING. PAINT THE BACK DOOR A CHEERY SHADE, TIDY AWAY TOOLS AND PUT OUT A TUB OF BRIGHT CHRYSANTHEMUMS.

23 MAKE YOUR SOFA SNUG

Keep a cou­ple of ex­tra throws to hand for the cooler evenings. Fold throws length­wise, then in half and drape one over each sofa arm, waiter-style, to keep your sofa look­ing neat.

Wish­ford sofa in Turmeric matt vel­vet, from £1,270, Wil­low & Hall

Toulouse bed­side ta­ble, £69; faux hy­drangeas in mer­cury-fin­ish vase, £18; heart plaque, £8; mir­ror, £15; sil­ver flo­ral jac­quard dou­ble du­vet set, £30; fawn faux-fur throw, £45; all Fox & Ivy, Tesco

Blind made in As­plin Squir­rel, £47 per m, Villa Nova

Hy­gena 16-piece yel­low din­ner set, £39.99, Ar­gos

Suc­cu­lents in glass hang­ing pots, £3 each, Hob­by­craft

Clas­sic task floor lamp, £59; Unar ta­ble lamp, £24.99; both Ar­gos

Cush­ions, from £9 each, B&Q

Wooden chop­ping board, £8, Mata­lan

Tablecloth made in Stan­ley Grey; seat cush­ion made in Ripon Grey; both £49.50 per m,

Ian Mankin

Gold But­ter­flies wall art, £18; om­bre vase, £18; Rose gold lamp, £30; all Fox & Ivy, Tesco

Lot­tie oc­ca­sional chair, £199, Very

Wooden empty house shelf, £8, Hob­by­craft

Large smoke glass tealight holder with metal base, £6,

Fox & Ivy, Tesco

Navajo fourpiece towel bale, £29.99, Ar­gos

Knit­ted pom pom throw, £40, Fox & Ivy, Tesco

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