Simple tweaks and tricks for indoors and outside
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.
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.
11 BRIGHT IDEA
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.
13 GET COLOUR HAPPY
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.
21 SLOT IN A LEANING DESK
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