style up­dates

Sim­ple tweaks and tricks for in­doors and out­side

Style at Home (UK) - - Contents -

1 Room with a view

Cre­ate a line-up of pic­tures to fill empty wall space above a liv­ing room sofa. Dis­play framed prints and pho­tos on a slim­line pic­ture ledge rather than hanging them on the wall, so you’ll be able to swap them around or re­ar­range if you fancy a change later on.

2 Step-by-step

Up­cy­cle an old wooden step lad­der and use the rung sec­tion as a hanging rail for sofa throws. Once its clean and paint-free, sand the sur­face smooth and fin­ish with stain or var­nish. Then just prop against the wall and snake your blan­kets through the rails.


Re­vamp a cabi­net by re­plac­ing han­dles with leather tabs. Cut an old belt into 10cm lengths, fold in half and drill a hole through to make tabs. Use brass wash­ers and screws to at­tach to fur­ni­ture.

4 Layer up

Keep draughts at bay over win­ter by adding ther­mal lin­ings to your cur­tains. Make no-sew pan­els to at­tach to ex­ist­ing cur­tains us­ing vel­cro, or buy ready­made lin­ings that sim­ply clip on from be­hind (from £14 a pair, Dunelm).

5 Wheely clever

Up­cy­cle a stor­age pal­let to cre­ate an in­dus­trial-style cof­fee ta­ble on cas­tors. Clean up the pal­let first, sand­ing it down to get rid of rough edges and ham­mer in any loose nails. Fin­ish off with your choice of wood stain, paint or var­nish, then at­tach four cas­tors (£8 for four, Ikea) to the base.

6 Multi-use stor­age

Tame liv­ing room clut­ter with a wall of stor­age. In­vest in a mod­u­lar shelv­ing unit so you can tai­lor each of the cub­bies to your needs. Leave some open for dis­play­ing ob­jects and fill the rest with bas­kets and or­gan­is­ers so un­tidy odds and ends stay hid­den. Fin­ish with a clip-on light at each end for a smart look.


Ar­range wall art rel­a­tive to the piece of fur­ni­ture below it, such as a side­board or con­sole ta­ble. Ei­ther hang one large pic­ture that fills the whole space, or group lots of smaller pic­tures to­gether cre­atively to form an eye-catch­ing gallery wall.

8 Colour co-or­di­nate

Re­vamp a shelv­ing unit to tie in with your colour theme. Use left­over lengths of wall­pa­per in match­ing pat­terns and colours as a back­drop to shelves, and team with stor­age boxes in com­ple­men­tary shades.

9 Think pink

If you’ve got a favourite print or a colour­ful piece of art­work you love, make a state­ment with a bold ar­range­ment. Paint a con­sole or side­board in the same bright shade, hang your art­work above and dis­play a colour­ful group of dec­o­ra­tive items on top.

10 Mir­ror im­age

Up­grade a frame­less mir­ror with glass-frost­ing spray (£9.49, Rust-oleum) to cre­ate an etched bor­der ef­fect. Mask off the cen­tral area first, then use pee­lable washi tape to cre­ate a pat­terned bor­der be­fore frost­ing.


Use metal­lic flex­i­ble fab­ric spray paint (£4.99 for 150ml, Rust-oleum) to re­vamp an old lamp­shade. Mask off the ex­te­rior, then give the in­side two coats of shiny colour.

12 Paint magic

Jazz up plain fab­ric cushions by paint­ing on a de­sign us­ing chalk paint (£5.95 for 120ml, An­nie Sloan). Use a sten­cil to mono­gram an ini­tial or, if you’re artis­tic, try a free­hand de­sign – just heat seal once dry with a hot iron.


Set up a cosy corner in an open-plan liv­ing space. Use a large, colour­ful rug as your an­chor point, group­ing seat­ing around it in a so­cia­ble ar­range­ment. Then pick out the colours on cushions, throws, fur­ni­ture and a vase of cheery blooms.

14 Go halves

Add a hit of colour to a room with­out com­mit­ting to a full-on scheme by paint­ing just half the wall. Putting a darker shade on the bot­tom half will draw the eye up and add height to a room – while putting the colour at the top will have the op­po­site ef­fect in a lofty room with a high ceil­ing.

15 Win­ter warm­ers

Tweak a neu­tral colour scheme by adding in ac­cents of warm rus­set, burnt or­ange and soft grey to cosy up the room for win­ter. Pile on the lay­ers with plush cushions, knit­ted throws, woollen plaids and coun­try-style tweeds.

16 Pop in a pat­tern

Give a gallery wall a colour theme by mix­ing in a few framed wall­pa­per sam­ples or craft pa­pers in co-or­di­nat­ing colours. or, make back­ing sheets for your pho­tos – just cut them to frame size and po­si­tion pics on top. Get a fire blaz­ing us­ing waxed pine cones to start it off. Make your own us­ing dried-out cones dipped in melted can­dle wax (£8 a block, Hob­by­craft). Pop cones onto waxed pa­per to set.

18 Beat the chill

Keep the liv­ing room toasty with a draught ex­cluder for the door. Just sew a piece of fab­ric into a long tube shape the width of the door and fill with wad­ding and rice to add a lit­tle ex­tra weight.

19 Screen saver

Fed-up of the tele­vi­sion dom­i­nat­ing the liv­ing room? Cover it up with a clever ar­range­ment of art­work. start by fix­ing up a frame­work of wooden bat­tens just larger than the TV. Then mount iden­ti­cally-framed pic­tures onto hinged MDF pan­els and at­tach them to the frame.

20 Take a shelfie

if coloured book spines are caus­ing a colour clash, try an al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ment with books stacked back-to-front in­stead. it’ll be harder to find your favourite, but hav­ing just the pages on show will keep shelves look­ing neat and neu­tral.


If you don’t have the space for a full-sized desk but could use some­where to check emails and do pa­per­work, how about a lean­ing lad­der-style desk? It can slot into an un­used corner, giv­ing you a desk­top as well as ex­tra shelv­ing.

Warm up walls with a busy wall­pa­per – use a rus­tic all-over leaf de­sign in­side al­coves

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