10 Quick and Easy Ways to Add Personality to Your Home
Strapped for cash? Check out these budget-friendly ideas for rooms in need of a style injection
A block of colour is great for bringing a pale living room up to date, and these stormy grey alcoves set off the white shelving beautifully. An inky blue or bottle green would look striking, too.
This trick works best on shelves displaying ornaments or framed photos, as books can obscure the wall behind. Books would work, however, if your shelves are widely spaced.
If you have a battered ottoman that doesn’t have buttons or complicated stitching, it’s surprisingly easy to give it an update. Invest in a good staple gun with long-reach staples and choose a bold new fabric.
Cut it to size, turn the ottoman over (unscrew the legs if there are any) and then pull the material as taut as you can (making sure any pattern is straight) before securing it on the underside with the staple gun. You could even revarnish or repaint the legs in a different colour before reattaching then.
If you have a bare wall crying out for some adornment, battens are fabulous for creating a fresh way to display your framed artwork or photographs.
Use long wooden battens that are wide enough to support your frames, and fix them to your wall with screws and wall plugs, so they’ll carry the weight with no problems. Painting them the same colour as the wall will add to the effect and create the appearance of floating frames. Try using pictures of varying heights for maximum impact.
You can also buy reasonably priced, ready-made slimline picture shelves that will do the same job.
Trawl junk shops for items you can transform into useful pieces for your home. Vintage fruit or veg crates make perfect bedside tables, for instance, as seen in this bedroom.
Be sure to pick out a crate that isn’t rickety and doesn’t have nails jutting out. Then give it a good once-over with a sander and finish it off with some dark furniture wax.
You’ll be surprised at how well these work with any bedroom style. They will add a rustic edge alongside antique furniture or give a hint of vintage to a more modern scheme.
Similarly, with the right fittings, wooden pallets can be turned into anything from a coffee table on wheels to wall shelves.
See more genius ways to put the humble pallet to stylish use
A display of sparkling clear or coloured glassware or beautiful ceramics can add interest and personality to a neutral kitchen. Opt for open shelving instead of wall cupboards, as here, or, if you already have wall cupboards you’re keen to keep, add shelves in empty spaces; even short shelves can hold enough pieces to lift your kitchen out of the ordinary.
Go for wooden shelving painted the same colour as the walls, or use bare scaffolding planks for an urban twist. You can also add hooks underneath the bottom shelf from which to hang your favourite mugs. But stick to your stand-out pieces and stash your chipped crockery out of sight!
Check out more inspiring ways to style your kitchen shelves
Never underestimate the power of good lighting. A single, dim, overhead bulb will dull down even the most beautiful living room. Opt for soft lighting from different sources around the room and avoid too many harsh spotlights (unless they’re on a dimmer switch).
Pick out some table lamps with different bases and shades to dot around and put a floor lamp near your favourite armchair. Illuminating the dark corners of your room will make the space appear bigger. Picture lights are also a great way of adding warmth to a room while highlighting your favourite artworks.
Discover everything you need to know about lighting in layers
Sometimes all a bedroom needs is some simple dressing to bring it up to date. Crisp cotton sheets look all the more inviting topped with a stylish mix of blankets and cushions.
Try layering a plain mohair blanket with a two-tone plaid one and then sprinkle on some cushions of varying sizes in geometric prints. Adding a mix of textures and patterns is an inexpensive way to bring something new and exciting to a scheme.
If you don’t have a headboard, you could also buy a couple of very large square cushion pads and custom-make your own covers from your favourite material to prop up at the back.
Show your floor some love by laying down a bright and beautiful rug. A bold pattern in a duo of colours is particularly striking and will instantly add style any room.
The internet offers lots of budget rug options and it’s often cheaper than carpeting a whole room. If you can’t decide on a design or find a rug large enough for your floor space, try buying a couple in contrasting patterns for a more daring look.
If you have a drawer full of old ties or a cupboard brimming with hats, you could have a style solution right under your nose.
Fix a length of bamboo cane along a wall and drape with a colourful selection of ties. Or mount some wooden hooks to hang up your hats. Both will create an unusual piece of wall art.
Cut flowers or a small flowering plant will bring life and colour to any room in your home. Large heads of hydrangea – the bigger the better to create a real style statement – are perfect for adding a splash of colour and look beautiful even as they dry and the colours fade. And one head is enough, as this beautiful blue bloom demonstrates.
What’s your go-to way of pepping up your home? Share you ideas and photos in the Comments below.