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Home Renovation Ideas Guide

The ultimate guide for a stunning home while saving

A pair of homeowners site on the kitchen floor of their home
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Easy fixes you can do on a budget


Ready to fix up that new home to suit your personal tastes but don't have a huge budget? No problem! We've come up with a selection of easy fixes you can do with minimal fuss and impact on your bank account.

Did you know?

We conducted a survey of homeowners in the UK and discovered that 62% of people buy a home that needs decorating or updating to suit their tastes. 16% purchased fixer-uppers that required complete renovation.

If you're in that 62% and are looking for easy fixes you can do on a budget you'll find it here. We've covered it all, from quick fixes with a lick of paint to vinyl stickers that can hide a multitude of sins, try out our tips and enjoy a home that you love for a little less.

11 easy fixes you can do on a budget

Give kitchen worktops a new lease of life with stick on vinyl

Vinyl sticky back plastic that can be cut to size and laid onto worktops is an incredible invention, allowing you to instantly update a tired looking kitchen counter or bathroom side. You simply buy the vinyl in a roll, measure and cut to size then stick and smooth it out onto the surface you want to upgrade.

Choose from a wide selection of designs such as marble and wood grain effect to add a touch of luxe to any space, with just a peel and a stick!

Where to buy vinyl sticky back plastic for worktops

You'll find this clever invention available from these stores:

Paint tiles instead of replacing them

Removing and replacing tiles is hard (and expensive) work. Instead, spruce them up and make them more to your taste with specialist tile paint. You can pick this up from most DIY stores and it's now available in a wide range of colours to complement all decor preferences.

Be sure to take a look at our tips for working with tile paint section, further on in the guide. There's a knack to achieving the perfect finish but once you nail it, you'll be painting every tiled surface in the house.

Gloss woodwork

Everything from skirting boards to bannisters can start to look tired over time, so grab some gloss paint in a bright white shade and give these a lick of paint. It's a cheap and easy way of creating a fresh look in any room, as the painted surfaces add a lovely clean finish.

Tips for glossing woodwork

  • Always use a primer, this ensures the gloss paint clings to the surface and reduces the chances of chipping or peeling.
  • If the wood is already painted, try to sand it back to the original grain.
  • If the wood isn't painted, prime it, then give it a couple of fresh coats of gloss paint.
  • Always wipe down the surface first with a damp cloth, to avoid any lumps and bumps.
  • Always shake or stir your paint before you begin to ensure any oil that has separated mixes in.
  • Use masking tape to protect screws, bannister brackets and edges on walls.
  • You can paint on top of gloss but bear in mind it might crack or peel over time. It's best to strip it back first.

Did you know?

Brits in the North of England are happier to take on a property that needs renovating.

More people in the North East and North West (42%) purchased a property that required a complete renovation compared to the rest of the UK.


Change light fittings and light bulbs

It sounds a little too simple but you'll be amazed by the effect a new light fitting can have.

An elegant chandelier, a pop of colour with a classic lampshade or an on trend, hammered copper design - whatever you're looking for, ensure it's easy to install and within budget.

If your new light fittings require any electrical work to be carried out when putting them in, ensure you enlist the services of a professional to stay safe.

An even easier fix is to swap out your existing light bulbs for new ones. You can pick up bulbs that you can control the colour of to set the mood or select bulbs with soft glows or brighter hues depending on the vibe you want to create in your space.

Paint kitchen cabinets

Are the kitchen cabinets looking a little tired but you simply don't have the budget for a whole kitchen renovation? No problem, paint is here to save the day again. You can buy specialist cupboard paint, which offers a protective coating and ensures the finished look lasts.

How to paint kitchen cabinets - Step-by-step

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Step 1 - Remove door handles.

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Step 2 - Remove cupboard doors.

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Step 3 - Place on a flat surface and wipe down with sugar soap and a damp cloth.

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Step 4 - Lightly sand the door to remove any excess paint and create a surface with more grip.

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Step 5 - Wipe down the door again to remove any dust or debris.

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Step 6 - Prime the door - click here to learn more about primers.

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Step 7 - When the primer is dry, apply your paint in any grooves with a small brush.

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Step 8 - Once the grooves are painted, use a roller to apply the first layer of paint.

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Step 9 - Add another layer, dry, then paint again if necessary.

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Step 10 - Re-hang your doors and attach the handles.

Pressure wash the patio

A dirty patio can make any space look tired and unappealing. Whether you borrow your pressure washer from a family member or friend or invest in one, this quick and easy fix will revamp your outdoor space in an instant.

You can also use a pressure washer to clean up old decking, breathe life back into tired garden furniture and even remove loose paint from fencing or wood structures in the garden. So while buying a pressure washer might be an added cost, the investment will continue to pay returns for maintaining your new home, as the device can be used to spruce up everything from the patio to your car.

Change door and cupboard handles

A simple fix that makes a huge difference is simply swapping out current door and cupboard handles for new ones. You can have great fun with this and even get creative by painting up budget, plain cupboard door handles and adding your own design.

Spice up the kitchen with new cupboard handles in a bold chili red shade against glossy white doors or add a vintage touch with brass, ornate handles on your built-in wardrobe. If you're a fan of the shabby chic trend or mismatched vibes then take a wander around your local car boot or scour eBay for people selling old door handles that you can then use in your home to enjoy an eclectic finish.

Clean up the grout between tiles

Grout gets grubby over time so if you don't fancy changing the tiles but feel like something needs to be done to spruce them up, clean up the grout. It will require some elbow grease but it's a simple fix that costs very little to do, however, once you're finished you'll be amazed how different the room appears.

For stubborn stains on grout, you can also tidy it up with a grout pen. These require a little time and patience but allow you to effectively draw over sad-looking grout and make it appear shiny and new again. You can pick up these pens in a range of colours, they typically cost around £10 and you'll find brands such as Ronseal and Unibond offering them.



Tips for cleaning grout

  • Use a cleaning paste - such as Stardrops The Pink Stuff - and apply this to the grout.
  • Grab a soft scourer or an old toothbrush to scrub this into the grout and lift off any dirt.
  • Wipe away any excess cleaner and dirt with a damp sponge.
  • Rinse clean and wipe down with a dry cloth.
Patch up holes and marks in the walls

Damage caused by the previous owners to walls can be easily fixed with a little filler and a scraper. Simply fill the whole, scrape away the excess and wait for it to dry. Then, once dry, take some sanding paper and lightly sand down the raised area of filler before painting to match the wall again.

You can also buy specialist paint that is is a little thicker - Polycell's 3-in-1 Basecoat is the best option - which works great to cover fine cracks with no need to use filler and a scraper at all!



What type of filler do you need?

There are a range of filler types to choose from, here we've listed some of the most common to help make things easier when you head to the DIY store.

  • Interior filler - This typically comes pre-mixed in a tub.
  • Deep repair filler - For those larger cracks or holes, this can tackle holes up to 20mm deep.
  • Ultra finer filler - If you want to tidy up fine cracks or small holes, with minimal sanding afterwards, this gets into the smallest of areas.

