30 Ways to Improve Your Home
You don't have to spend a fortune on the latest designs and furnishings to give your home a makeover
1. Make a good first impression: jazz up your front door with a fresh coat of paint.
2. Do a clean-out - after all, less stuff means more space! Hire a skip bin for those items beyond rescue and drop the rest of at charity shops.
3. Pick up some functional storage solutions to avoid clutter; Howards Storage World has some fantastic products for every room of the house.
4. Dare to be different and start visiting antique stores and op shops for unique pieces. These places are a great source of good-quality items, from dining tables and couches to smaller knick-knacks and home wares.
5. Move things around; sometimes this is all that's required for a re-energised environment.
The Living Room
Buy some new cushions for your lounge in happy, vibrant colours. Add a throw rug to pick up one of the colours.
7. Rummage through op shop bargain bins or your own kitchen cupboards for some china or porcelain plates. Pick up some plate hangers at craft stores and, hey presto, you have an attractive new wall-hanging.
8. Pick up some mismatched photo frames from op shops and fill them with your favourite photos. If you prefer to co-ordinate their look, paint them all the same colour.
9. Make the room look larger by putting up some mirrors and filling the space with light.
10. Go green and bring the outdoors into your living room. Buy some potted plants and keep them in a corner that gets plenty of light.
A white dinner set will never go out of style, but can sometimes seem a bit dull. Liven up your dinner parties with a selection of bright, modern serving dishes, mugs and glasses.
12. Line the windowsill with potted herbs inside colourful planters - both a functional and aesthetic improvement to your cooking space.
13. Put ripening fruit on display in an oversized wood bowl. Alternatively, fill a vase with bright Granny Smith apples or citrus fruit.
14. Give your kitchen cabinets a makeover with a coat of paint. Crackling, faux finishing and glazing are all simple and cost-effective options.
15. Put up new curtains - an instant makeover that will brighten the space. Try a quirky style, perhaps a fruit print, to remind people which room they're in!
16. A new colour scheme will give your tired-looking bathroom a whole new look. A deep, rich colour will make the room cosy - perfect for those cold morning trips to the shower.
17. While retiling your entire bathroom is an expensive and time-consuming activity, a good clean works wonders and saves you the trouble. Get rid of any lime scale build-up with an energetic scrub and refresh dirty grout with touch-up paint.
18. Throw out all your old and almost empty beauty product bottles. Replace them with the attractive ones you receive in gift boxes - bubble bath, bath salts and the like. To avoid clutter, pick up some storage solutions to keep other necessities in order.
19. Replace your old shower curtain with a colourful new one and co-ordinate your bathroom implements, from the toilet paper holder to soap dispenser and dish. A new set of fluffy towels will also add to the luxurious feel of the room.
20. Dress up your mirror with a homemade frame made from pieces of fabric or timber.
21. Give the centrepiece of the room - your bed - a facelift with a new quilt, pillows and throw. Hit manchester outlets for some new sheet sets as well as some funky, mismatched pillowcases for a touch of contemporary quirkiness.
22. Put in a new lamp or wall sconces about your bed, dresser or on either side of a mirror. Pink light bulbs cast a soothing, romantic glow.
23. Hit the op shops (or your grandma's drawers) for scarves and tablecloths to dress up your bedside table or dresser.
24. If you prefer not to have family and friends watching over you from picture frames on the wall, find some alternative wall-hangings. Why not have a map or landscape scene printed on canvas and stretched on a frame?
25. Indulge all your senses, with the help of pretty scent. During the winter months, place potpourri in an open bowl and in summer, bring the outdoors in with fresh flowers beside your bed.
The Great Outdoors
26. Give your outdoor furniture a regular clean, if not a lick of paint or an oil and polish. If it really is beyond salvation, pick up a new set – Mitre 10 and Kmart both offer great deals.
27. Enliven your outdoor chairs with brightly coloured cushions made from all-weather fabrics to ensure longevity.
28. Invest in a water tank so you can keep your garden looking fresh without breaking water restrictions.
29. Pick up some bamboo fire sticks and garden lanterns for summer barbecues or alfresco entertaining. Strings of fairy lights create a magical ambience while Chinese lanterns will add an exotic touch.
30. To maximise backyard privacy, use a trellis as an extra wall and plant fast-growing vines at its base.
When purchasing big items, such as furniture, don't be afraid to ask shop assistants for their best price; in times like these, they want to sell their product just as much as you want to buy it!
For more articles and advice on interiors visit www.completehome.com.au