40 easy style updates
Clever tricks and smart buys
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,
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