Top tip

DIY store B&Q recommends adding some PVA glue to your filler to help it stick!

Try to restore original flooring

There's a chance that if you're living in an older property, the former owners have covered some perfectly lovely original flooring with carpet. This task might take a little extra work and time commitment, but the result will be worth it. Take a peek under the floor to see what treasure could be hiding underneath and give your rooms a makeover in an instant.

Upstairs you might find wooden floorboards that you can sand down and varnish to enjoy a rustic, exposed wood floor. Downstairs, there may be some beautiful tile work in the hallway or kitchen that can be scrubbed up to replace dated carpet.

Revamp bathroom and kitchen sealant

In the bathroom and kitchen, the silicone sealant may be looking a little tired. It's so easy to give this an update and it will instantly improve the appearance of the room. Here's how:

You will need:

  • Sealant remover (if the sealant isn't peeling away already)
  • Sealant remover tool or a sharp knife
  • Waterproof sealant
  • Sealant smoother tool
  • Mould remover spray
  • Cartridge gun

Top tip

You don't have to use a special sealant smoothing tool. Simply wet your finger and drag this across to smooth out the sealant.

How to revamp bathroom/kitchen sealant - Step-by-step

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Step 1 - Put sealant remover on your sealant, following the packet instructions.

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Step 2 - Scrape the sealant away with your remover tool.

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Step 3 - Clean with mould spray if necessary and wipe dry.

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Step 4 - Once the area is thoroughly dry, apply your waterproof sealant. Place the product in your cartridge gun for easy application, Ensure you apply even pressure across the area and then smooth the sealant out with your tool.

A light and airy bedroom with parquet wood flooring and plush bedding

Sage Green

Timeless and refreshing, a soft shade of green is always welcome in any colour palette. Be inspired in 2020, when decorating your new home, by Dulux's Colour of the Year - Tranquil Dawn. This calming green can be easily incorporated into any room, simply add a soft blanked in a sage green shade to the sofa or grab a tin of paint and create an accent wall in the bedroom. Of course, plants are also a cheap and easy way of adding some lift and taking some inspiration from this calming colour.

Pairs well with:

Grey

White

Dusky Pink

70s Yellows

The 70s are still having an influence over everything from fashion to interiors, with mustard yellow continuing to play a part in interior design trends for 2020. Add this happy hue via scatter cushions, mismatched chairs and artwork prints.

Friendly, fresh and vibrant, mustard yellow brings life to a plain space, brightening up with paintwork in an instant. If you're feeling daring, use this shade as a feature wall in your living room and pair with white or grey curtains and yellow pillows to make the space pop.

Pairs well with:

Grey

White

Navy Hues

Tranquil and soothing, navy blue hues complement a wealth of other colours. Whether you use the colour as an accent piece or a deep shade to paint your living room, navy is a bold yet versatile choice. Choose white walls and navy decor - or vice versa, if you'd prefer to go all out with this royal hue. The white accents will pop when contrasted with navy, resulting in a surprising brightening effect.

Pairs well with:

Metallics

Off-white

Coral

How to feature these colours for less

When it comes to sprucing up your room with a lick of paint, it pays to shop around and find a colour that matches your end goal. We've pulled together a round of paint substitutes and ideas in this section.

Texture in the 20s

A lick of paint and some matching soft furnishings can revamp your home in an instant, resulting in a low budget renovation. Here, we've taken a look at the colours to consider in 2020 and how to feature them in your space.

Faux fur

Romantic yet classy, faux fur brings brings a hint of glamour to any space. Think luxuriously soft rugs in front of fireplaces, cosy throws on the bed and snuggly soft pillows for the sofa. In 2020 and beyond, use faux fur accessories to bring comfort to cold rooms. creating an opulent yet calming environment to relax in. Faux fur is a great cruelty-free alternative to the real thing and it tends to be much cheaper, too.

Knit

Guaranteed to never go out of style, knitted furnishings and accessories have a classically rustic effect. Introduce this texture to your home while decorating and making it yours with rugs, bags and throws for the ultimate level of comfort.

Cool, steel grey shades work with any colour scheme; opt for this when purchasing your knitted accessories so you can use them even when you decide to change up your paintwork and colour scheme.

Velvet

Having quickly risen in popularity through 2019, the velvet trend shows no sign of slowing down. Soft and supple, there's perhaps nothing much better than lounging on a glamorous velvet sofa or getting cosy under a velvet headboard but of course these items are larger investments that you'll need to save up for. If you're working with a smaller budget, it's still easy to incorporate a dash of luxurious velvet. Throw pillows in this material, scattered across the sofa or velvet feel curtains add an elegant and almost regal vibe in any room.

Vintage wood

For a hint of traditional charm, introduce vintage wood to your room. Smooth yet rustic, combine different tones to create a rich and regal look. Pair dark wooden chairs, for example, with chestnut accessories such as photo frames or clocks to create attention-grabbing contrast. These earth tones pair well with most colour schemes, although they complement gold, grey and beige particularly well.

Facebook Marketplace for your furniture

Looking for those vintage wood pieces on a budget? Try heading to Facebook Marketplace where you'll find people selling furniture for less.

Homeware trends in 2020

A home makeover doesn't have to be expensive; changing up your choice of decor can completely revamp your space. Combine your own preferences with some of our homeware trends to keep your space trendy without losing its personality.

Classicism is back

Think Grecuian busts, replicas of famous statues and inspiration from Greek and Roman myths. Add a playful touch by using a bust to hold jewellery. Bring sophistication to the room with extravagant white vases, in which you can place your favourite flowers for a burst of colour. For those who want to overhaul one of their rooms, introduce ornate white mouldings to your wall to take the trend further.

Head to the charity shop

You'll find all sorts of ornaments and sculptures in charity shops, so take some time to scour the shelves and look for busts or decorative vases that you can feature to capture this trend. If you don't like the look of them as they are, you can always spray them a different colour or spruce up the paint work yourself.

Eye-catching metals

It may surprise you, but metal pieces are incredibly easy to add to any room. Whether you choose copper, gold or silver, metal is a subtle yet modern addition that brightens up the room by reflecting light. How you introduce it is up to you; go bold with a large silver mirror or try a more subtle copper lamp shade. Either way, they're bound to catch the eye and add a contemporary vibe to your home.

Shop smart

Head to a store such as The Range or Asda Living for those statement pieces that are typically available at a lower price than other stores. B&M and Primark are also great options.

Indoor gardens

Transform corners and empty spaces into an indoor garden. By doing so, you're brightening up dark spots and improving air quality all in one go. Don't worry if you're not keen on the extra responsibility they may bring to the table, there are a plethora of plants that require little care. Consider succulents, Chinese evergreen and lucky bamboo, as they bring vibrant colour to the room yet don't need meticulous care and attention.

