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13 inexpensive ways to upgrade things in your home

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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If you're feeling in the mood to update your home a little but you don't want to spend a lot of money or dramatically change the feel of your interior scheme, small but effective upgrades are a great way to freshen things up.

You don't need to be a DIY genius to make a huge difference to your home, you just need some savvy and imagination. We thought a helping hand might be appreciated so have put together a list of fast and effective ideas. By the end of the weekend you'll be able to call yourself an interior stylist so paintbrushes at the ready and let's get crafty!

1. Don't just skate over a boring floor

Drummond's Case Study: London Townhouse, Notting Hill:  Bathroom by Drummonds Bathrooms
Drummonds Bathrooms

Drummond's Case Study: London Townhouse, Notting Hill

Drummonds Bathrooms

If you can spare a whole day for a project, we think boring floors can be transformed with some well chosen paint and a fun design. Geometric is so in right now so why not have a bash? 

2. Make your home picture perfect with a gallery wall of frames

Gather together all of your picture frames, choose a striking colour and paint them all the same shade to make a huge impact on your art! We think black frames in a variety of styles and shapes always look great against a white wall, as seen here from Studio Lisa Bengtsson.

3. Embrace your inner hipster with Kilner jars

GRPL [Grapple]:  Balconies, verandas & terraces  by TAPEgear

GRPL [Grapple]


They're popular for a reason and we think Kilner jars make a great alternative to standard plant pots. Use them for herbs in your kitchen, cacti in your living room and fresh blooms in the bedroom!

4. Zing up the bathroom with funky towels

Whatever the colour of your bathroom, you can afford to go a little crazy with the colour of your towels! The brighter the better we say, so don't shy away from fuchsia, turquoise or yellow and see what a difference they make.

5. Don't be basic when it comes to your accessories

ferm LIVING Image Photos:  Balconies, verandas & terraces  by ferm LIVING

ferm LIVING Image Photos


Everything looks better when you give it a personal touch and we think your conservatory can be transformed by painting your plant pots. A mediterranean vibe always looks amazing and feels so warm!

6. Turn your bedding into wall art

Grab a couple of extra pillow cases and some embroidery hoops and frame the material you love the most. Hanging your finished pieces above your bed will really tie everything together and zing up your room!

7. Recycle old jumpers and jackets into throws for thrifty textile fun

A stack of Finest Harris Tweed quilts:  Bedroom by Quilts by Lisa Watson
Quilts by Lisa Watson

A stack of Finest Harris Tweed quilts

Quilts by Lisa Watson

Before you take a load of old clothes to a clothing bank or charity shop, set aside anything made from hardy material so you can make a patchwork blanket or throw. These look great in a living room that needs a little jazzing up!

8. Be an ink master and create napkins to die for

Swallow collection of homewares:  Dining room by Sophie Allport
Sophie Allport

Swallow collection of homewares

Sophie Allport

Linen fabric makes for wonderful napkins but if you like your place settings to look a little funkier, grab a stamp and liven up the material. Be sure to get washable ink and set it properly with an iron before the first wash!

9. Give your dining table a new lease of life

Kanteen Table in Reclaimed French Oak:  Dining room by Salvation Furniture
Salvation Furniture

Kanteen Table in Reclaimed French Oak

Salvation Furniture

You'll be amazed what a big impact a light sanding and fresh oiling will have on a much loved and heavily used dining table. Teak or linseed oil works best and will fill the room with a wonderful natural scent, too. 

10. Dare to be a little less uniform and embrace mismatched furniture

Klash Chairs:  Dining room by Standrin

Klash Chairs


For a cheap upgrade to your dining chairs go to your local DIY store, grab a handful of tester paint pots and paint each of your seats a different colour. For added pizazz, upholster the cushions in different fabrics.

11. Get a handle on things by adding new pull mechanisms

If you have dressers and cabinets in your house that have seen better days, don't think about replacing them completely, just change up the handles and knobs. People will think it's a brand new piece of furniture, we promise!

12. Take your printing skills to the next level

Cushions:  Living room by Sian Elin
Sian Elin


Sian Elin

If napkins seemed like a walk in the park, why not try printing plain curtains? A methodical approach and a large space to work in will see an amazing end result and you can even design and carve your own stamp. Now that's interior design on a whole other level!

13. Put those knitting skills to good use

Knitting is a wonderfully relaxing craft but it can also come in super handy for breathing new life into old pouffes. Design and knit a cover and BAM! An instant transformation that will look amazing and feel cosy underfoot.

For more DIY inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: DIY Projects That Can’t Go Wrong.

Have we ignited a crafty flame inside of you? What do you think you'll try your hand at first? We'd love to hear your plans, below!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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