If you’re happier when you’re out of the house than when you’re in it, then don’t despair. Brightening up your home can be fun – and if you have a small budget, remember that making some small changes needn’t cost much at all. You may not be able to completely redecorate and invest in new furniture, but a little creativity and imagination can go a long way to improving any room.
Read on to find out how.
Clear that Clutter
Before you get started, have a good look around at what can be updated and what needs to be thrown away. Surveying a room with a critical eye will reveal what you are fed up with, and what can be made new again.
Update your Sofa
As one of the main features of a sitting room, a tired and worn out sofa can let the room down badly; even more so than a man lying around watching football. A really simple way to solve this is by updating it with a throw. If you want something more permanent, you might want to consider reupholstering it, or investing in new covers. This is far cheaper than buying a new one – and if you’re good at sewing you might even be able to make the covers yourself.
A lick of paint can make a world of difference. If you have low ceilings, paint them a light colour in contrast to the walls to add height, or vice versa to make the room appear more intimate. You could also wallpaper a single wall which will interest and focus.
There are so many beautiful objects to be found that will make a room sing. Scour second hand shops and online auctions for things that will brighten up your home. An artfully placed beautiful vase of flowers on a table, a pretty rug, jolly cushions, a painting or a pouffe, will enhance your room and give it character. Don’t be afraid of choosing what you like, just make sure that what you buy complements the theme of your room.
Clever lighting is essential for creating mood and atmosphere at night, while during the day, the addition of mirrors will increase natural light if placed opposite a window. Lighting can really spark your imagination – design beautiful lampshades by sewing beads onto plain ones, or create table lamps using upturned vases. Ideally, a soft glow using various types of lighting is far easier on the eye than a central ceiling light.
Design magazines will tell you that a neutral carpet in a light colour will make the most of your space. But they have obviously never lived with children and pets. Instead, invest in rugs to cover over a boring carpet. A textured pattern won’t give away the fact that you haven’t vacuumed, and a vibrant colour will instantly uplift a room and add an immediate focus. If you are lucky enough to have old floorboards, these can be far more practical and beautiful than any carpet. And if they’re not in a good state, painting them will cover any flaws.
Rob Rudd is a professional journalist who dabbles in DIY in his spare time.