Sparking crystals

Bring a whimsical ambience with natural crystal accessories. Easy to incorporate on bookshelves, coffee tables and the like, crystals bringing a hint of sparkle to any small space. Thought to have natural healing powers that boost wellbeing, you'll find a crystal that fits any colour scheme. You can even try incorporating a little crystal using salt lamps or candles with embedded crystals.

Make your own crystal coasters

You can add a touch of new age glamour to your home with this incredible tutorial on how to make agate coasters with just cardboard, print outs, gold spray paint and a little mod podge.



A homeowner rollers his white walls with a light blue colour.
Saving tip

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What type of paint do you need?



Paint is pretty simple, right? Comes in a tin. You slap it on with a brush or a roller. But there's actually a lot more to consider when choosing the right type of paint for the job you're intending to carry out. You'll need to consider the finish, priming for different surfaces and not to mention, colour! Fear not, we have the answers. Read on and never feel lost and confused standing in the paint aisle again.

Matt or Silk?

If you're new to the world of decorating, you've perhaps never considered the difference between matt and silk paint. Here's what to think about for each type of paint:


Matt emulsion paint is best for...

  • Ceilings - Avoid shine on ceilings and create a smooth, clean finish.
  • Covering imperfect surfaces - Matt paint can hide imperfections on walls and ceilings, as it doesn't reflect light.
  • Achieving a richer, deeper colour - With a non-reflective finish, no colour is lost creating a richer shade of whatever colour you've chosen.

Silk emulsion paint is best for...

  • Rooms with high foot traffic - Silk paint can be easily wiped and is less likely to mark or stain. This makes it ideal for the hallway, kitchen and kid's bedrooms.
  • Enhancing light - Silk is light reflective so in a room that gets lots of natural light, it's the ideal choice as it brightens up the space.

Pros and cons of matt paint

Pros
Richer colour
Easy to create a flawless finish
Can touch up areas later with no noticeable brush strokes
Can cover imperfections on walls and ceilings
Cons
Hard to keep clean, can't be wiped down
Marks easily
Not ideal for rooms that experience condensation such as the kitchen or bathroom

Pros and cons of silk paint

Pros
Reflects light, creating a brighter space
Easy to wipe clean
Hardwearing and ideal for busier areas in the home
Cons
Hard to achieve a flawless finish
Highlight imperfections on walls and ceilings
Can't be touched up without needing to paint the whole wall to avoid noticeable brush strokes

Did you know?

61% of people who took part in our survey bought their first home with their partner - that means you can get that paint job done in half the time!

Paint for interior wood

Sprucing up the skirting boards or repainting the doors? Here’s what to consider when working with wood and paint:

Gloss
High shine
Reflective
Available in a range of colours
Durable
Ideal for bathrooms and kitchens
Can highlight imperfections so ensure the surface is smooth before painting
Satinwood
Mid-sheen
Stays white for longer
Lots of colours and shades available
Durable
Ideal for windowsills
May need to use a primer to stop paint from peeling over time
Eggshell
Matt finish
Almost chalky finish
Available in a wide range of shades
Best for use in lower traffic
Ideal for kitchen cupboards and interior doors
Not as durable as gloss or satinwood

Should you buy quick-dry gloss?

Quick-dry-gloss paint is ideal for those who are perhaps new to DIY and want to achieve a neat finish quickly and easily. But bear in mind that quick-dry will require more coats as it is typically lower coverage so you may need to buy more paint than expected.

Normal gloss paint takes much longer to dry - over 24 hours to be completely touch dry compared to 2-3 hours for quick dry paint. Plus, you'll need to be much more careful with your application and be sure to work in a well-ventilated room due to the strong fumes.

Tips for working with gloss

  • Use masking tape to protect edges and fittings - You're likely painting bannisters with metal brackets or perhaps cupboards with handles, remove or cover these to ensure you don't cover them with gloss.
  • Always sand and clean the surface first - It's important you remove any imperfections and create a smooth, neat surface to paint onto.
  • Use a primer - While not always necessary, a primer gives your paint something to grip onto and creates a neutral base.
  • Use a soft brush to apply gloss paint - Get into the edges and nooks and crannies first, then apply the paint on the remaining surface. A soft brush lowers the chances of you leaving harsh brush strokes behind.
Two homeowners renovating their house by applying some fresh paint to the walls

Tile paint

That's right, instead of ripping off those ugly tiles you may have been lumbered with, in your new home, you can simply spruce them up with a lick of paint (and it's much cheaper too).

Here are our tips for painting with tile paint:

  • Clean the tiles thoroughly - Ensure the tiles are clean and free of any dust and debris to ensure a smooth finish.
  • Use a primer - Not only does this create a neutral base but it ensures the tile paint has something to grip onto once applied.
  • Use a smooth roller - A paintbrush can leave messy marks and brush strokes, instead use a smooth roller for a neat spread of paint.
  • Work tile by tile - Don't try and roll a whole row, focus on each tile individually to ensure an even coating on each one.
  • Get creative with masking tape - Create fun geometric patterns with masking tape and paint shapes and unique designs onto your tiles.
  • Use stencils - If you're painting a tiled floor, stencils can help you create neat patterns across the space, paint over these tile by tile to result in a unique finish.
  • Leave plenty of time for the paint to dry - Ensure the tiles aren't touched or walked on for at least 24 hours after being painted.
  • Avoid strong cleaners in the future - Try to avoid spraying abrasive cleaners on your painted tiles to ensure they don't peel or crack.
A collection of rollers and brushes ready for painting

Brush or roller?

It's an age-old question... but which one is best? Here we've broken down a number of scenarios and which paint applicator is best for each.


Brush & Roller icon

Painting a wall

Use a brush to paint the edges then fill in the rest with a roller

Brush & Roller icon

Painting a ceiling

Use a brush to paint the edges, then fit your roller into an extender pole and do the rest of the ceiling.

Roller icon

Painting tiles

A smooth roller achieves a neat finish - you can always get into any hard to reach corner with a small brush later.

Roller icon

Painting the floor

A smooth roller again creates a smoother, neater finish and is easier to apply the paint with. Pop your roller on a ceiling extender pole and use it like a broom or mop to paint the floor!

Brush icon

Painting woodwork

A soft brush is the best choice for painting woodwork.



Choosing the perfect white paint

White paint doesn't require much thought, right? Well, actually, this classic colour comes in a wide range of hues and choosing the right one can make a huge difference to your space. Here's what to consider.

What is the natural light like in your room?

The shade of white paint you choose depends on the type of light in the room you're decorating.

A clean & open bedroom with natural tones

Low natural light

A warm white is the best choice, as this creates a softer hue in darker rooms. Whites with a touch of lilac or grey are ideal for bedroom that don't get much natural light, creating a relaxing space.

Best paints for low natural light
Dulux White Cotton
Dulux Cornflower White
Dulux Natural Hints Almond White

Bright natural light

In south-facing rooms and spaces that enjoy lots of natural light, a cool white shade is a good choice. Brilliant white paint is a good choice, its cooler tones take away some of the glare of the daylight coming in.

