With all the home décor programmes on TV these days, and with so many internet sites dedicated to pictures of beautiful homes, it can be very common to develop ‘home envy’. It’s easy to fantasise about these stunning interiors but if you, like many people, are getting by day-to-day without much money to spare, can you really aspire to create anything similar yourself? Take heart: there’s actually a lot you can do without much money if you’re prepared to put in some time and effort, and if you know how. These tips are designed to help.
In the bedroom
If you don’t have a lot of room in your bedroom, you can make it look much bigger and brighter by using mirrors. Try to avoid simply bringing in mirrored wardrobes, which rarely look good; a large, attractively framed wall-mirror will look much more impressive and you can often find these in second-hand shops. You might also consider using metallic paint to create a feature wall; sleekly applied, it looks stylish and expensive. Investing in good-quality fake furs can make your bed look amazingly luxurious and they’re actually very warm, allowing you to turn the heating down at night. A sheepskin rug is similarly appealing on the floor and will feel wonderful under your feet first thing in the morning.
In the living room
Creating a sense of space in your living room will make it look more sophisticated. Much of this is about keeping it tidy, but getting rid of bulky curtains also helps; window shutters can be just as good for insulation and let in a lot more daylight. Simple colour schemes also make an impression by reducing the sense of clutter — going for a mostly monochrome theme with just one bright colour can look very striking. Make sure you have enough cupboards for storage so it’s easy to put things away somewhere convenient, and remember that you can also paint most kinds of furniture, or apply wood stain, so that they work more effectively with the rest of the room. Soft furnishings can be re-covered and you’ll find lots of useful videos on the internet to help you learn how.
Bathrooms are often the place where people use the least imagination. It’s difficult to change your bathroom suite and this can limit your colour options, but there’s still a lot you can do with little touches. A striking shower curtain or bath mat can change the whole look of the room at very little cost. If you have plain tiled walls, consider replacing some of the tiles with picture tiles on a theme – sea creatures are a popular one – or create a frieze at shoulder height. That said, no amount of renovations to the bathroom can be considered complete if you have not sorted out the basic issues. This can include having to Fix Your Blocked Drain; replace broken pipes or ensure the shower area flooring is both slip resistant and water proof.
You don’t have to be rich to have a beautiful, sophisticated home – all you really need is imagination to create something that everybody will admire.