There is no need to spend a fortune to spruce up your home. To this end, we share some clever tweaks and items that will cost you less than a fiver or nothing at all.
Reposition your furniture
Did you know that you can instantly transform your bedroom by simply moving your bed against the window, for example? If you have an open plan kitchen/living room, try to reposition the sofa away from the wall, backed by a low chest of drawers or rectangular dining table to act as a room divider. You should still leave enough space to navigate the room – at least 72cm to be precise.
As photographers know best, light is everything. Ceiling lights are practical but contribute little to nothing to creating a cosy atmosphere in the room. Switch them off and turn on the floor or table lamps.
Take it up a notch with some LED strips placed behind, above or underneath bulkier items in the house. Try fitting them above and below kitchen cupboards, as well as under the counters, so that the ceiling, the backsplash wall and the floor light up. In the living room, install some LED strips behind your TV, underneath your media bench, behind the edges of any larger mirror or picture frame, under every shelf and behind any wall-backed furniture, like your sofa or chest of drawers.
Liven up tired handles, scruffy furniture legs, mismatched picture frames and boring accessories with some gold spray.
Make sure you either unscrew them first or thoroughly cover everything around, paying extra attention to neatly aligning the masking tape to the edges you want to be painted. Ideally, you would want to sand off the surfaces first, clean the dust off and, better yet, also prime that surface before you apply the gold spray paint.
You could also create a pattern on a larger surface, such as a wall or your coffee table, using masking tape as a stencil.
One important thing to about spray paint cans is that they typically cover rather limited surfaces, so choose your makeover items wisely. To make the spray go a long way, you could spray, for example, only a third of a plain vase, either the top or the bottom.
Box up the clutter
Save all the sturdy boxes of all shapes and sizes and start reorganising your belongings to stay contained within those boxes. If you do not have any decent-looking ones that you would be comfortable leaving on display, there are many budget-friendly options to buy. Try getting sets of three that match or go well together. Even better if they come with lids, as they become more versatile in terms of where you can store them and any items around them. You should aim to store out of sight as many items as possible, unless, of course, they are decorative.
Bring the green outdoors inside with some live plants. Get luxurious vibes from peace lilies or choose spiralled lucky bamboos which can look sophisticated even in a plain glass of water. You can buy two maybe even three small parlour palms for under a fiver and see them grow into stunning, room-hugging tropical plants over the years. Bonus for pet owners and parents with small children: parlour palms are not toxic.
Top tip: position the plant in front of a mirror to visually double its volume. Provided the plant likes humidity, it looks especially good near your bathroom mirror, next to a small pyramid of rolled towels.
There are other small changes you can do to make your home feel different, and this means thinking about all the other human senses besides visual. Subtle lounge music can be very inviting, as could a subdued delicate scent that does the opposite of overwhelming. How your home feels is more important than how it looks.