Best paints for bright natural light
B&Q Goodhome Air Purifying Brilliant White
Valspar White Silk Emulsion
Dulux Pure Brilliant White

Do you need to use primer?

The likely answer is yes. If you're painting furniture, flooring or tiles - primer is a must.

Primer may feel like an extra step you don't need, after you've prepped and washed and sanded that surface ready for painting but it offers a range of benefits.

Primer provides a clean, neutral base for any paint colour, it creates a surface that paint is more likely to stick to and less likely to peel away from.

A homeowner is decorating their house with a fresh coat of white paint
Saving tip

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Non-branded swaps: Where to get your materials for less



Lusting after that branded shade of paint but shocked by the price tag? Need a new drill but can't afford the most popular product on the market? Here, we've rounded up some popular and necessary decorating tools and materials and featured non-branded alternatives to help you save a little cash while doing up your new home.

Decorating essentials you can buy non-brand versions of and save money

  • Paint - DIY store paint can be just as good as Dulux or brands such as Farrow & Ball.
  • Brushes and rollers - You don't have to buy branded, DIY stores have their own ranges that can help you save a few pounds.
  • Wallpaper - You don't have to buy that luxury brand wallpaper, check out a website such as wallpaperdirect.com or take a look at the designs your local DIY store has on offer.
  • Masking tape - Don't believe the brand is the only version that works, super cheap masking tape can do the job just as well.
  • Coving - A DIY store's own branded coving works just as well and will save you lots of money. Polystyrene coving is worth considering, it's lightweight, looks just as good when painted and is available at a fraction of the price of plaster coving.
  • Tools - Your everyday DIY tools, from hammers to tape measures, come in non-branded versions that work just as well.
  • Sealants - Silicone sealants to spruce up and keep surfaces watertight are essential but you don't have to buy branded to enjoy great results.
  • Paste, grouts and glue - You can pick up non-branded glues and pastes for everything from wallpaper to securing coving.

Farrow & Ball paint swaps

Brand Paste, grouts or glue Price
Farrow & Ball All White 2.5L £46.50
Dulux Pure Brilliant White 2.5L £18
Valspar White Silk Emulsion 2.5L £13
Homebase Homebase Silk Paint 2.5L £12
B&Q GoodHome Brilliant White 2.5L £10
Wickes Pure Brilliant White 2.5L £10
Wilko Pure Brilliant White 2.5L £7.50

Known for their luxurious paint, the Farrow & Ball brand is favoured by those looking to add a little elegance to their home.

As you can expect, however, this comes at a price - a 2.5 litre can of emulsion paint from the brand costs £46.50 at B&Q.

When you consider that Dulux's 2.5-litre emulsion costs £18, decking your house out in Farrow & Ball shades can quickly become costly.

Of course, there are a multitude of alternatives and similar shades that look just as good, so you can get those opulent vibes in your home without the price tag.

You can find the perfect alternative without leaving the comfort of your home, If you've fallen in love with a particular Farrow & Ball paint, try using the e-paint comparison website. Simply pop the name of your shade into the search box and you'll be shown a selection of more affordable alternatives, all of which are compared beside the original shade in order of how similar they are.

Available in a number of finishes, here are just a few Farrow & Ball dupes that we found from Dulux.


Farrow & Ball

Wimborne
White
Hague Blue
Sulking
Room Pink
French Gray
Oxford Stone
Mole's Breath

Dulux

Piano White
Azure Fusion 1
Wild
Mushroom 2
Gooseberry
Fool 3
Ancient
Sandstone
Mud Lark

Farrow & Ball

Stone Blue
Stiffkey Blue
Calamine
Fox Red
Biscuit
Lime White

Dulux

Maritime Teal
Midnight Teal
Sicilian
Summer 6
Cinnamon
Sprinkle
Bracken
Salts 2
Salisbury
Stones 5

If you can't find a match you like, head to your local B&Q with a Farrow & Ball sample sheet in hand. They'll be able to mix up some paint to achieve a result strikingly similar to your initial choice.

Better yet, if you aren't happy with the result, B&Q are happy to remake your paint for free if you opt for the Valspar range. This particular brand uses state-of-the-art technology to personalise your paint and achieve a perfect formula.

Non-branded masking tape vs FrogTape

Planning out some protective measures is always wise before starting any decorating, especially messy painting jobs. Masking tape is best used on skirting boards, as well as on plug sockets and light switches to prevent residue from ending up where it doesn't belong.

Many of us assume that the pricier the product, the better, but this isn't always the case. This also rings true for branded vs non-branded products, with people often assuming FrogTape is the best option out there. While it certainly does the job, there are a variety of alternatives that offer similar, if not the same, features.

When looking for a non-branded alternative, take some time to read the reviews. There's little point paying out for a product that doesn't work as effectively, which is why Amazon is a great choice when picking up your masking tape. You can directly compare reviews to ensure you're getting the best deal for your money.

Brand Masking tape Price
FrogTape Multi-Surface Masking Tape £4.90
Wickes Multi-Surface Masking Tape £2
B&Q Masking Tape £1.98
Eurocell Masking Tape £1.79

DIY store rollers and paint brushes

Despite being a necessary part of the painting process, rollers and brushes can be surprisingly costly. With the potential to become one of the most expensive parts of the job, it certainly rings true when you have multiple rooms to decorate.

Rather than reaching for the big brand names, opt for cheaper alternatives to cut back on costs and help stick to your budget. This doesn’t mean choosing the absolute cheapest, as the quality is still extremely important when painting. We’ve found some great alternatives to expensive brushes that offer an excellent finish at a cut cost.

Costing £26 from B&Q, Purdy’s (W)3" paintbrush is designed specifically for oil-based paints and is a highly popular choice. While it does the job effectively, buying just two of these brushes will cost you over £50. If you’re looking for the perfect alternative, the Harris Angled Precision Tip (W)3" is a great choice. With no shedding and a comfortable grip, this brush is a bargain at £10.47.

Of course, you don’t have to buy individual brushes. Rather than investing in a single item, why not try a brush set? Particularly handy if you’re new to the world of DIY, you can get a pack of ten paintbrushes at B&Q for just £6.62. Suitable for water-based paints, all ten brushes feature comfortable grip handles and soft bristles and this set provides you with everything you need to get the job done.

While softness and sturdiness are important, you don’t have to go all out with your paint rollers. You can get excellent no-nonsense roller and tray sets for as low as £7.99 or cheaper, should you only require one roller sleeve. Reviews describe this item as sturdy, top quality and long-lasting, despite its affordable price tag.

A decorator sets up a fresh tray and roller with white paint

Unexpected deals in unexpected places

While you can grab a bargain at your highstreet DIY store, it's the unexpected places that have some of the best deals.

