10 cheap ways to give your home the wow factor

9 April 2019

Whether you’re moving or improving, find out where to buy the latest looks for every room in the house… sometimes for less than the cost of a round of drinks or meal out

With the long Easter and May bank holiday weekends on the horizon, why not plan ahead for a spot of DIY or home sprucing.

If you’re looking for inspiration for a colour scheme, Dulux’s colour of the year for 2019 is ‘spiced honey’ (see above) – a neutral shade that works well with natural materials, while John Lewis highlights mustard yellow and ‘millennial’ pink as go-to shades for spring.

But it’s not just about colours: tropical- and botanical-inspired prints, as well as monochrome blacks and whites, dominate spring and summer patterns. And texture is equally important: rich velvets, embossed and embroidered designs, and fringes and tassels appear on accessories from lampshades to cushions and rugs.

But anything goes so long as it’s stylish. You can create an urban, contemporary look with monochrome accessories, settle into a Bohemian sanctuary using rich velvets and bronze accessories or chill out in country style by picking botanical prints and real or ‘faux’ foliage – another big trend this spring.

All these trends are readily available in supermarkets and DIY and department stores with very affordable options.

1 Build up a layered look



Above: Samara pendant, £70; Bobbin side table, £220; vase, £40; cushions, £22 to £25; Slub loop throw, £35; hurricane lamp, £18; basket, £35; rugs £40 each, from the Savannah collection, Debenhams

Use cushions, rugs and accessories to make a feature indoors or out. The room pictured above focus on black and white – one of this season’s strongest trends, often teamed up with gold or brass accessories.

2  Revamp your kitchen

Above: Cusco white floating shelf, 600mm length, £9, B&Q

There are many ways to rejuvenate a kitchen without going to the expense of new units. You could paint wooden cupboard doors, buy replacement doors or change the worktop. Alternatively, quicker fixes include buying new handles and doorknobs – leather is voguish now. And if you have the wall space, adopt the current trend for open shelving to display your fancier kitchenware, recipe books, herbs and plants.

Above: Thor leather kitchen door handles in dark tan, light tan and black with knobs in a choice of bronze, brass or silver finishes, £16.99 each, Dowsingandreynolds.com

Above: Bamboo three-piece utensil set, £7, Redcandy.co.uk

3 Add boutique hotel chic

Above: Cornflower jacquard duvet cover set, from £40; Lari split willow weave table lamp, £42; Hydrangea faux plant, £22; Lilac studio glass bottle, £30; Lynton double bedstead, £249; Lynton five-drawer chest, £179; Lynton bedside table, £79; pebble wool grey rug, from £89, Dunelm

For less than £100, you can give your bedroom a makeover simply by buying bedlinen in the latest prints and colours. For added luxury, pile on plenty of pillows and cushions. Then pimp your bedside table with pretty accessories and mood lighting.

4 Be adventurous with paint

Above: GoodHome Walls & Ceilings Hamptons and Cincinnati emulsion paint 2.5L, from £12, B&Q

Add interest to walls with different shades of the same colour. Here, two-tone grey helps to break up a large expanse of wall, creating a dado effect but without the hassle of fixing and painting a rail.

Above: Wall: ashmina matt emulsion, from £14 for 2.5L. Stencils: Copper metallic emulsion, from £19 for 1.25L, Crown Paints

Or why not jazz up plain walls with stencils? Copper dots add a luxe feel to fashionably pink walls. Simply paint the base colour and let it dry thoroughly. Take a plain roll of wallpaper and measure, draw and cut outcircles, evenly space out. Attach the paper to your wall with masking tape and then just use metallic emulsion to paint the circles. Once it’s dry, position the paper further up the wall and repeat until you’ve created the desired effect.

5 Create a panel of posters

Above: Three Greens Botanical Art print set, from £5 unframed or from £18 framed for an A5 size, with a choice of sizes up to A2, Abstracthouse.com

Create a feature wall in a just a few minutes with cleverly arranged displays of framed prints and bring your walls up to date – the wall below highlights botanical prints.

6 Light up your home

Above: Coleman clear glass and copper metal triple drop ceiling light, £150, Habitat

Transform your home in the evening with floor and table lamps to illuminate dark corners – tripod styles are popular. Upgrade dated pendant lamps with open globe shades that show off today’s fashionable industrial-style bulbs.

Above: Stockholm tripod floor lamp in cream, £35, Argos Home

Above: Stockholm tripod floor lamp in cream, £35, Argos Home

Above: Wood base bulb lamp, £6, Primark

7 Upcycle garden furniture

Above: 10 Year Exterior Gloss in Hot Mustard (chest of drawers) and 10 Year Exterior Satin in Bay Tree (chair), from £17.99 for 750ml, Sandtex

Freshen up outdoor furniture with a quick lick of paint. The garden chair and chest pictured above have been primed using Sandtex 10 Year Exterior Primer and then painted with two or three coats of exterior paint.

8 Spruce up your bathroom

Above: Brixton hand towels in saffron, £12, Christy

Declutter your bathroom and then replace tired towels and accessories with fresh ones. Baskets in natural weaves are perfect for storing loo rolls in a country-style bathroom.

Above: Savannah jute basket, £20, Debenhams

Above: Dusty pink soap dispenser, £5, and tumbler, £3, George Home

9 Get touchy-feely with textiles

Above: Abigail Ahern Octopus cushion, £45, Debenhams

Velvets, tassels and fringes may seem wintery, but they are certainly on trend this season, especially when embossed with animals.

Above: Cinnabar Elephant cushion, £14. Dunelm

Above: MW by Matthew Williamson Suzani rug, £50, Debenhams

10 Discover ‘faux’ plants

Above: Faux succulent in face pot, £6, George Home

Cacti and succulent house plants can be placed by a sunny window all year round but will need watering and houseplant feed. If that seems like too much trouble, succulents are a popular choice for ‘faux’ plants – the trendy name for artificial flowers. These can be found in abundance from specialist websites but are also popular on the high street, along with flowers and herbs.

Above: Gold foil faux cactus plant, £5, Primark


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