Give rooms a fresh look on the cheap

by Bonnie

It's that time of year again when you look around your home and think it could really do with a revamp.

It's that time of year again when you look around your home and think it could really do with a revamp.

But with Christmas coming up, our home improvement funds are looking seriously depleted, so instead of waiting for the spring, why not take the advice of founder Hilary Bruffell and zazz up a room or two on a smaller budget?

The home furnishings expert advised householders not to throw money at a problem when they can use cheaper approaches to make their homes look better.

"There are lots of things you can do to upcycle. Upcycling old furniture [can be done by] making new furniture out of old bits or giving them a coat of paint and using old fabrics to make new cushions – all things that don't have to cost a lot of money but can make a huge difference to a room," she noted.

If the walls of a room need to be freshened up, "obviously a quick coat of paint is the best thing but if you can't afford to do it, just wash them down with sugar soap", she suggested.

"[That] is stuff you get from the do it yourself shops, which is for preparing [the walls] for when you are repainting, but actually it gets a lot of grime off that way. It depends what paint it has been painted with before. If it's just an ordinary emulsion, you might run the risk of it washing off, but most of the time you can give it a good wash down."

You could also trying washing down the woodwork as this tends to make a "huge difference" to the look of a room.

Finally, you can make over a room for pennies simply by investing in new accessories.

"When I decorate a room I always tend to use bland colours on the walls so I can bring my colour in other ways," Ms Bruffell explained, adding that rugs, throws and cushions work well in seasonal colours to give a room a new lease of life.

For more home improvement ideas, take a look at our autumnal makeover tips feature.

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