  • Poundland - You may be surprised to find that you can find a plethora of decorating essentials at your local Poundland, all at the incredible price of £1. From paintbrush packs to affordable adhesives, you can pick up a number of supplies at an unbeatable price.
  • Google Shopping - Most of us use Google to search for products, but are you utilising it to its full capacity? You can find great deals instantly with Google by changing the filters on its shopping feature. Search for the required product and you’ll typically be presented with a list of sellers, as well as the prices. Click on the shopping tab to expand the page before using the filter at the top to list them from lowest to highest price. This allows you to get the same product for less, showing you all of the best deals first so you can get a bargain.
  • Seasonal sales - If you do have your eye on a particularly pricey product, it may be worth waiting for the sales to come around. Most companies now take part in Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, although summer and New Year sales are common, too. Look into when your chosen brand typically has sales and see if the discounts are worth waiting for by looking into their previous sales.
  • Outlet stores - Selling old stock or seasonal items, outlet stores are the best place to find branded products at a discounted price. No longer do you have to drive for miles to find your nearest outlets; they are now available online, making it easier than ever to purchase your favourite items for less. From B&Q and Homebase to Argos and Lakeland, there are a number of online outlet stores that you can buy from without leaving the home.
  • B&M - Known for its unbelievable bargains, B&M may not be your first port of call for decorating equipment – but it should be. With a number of discounts on big name brands all year round, B&M has constant offers and deals available. This includes Dulux paint, Rolson tools and Harris premium rollers.
  • The Range - While it may be better known for its decorative items, you can find a number of DIY and decorating accessories at The Range. You can select your choice of soft furnishings while matching it with your paint, or pick up a new vase after picking up some rollers. There is a plethora of equipment and decorating accessories to choose from, including wallpapers, adhesives discounted power tools.
  • Wilko - Specialising in affordable home living, you can pick up a plethora of products from Wilko. They regularly put on sales which they feature on their decorating and DIY offers page, helping you grab a bargain without searching through pages and pages of products. From paint and brush sets to discounted masking tape, you can find everything at a reduced rate at Wilkos, even if you don’t shop the discount page.
  • Lidl and Aldi - The two budget supermarkets not only sell your fruit and veg at a lower price but you’ll also find regular deals on DIY tools and equipment. Check out the middle aisles to see what bargains you can find but bear in mind they may only be there for a limited time and they often sell out quickly so you’ll need to act swiftly.
A selection of painting utensils and colour palettes

Non-branded names to look out for

  • B&Q - B&Q's own brand range of tools and equipment for decorating
  • GoodHome - B&Q's own brand range of paint
  • Home of Colour - Homebase's own brand range of paint
  • Wickes - From paint to tools there's plenty to be found in their range, with types for trade and everyday DIYers.
  • Wilko Colour - Looking to add a pop of colour with your paint? Look out for this brand in a Wilkinsons store.
  • Wilko Durable - Another Wilkinsons paint brand in a range of shades that promises to be washable and scuff resistant.
A collection of old second hand chairs and furniture
Saving tip

05


Where to buy items for your home second hand (or free!)



You're in your new home, the decorating is done, now it's time to fill it with furniture and life. But how do you get those necessary items when working with a budget? In this section, we've featured a comprehensive list of all the places you can find second hand furniture for a bargain price - and where you'll find items for your home for free!

Did you know?

Buying on a budget: Many of us save up for that deposit for our first home then may not have much left over when it comes to move in day. In fact, we discovered that 31% of people gave up or cut back on holidays to save money to buy their first home.

Where to buy second hand furniture

Furniture is expensive, especially when you have multiple rooms to furnish. Rather than paying out for brand new pieces, get creative with second-hand furniture. There are a multitude of benefits to shopping this way; not only are you guaranteed to save money, but it's an eco-friendly way to do so.


Brush & Roller icon

Charity shops

Packed full of hidden gems, you'd be surprised at how many items you can find in a charity shop. You're most likely to find smaller pieces of decor in regular charity shops, but it's the specialist furniture and electrical ones you'll want to head to. Here, you'll find everything from bunk beds to sofas, all of which are great quality for the price you pay. Not only is this an affordable way of furnishing your home, you'll typically be able to get it delivered within a day or two of your order.

Brush & Roller icon

Apps

Furnish your home straight from your phone by downloading some specialist apps and websites. Whether you're in need of soft furnishings or an entire lounge set, you'll find it on Shpock. This app allows users to buy and sell their items, so you could even put some of your old belongings on there to save some extra cash.


Shpock helps you find items in your local area, but for pieces further afield, you can try Preloved. This website offers everything from garden chairs to furniture and fittings, so you can find something for every room of the house.

Roller icon

Social Media

What could be handier than buying what you need from your neighbour? Facebook Marketplace allows you to do just that. Anyone and everyone can post belongings they don’t have any need for, so you’ll find a selection of items at incredible prices. As well as the standard Marketplace section, you’ll likely find separate buy and sell pages for your neighbourhood or town. All you have to do is message them to reserve the item before popping over to pick it up - simple!


While it’s handy to find stuff in your area, you can also find furniture further afield. If you’re willing to pick it up, you’ll be surprised at how many great deals there are just half an hour or more down the road.



Did you know?

30% of people in our survey cut back on takeaways while saving for their house deposit. While you'll likely have a takeaway on that move-in day, it's a good idea to continue skipping those Friday night pizzas and using the money to buy important DIY tools and homeware instead.

Where to find free furniture

Furnishing your house for nothing may sound too good to be true, but freebies are easier to find than you'd think. While you may want to buy more personal items such as mattresses new, you can find a number of items that are in great condition for absolutely nothing at all.


Swaps

If you want to replace an old piece of furniture, why not offer to swap with a friend or family member? You may find they’re looking for a change of decor too. You don’t have to swap the same sort of item, either; for example you’re looking for a mirror and have spare curtains, see if anyone would be willing to swap. That way you both get a great deal and the perfect piece of furniture for your home.

A selection of old furniture and trinkets

Freebie pages

There are a plethora of freebie pages on the web. Gumtree’s free section is particularly popular due to its ease of use and large selection of products, all of which are completely free. You can search for anything here, so you could furnish much of your home without paying a penny. The only downside is that you’ll have to pick up the majority of items, but you can filter out items so that they’re within a distance you’re happy to drive. From the small decorative pieces to sofas, you can get almost anything for free on this site.


Did you know?

24% of people saving for their first home cut back on buying new clothes and treats, while 29% stopped socialising as much to save money for their deposit. If you're working with a small budget while renovating your home these are some great ways to save.

How to clean second hand furniture

Whether you're giving your second-hand furniture a makeover or leaving it as it is, you'll want it give it a thorough clean. Guaranteed to give old pieces a new lease of life, efficient cleaning can transform most furniture and ensure it's hygienic to use.

A second hand stool that has been restored and now has a place in someone's home

Prep

The cleaning supplies you need completely depends on the type of furniture you use. Wood, for example, would require a completely different product than a sofa. Always check any spray you use, as some can cause detrimental effects to certain materials.

