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Home Styling: Top Tips on a Budget

So let’s face it the Christmas decorations are down and packed away for another year. The place is looking a bit bare after all the festivities are over. A new year…. a new start… but for most of us our budgets are all a bit tighter in January after the expense of the holiday season.

With this in mind, I thought I’d share with you, my top tips for making small styling changes in the home to keep things fresh and interesting until we can surge forward with bigger plans further into the new year.

First things first…

I don’t know about you but one of the first things I do when the decorations are gone (if time allows) is have a big clear out. It’s a great time to sort through cupboards and drawers and have a decent sort!  The quickest and easiest way of doing this in my experience is to go through the items and then place them into one of four piles:

  • Gift (to friends or family)
  • Donate to charity
  • Sell for extra income this month
  • Recycle or dispose in local refuse

Once this exercise has been done (and it might sound boring.) But believe me, once you get into it and free up space you will feel so much better. The end result helps others, may actually generate some extra income and the organised and clearer space allows you to view your home in a more positive light and enables you to see the items you love and want to display more clearly.

An interior design ‘pick me up’

Once this process is done – we may feel we need a reward for all our hard work! We all need a little lift during the Winter months – especially if we have decided to go on a health kick, cutting out the sweet treats, reducing alcohol and or starting to exercise regularly.

So, if your home is your ‘sanctuary’ – Here are a few tips of how you can bring in some small changes that will see you through until the early signs of Spring without breaking the bank:

  • Upcycle a piece of existing furniture you already own. Use some chalk paint to give it a different look. Even a very small tester pot of chalk paint can cover a good size piece of furniture if you add a tiny bit of water to thin it down and make it go further.  
  • Sometimes even something as simple as changing handles and knobs on a chest of drawers can change the look of a piece of furniture in a very inexpensive way.
  • Move existing decorative items or furniture around or between rooms to give the impression of change and refresh the space.  For example, change the items displayed on a console table or on a sideboard. Move lamps or rugs around between rooms or swap pictures on walls.
  • Rather than spending any money now – dedicate some time to planning a project for the future whilst you are saving up – create a mood board, cut out images you love from interior magazines or books. Research ideas on Pinterest and Instagram. Take the time to visit showrooms, stores or even go for a coffee at your favourite hotel to get some interior inspiration for your next project.
  • Ask a friend if they are interested in doing an item swap. Have a think about something you own that you may no longer want or no longer fits your room scheme and see if they would like to swap it for an item they feel the same about. Think about inexpensive items like plants, cushions, a small print, a photo frame or bigger items of furniture if you are both up for the idea of agreeing on a fair swap.   
  • Buy yourself a small bunch of seasonal flowers to be placed in a prominent spot in your home on a weekly basis. If flowers aren’t your thing – even better, buy an inexpensive faux plant that will stand the test of time.
  • When Christmas candles have long since burnt out – scrape out the bottom of old candle jars with a spoon once the candles have all burnt down & cooled. Pour in boiling water to ensure the remaining wax dissolves. Tip away, clean and dry the glass jar thoroughly and use for storing items in the bathroom such as cotton wool pads, makeup brushes, earrings, cufflinks etc.
  • Learn how to make something yourself – There are plenty of online tutorials on You Tube. Why not learn to sew a simple cushion cover, a string of bunting, recover a lampshade,  make a faux orchid arrangement or even try making your own candles for fun.
  • While the weather is dreary why not take the time to plan your garden for future seasons and do some research about plants. Find out the best times to plant different varieties or sew seeds. Make a mood board of all the things you’d love to incorporate into your outside space however big or small. Choose the style of garden furniture you love so you have an idea of exactly what you want to aim for before the summer months appear. You may even find some good online bargains at this time of the year. That way you can do the work in Spring and actually enjoy the garden when the better weather finally arrives.
  • Change up the photos you display around your home. Or introduce some if you currently don’t have any.  Add a selection in colour as well as black and white.  Photo printing online can be inexpensive and in some cases free of charge. You can find very inexpensive frames in places like “The Range” and “Ikea”. Or you can upcycle and paint existing frames using old tester pots of paint you may have hanging around the house from previous projects.

Whichever option you choose, have fun doing it. Sometimes the less inexpensive projects and items you have had some part to play in creating yourself give us the most pleasure. They help you create that special place that reflects personal taste and individual lifestyle. A place we all call home.

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