It’s wise to do a patch test on a small area of the item before getting stuck in. By doing so, you’re ensuring it won’t have any negative reaction to your products. Be careful not to mix too many different solutions together, choosing one method out of the following lists and leaving it for a day or two before attempting another.

For all of the below suggestions, take the furniture outside on a warm day before starting. Doing so will allow it to get some fresh air, which can help disperse superficial smells.

An old sofa being refurbished and prepped ready for use

Disinfecting and stains

Undoubtedbly one of the most important parts of the cleaning process, disinfecting second-hand furniture is easier than it sounds.

There are a number of ways you can disinfect your furniture while getting rid of pesky stains, including:

  • Dilute a cup of vinegar with a cup of water. This solution is quick, easy and affordable - plus, it can be used on most types of materials.
  • Disinfectant wipes for hard surfaces, such as wood or metal. Make sure they are non-corrosive and avoid using on material.
  • For stubborn stains and odours, use an extra-strength disinfectant. Leave it to soak before wiping away, being careful not to get any on your skin.
  • Create a diluted solution of Zoflora and water in a bowl using the instructions given on the packet. Being careful not to get it on your skin, dip a dishcloth into the solution before dabbing the stain carefully. If it’s tough, you can scrub it with a microfibre cloth.

All of the above methods are affordable and easy to do, leaving you with a fresh, clean piece of furniture.

Smells

When you pick up a second-hand item, you may find that it has a musty smell. Don't let this put you off; most smells are easy to get rid of and you'll be left with a great new addition for your home.

  • If you’re cleaning an old dresser or anything with drawers, put some baking soda in some bowls and put one in each drawer. Leave it overnight if the weather permits, otherwise leave it a few hours to see if the baking soda has absorbed the smells.
  • All out of baking soda? Use the method above but swap it for some carpet powder.
  • Put a 1:1 ratio of water and vinegar into a spray bottle before giving your furniture a spritz. This works particularly well on fabrics, but you can use this solution to wipe surfaces too.
  • If you’ve tried every method to shift a smell from your furniture, try painting it with a primer. This method is for when everything else fails, but it’s highly effective and affordable. Plus, it gives you a fresh base to start from.
  • Dilute some Zoflora in a bottle using the instructions on the packet. Put it in a spritz bottle and spray. This is a great way of disinfecting your sofa and soft furnishings while getting rid of musty scents.

Whichever method you choose, you'll be left with a great piece of furniture that looks great, smells fresh and costs less!

A piece of wooden furniture being sanded and renovated
Saving tip

06


How to renovate wooden furniture



Picked up a new dining table or cabinet second hand and now want to make it your own? Check out our guide on renovating wooden furniture, featuring steps to follow to take that well-loved item from drab to fab.

Tools for the job

When it comes to furniture renovation, there are a few essential tools.
Here we've detailed the ones you're most likely to need.


Tool or equipment Why do you need it?
Clean cloths or rags To clean the furniture and wipe away any splashes of paint later.
Dust sheet Protect your floor and other surfaces as you paint and sand. You could also use old bed sheets, shower curtains or towels that would otherwise be thrown out.
Sugar soap Use this while cleaning your furniture to remove any stubborn dirt and debris.
Sanding block or electric handheld sander You can remove the top layer of paint and wood with a handheld sanding block or get serious with an electric sanding tool that will speed up the process tenfold.
Vacuum cleaner Remove dust and debris with ease.
Primer A layer of primer seals the wood and provides a tactile surface that paint is more likely to hold onto.
Paint Choose a wood paint in a shade that suits your theme or colour scheme. There are also a range of textures to choose from including shiny gloss to chalk finishes.
Paintbrushes Pick out two or three small paintbrushes that can be used to get into the nooks and crannies of your furniture.
Small roller A roller provides a smoother finish and can cover larger areas in less time.
Masking tape Use this to cover metal, hinges and handles if they can't be removed.
Screwdriver Keep this to hand to remove handles and doors.



Step 1 - Prepare your furniture

Whatever state your furniture is in - whether it's like new or has seen better days - you'll need to spend some time prepping its surface. Here's how:


Furniture being prepped for use by deep cleaning
  • Clean the furniture - Use warm soapy water and sugar soap to remove any dirt and residue on the furniture.
  • Sand away any old paint - You can do this by hand or use an electric sander which will speed up the process. Ensure you wear a dust mask while sanding your furniture and only remove the top layer.
  • Vacuum and wipe away any dust - Ensure the surface is free of any dust and debris. Vacuum in any grooves with the nozzle attachment then wipe the furniture down with a damp, clean cloth.
  • Apply your primer - Use a brush and apply your primer all over your furniture to create a neutral base that your paint will hold onto.
  • Cover any metalwork and nails - Use masking tape to cover any nails and metalwork on your furniture.
  • Remove any handles - Unscrew any knobs or handles and keep these safe in a spare carrier bag.



Step 2 - Paint your furniture

Once that primer is dry, it's time for the main event.



  • Apply a thin later of paint - Start with a thin layer of paint and leave this to dry fully before applying a second coat. Ensure you get into all the grooves with your brush.
  • Apply a second coat - Use your roller or a larger brush to apply a second, thicker coat of paint.
  • Apply a third coat if necessary and leave to dry - If any areas still look patchy go over these again then leave your furniture to dry for at least 24 hours.
A roller covering a piece of mustard furniture with a fresh coat of teal



Furniture painting ideas

Don't just give your new furniture a lick of paint, have a little fun with it!



  • Use masking tape to create patterns - Create geometric shapes and patterns with strips of masking tape. You can paint the shapes contrasting colour or paint lines in accent metallic shades.
  • Contrasting legs - Don't make your furniture all one colour, pick a bright, contrasting shade for the legs to make a statement.
  • Add metallics - A line of gold along the edge of a table, a ring of silver around the legs of your dining chairs... have fun with metallic accents.
A renovated wooden table taking centre stage in a living room
  • Stencils - You don't need to be an artist to create stunning designs on your furniture, simply choose stencils to stick on and paint over.
  • Try out an ombre finish - A sponge and three different shades of paint are all you need to create stunning ombre finishes. Let's say you're painting a cupboard, you can paint three stripes of colour then blend them together with a sponge.
  • Distressed finish - If you prefer that shabby chic vibe, then once your paint is dry take your sandpaper and lightly brush this over your furniture to create a worn and well-loved finish. Focus on edges where wear and tear are more likely and lightly sand larger surfaces.
A renovated white wooden chair with a fresh coat of paint
  • Add a pop of neon - A dash of fluorescent pink or vibrant green creates a standout piece of furniture in any space. Try neon pink chair legs or a line of vibrant blue around the edge of a mirror.
  • Embellish it - Gold studs, pom poms, tassels, buttons, embroidery... have a little fun with embellishments on your furniture to create a truly unique finish.
A trendy home office with black accessories and vibrant plants
Saving tip

07


Accessories that can instantly change the look of your home



A few well-chosen accessories can completely change the look and feel of a room, ideal if you're working with a blank canvas. If you're sprucing up a room with plain white walls and neutral furniture, here's what to pick up to create a theme on a budget that you can then swap and change whenever you fancy in the future.

Glam and gold

There's nothing more luxurious than a dash of gold in your living space and regal coloured accessories are easily found and even easier to incorporate into almost any colour scheme. Feature gold in your room to enhance the space and add an elegant, glamorous vibe. Here's how to accessorise with gold in each room:

A retro wooden side unit with gold accessories and green foliage

Living Room

Add gold with decorative cushions, picture frames and vases. Gold threads or patterns on cushions and curtains are also an easy way of featuring this metallic hue in your living space.

Bedroom

Gold in the bedroom exudes glamour and adds a luxe feel, creating a welcoming space to relax in. Feature gold in jewellery holders on bedside tables, lamp bases or swap out your basic wardrobe handles for ornate gold features.

Bathroom

Spruce up a plain bathroom with a few gold accessories in the form of your toothbrush holder and soap dispenser. Shower curtains featuring a gold geometric print are a subtle way of adding colour to the bathroom too.

Add a dash of gold on a budget

Get spray painting - Grab a can of spray paint and use this on everything from furniture legs to mirror frames to introduce elements of gold subtly throughout the room.

You can also pick up items from a charity shop such as decorative ornaments or vases that you can then spray gold, as well as lamp fittings and wire baskets.

Animal print

Much like your wardrobe, accessories in animal print can enhance any look around your home. Zebra print is a favourite at the moment, but you can feature anything from tiger to giraffe to dalmation prints depending on your mood. Animal print adds that vibrant, exciting edge to any space - perfect for reflecting big personalities.

An animal print rug in an airy living room

How to accessorise on a budget with animal print:

  • Blankets - A throw blanket in your chosen animal print, draped over the arm of a chair is a cheap and easy way of accessorising and incorporating it into your home.
  • Scatter cushions - Mix up your scatter cushions on your sofa or your bed with a couple of leopard print cushions nestled amongst one or two plain designs.
  • Rug - A large, faux hide rug or fluffy design in an animal print creates a focal point in the living room or bedroom. Team with neutral furniture and luxe metallic accessories.
  • Pottery - Add animal print cups or pots to shelving to subtly up your accessory game.
  • Prints - A framed animal-themed print is an easy way of incorporating this look in any space. Pair a tiger skin print with a gold frame or pop a leopard themed print into a rustic wooden frame to create your desired look.
How to add animal print while on a budget

DIY a lampshade - Take a plain lampshade and give it a wild makeover. Grab some fabric paint in black, light and dark orange then use these to paint on a leopard print design directly onto the lampshade. Leave this to dry, put it back on the stand and then enjoy a pop of colour in your space.

Shop smart then get sewing - Charity shops are also a great place to shop for animal print homeware, look for cups that can be repurposed as planters or leopard print clothing that can be adapted and turned into simple cushion covers. Watch this great tutorial that goes through how to turn a shirt into a cushion. This is a fun and crafty way to flip a funky animal print top into a home accessory for just a couple of quid.

Pick me up plants

Plants can be used as an accessory to enhance any space and as a bonus, they also come with a range of health benefits. You can move plants around your home to change the feel of your space, group several together to create an almost tropical, jungle theme or pop a few easy to care for succulents on shelving for a clean, minimalist vibe.

Here are some of the very best plants to add to your home to enhance the space and reap the benefits of:


A bright green spider plant

Spider Plant

This bright green plant with long slim leaves protruding from a central root is easy to care for and looks great in any space. It's also very easy to get more plants from your original, as it typically trails off and generates buds that can be snapped off and planted to create even more spider plants.



Benefits of spider plants:

  • Purifies the air and removes pollutants such as carbon monoxide and xylene (used in solvents).
  • Produces oxygen, creating a pleasant environment and easier breathing environment.
  • Easy to care for, try to keep soil lightly moist but not overwatered.
  • Can enjoy more spider plants as saplings grow from the main plant.
  • Striking colour, ideal for brightening up a room.

Dragon Tree

Standing tall, with vibrant green leaves, dragon trees are easy to care for and look great in the corner of any room. Plant yours in an attractive pot and feature it in a bright spot - but not in direct sunlight - then watch it grow. But bear in mind that these incredible plants reach 6ft in the right conditions and require regularly re-potting!

A vibrant green dragon tree


Benefits of dragon trees:

  • Purifies the air and produces oxygen, creating a pleasant environment.
  • Controls humidity, which is ideal for those with respiratory issues.
  • Improves focus and engagement, ideal if you’re studying or working from home.
  • Can grow to an impressive size to become a focal point in any room.
  • Easy to care for, just need watering once a week and repotting as they grow.
A dark green rubber tree

Rubber Tree

Rubber trees are unusual looking plants with fat leaves in a pretty dark shade of green. This variety of plant is particularly hardy and boasts a number of health benefits. These plants look great on a bathroom windowsill and add a calming vibe in this space made for relaxation.



Benefits of rubber trees:

  • Improves indoor air quality as the plant leaves take in mould spores and bacteria.
  • Easy to care for, don’t require regular watering.
  • Can thrive in dim light, ideal for bathrooms.
  • Can grow very tall – up to 8ft – making them the ideal statement accessory in the future as they grow.

English Ivy

Quintessentially British, English Ivy reminds us of cottages and country houses covered in a green blanket of this trailing plant. In the home, English Ivy makes for an excellent accessory adding a splash of greenery to your space and an interesting decorative display as it trails down your shelving or side table.

An english ivy offering a splash of greenery


Benefits of English ivy:

  • Can help to reduce mould in your home, ideal for older properties in the winter months.
  • Purifies the air of harmful substances including benzene and formaldehyde.
  • Enjoys direct sunlight, making it a cheerful addition to any windowsill.
An usual looking swiss cheese plant leaf

Monstera (Swiss Cheese Plant)

This popular plant has gained Instagram fame on many home accounts, with many people opting to feature it in their home and enjoy its unusual appearance and leaves that look like Swiss cheese. It originates from the tropical forests of southern Mexico and can instantly liven up any space. Monstera plants can grow tall and act as a statement accessory wherever you decide to feature yours.



Benefits of Monstera plant:

  • Considered to be the most effective plant at reducing air pollution due to their large leaves.
  • Loves direct sunlight and doesn’t need watering too often.
  • Can grow very big, creating the perfect statement accessory - but make sure you have plenty of room!
How to add plants while on a budget

Indoor house plants are very on trend at the moment, which in turn has made them a little pricier than you’d perhaps expect. However, these are the best places to get them for less:

Friends and family - If someone you know has a plant that can be propagated – so more plants can be made from cuttings – then ask if they can arrange this. That means you’ll get plants for free! Spider plants are one of the easiest to propagate, as well as succulents. This is a great guide on the types of plants that can be propagated and how to do it.

Supermarkets - Instead of heading to the garden centre, consider taking a look at the plant section in your local supermarket. You may find one for less there – Aldi and Lidl in particular offer a great range of seasonal plants for a lower price.

Industrial edge

Industrial vibes are easy to introduce to any space but accessories that match this theme look particularly strong in the living room, as they contrast with soft sofa textures and fluffy rugs.

A bright and open home office, with an industrial style desk

Accessories to create an industrial look:

  • Hammered metal - metal pots housing green plants or decorative metal bowls sit well on coffee tables, adding a little industrial edge to any space. Light fittings featuring hammered metal shades look incredible when hung above dining tables and can be paired with complementing metal framed mirrors on bare walls.
  • Hairpin leg furniture - the trend for hairpin leg furniture boomed in 2019 and is an easy way of introducing an industrial theme into your home. You can even swap out existing table legs for hairpin ones, as these are available to buy from DIY stores and online sites such as Amazon.
How to add an industrial vibe while on a budget

Shop for metal - Head to your nearby charity shop and look for homeware at a lower cost that matches this theme. Galvanised metal vases, coasters or even metal picture frames allow you to add an industrial edge on a smaller budget.

Expose pipes - For many of us, copper pipes are used in our heating and plumbing, snaking behind radiators and up walls. Consider leaving these exposed to add an industrial vibe – just ensure the paintwork around them is neat!



A seasonally decorated living room, with bright lights and festive accents
Saving tip

08


How to decorate your home for the seasons on a budget



We all love to decorate our homes for the season but it can feel expensive when you consider the need to pick up themed decorations each time they roll around.

Here are our top tips for decorating your home for Easter, Halloween and Christmas if you don’t want to splash the cash on new decorative items.

Easter

Bring a little slice of this springtime holiday into your home with these cheap and easy decorating tips.

A collection of bright, white & yellow daffodils

Add daffodils

A bunch of bright yellow daffodils in a small vase adds a pop of colour and signals that spring has arrived, with all the fun that comes with it. Feature yours on the mantelpiece or kitchen worktop to greet you each time you enter a room.

Price: 50p per bunch in your local supermarket.

Get playful with pom poms

Pom poms are fun, fuzzy and can be made in a range of colours. Plus, they provide us with a great way of being creative and you can get the whole family involved making these sweet decorations.

Make pom pom garlands and drape them over the stair bannisters across your mantlepiece or weave them between the condiments on the dining room table to add a splash of colour to that Easter dinner party.

Follow our steps below or check out the video above.

You will need
Yarn in a colour of your choice
Pom pom maker
Twine
Scissors
Large needle

Step-by-step guide

01

Step 1 - Cut a length of twine around 2m long, you should be able to fit around 8-10 pom poms on this.

02

Step 2 - Take your pom pom maker and wrap your yarn around it on each side.

03

Step 3 - Tie a piece of yarn around the pom pom maker and pull tight.

04

Step 4 - Cut the wound pom pom to create a fluffy ball, leaving the two ends of yarn you used to tie the pom pom together with, then it’s time to start cutting your pom pom down. Keep trimming until it’s round and neat.

05

Step 5 - Take the two ends of yarn that you’ve left and tie these tight around your twine. Keep doing this with each pom pom, at an equal distance along the twine to create your garland.

06

Step 6 - You’re finished! Hang your garlands around your home to add a little Easter spirit to your space.

Price: Yarn £3.40, Pom Pom Maker £5.00, Twine £3.50

Total: £11.90

An easter tree made on a budget

How to make an easter tree on a budget

  • Don't buy a store-bought tree - You can make your own tree from a large branch with a number of smaller offshoots or a sturdy plant such as pussy willow. You could spray the branches a different colour to match your decor.
  • Make your egg decorations out of cardboard - Take an old box or piece of card and cut several egg shapes into this. Cut out and decorate then attach a looped piece of ribbon so you can hang these from your tree.

Price: Free!

Halloween

Love it or hate it, Halloween has become a popular celebration in the UK, especially if you have kids. Here's how to add a little spookiness to your home for less.

A homemade purple spooky wreath with fun googly eyes

Spooky wreath

Let everyone know you welcome Trick or Treaters with this scarily cute monster wreath that you can hang on your door. With its fun googly eyes and playful texture, you can bring it out again and again to enjoy each October.

You will need
Polystyrene wreath (35cm)
Feather boa (2m-4m)
Hot glue gun or superglue
Googly eyes (40mm)
Ribbon

Step-by-step guide

01

Step 1 - Take your ribbon and tie this around the wreath, leaving a long loop.

02

Step 2 - Take your feather boa and start to stick this down onto your polystyrene wreath.

03

Step 3 - Ensure the front of the wreath is covered.

04

Step 4 - Start to stick on your googly eyes around the wreath, don't worry about being neat - make sure they look a little wild.

05

Step 5 - Hang on your front door and enjoy!

Price: Feather boa £2.89, Googly eyes £4.69, Wreath £4.40

Total: £11.98

An effective batty centrepiece decoration containing little bats on spooky branches

Batty centrepiece

Swap your Easter tree for this creepy feature. Sweet little bats on spooky branches popped in a vase and featured in your living room or on the dining table when guests come over, is the easiest but most effective Halloween decoration you can make.
Here's how:

You will need
Branches - Pick some up while out walking.
Black card (choose glittery card for a fun effect)
Cardboard
Scissors
Hot glue gun
Vase

Step-by-step guide

01

Step 1 - Draw a bat template on your cardboard and cut this out. Use a picture online to trace onto the cardboard if you're not much of an artist.

02

Step 2 - Draw around the template and cut several bat shapes out of your black card.

03

Step 3 - Arrange your branches and use your hot glue gun to stick your cut out bats on these intermittently throughout.

04

Step 4 - Once the glue is dry, pop your branches in your vase and add them to your room.

Price: Free!

Christmas

A recycled kilner jar transformed into a festive lantern

Festive recycled lanterns

Who’d have thought those old bean cans or soup tins would come in handy at Christmas? Save up metal tins, soak off the labels and then use them to create festive lanterns you can dot around your home and feature tealight candles in. They look particular effective lined up along your Christmas dining table set up.

You will need
Tin can - thoroughly cleaned and with the label removed
Drill
Marker pen
Sandpaper
Teatowel
Tealight candles

Step-by-step guide

01

Step 1 - Take your marker pen and create a festive shape, with dots on the surface of the tin, this will mark where you drill your holes.

02

Step 2 - Place your tin on the tea towel to hold it in place, then carefully drill over the marked dots to make holes.

03

Step 3 - Once the holes are made, rub the interior of the tin with sandpaper to remove any rough edges made by the drill.

04

Step 4 - Wipe the tin clean of any debris then pop a tea light candle in and enjoy!

Price: Free!

Gift wrap bow wreath

This wreath is so easy you’ll be making some for friends and family to feature around their homes too! Bright and beautiful, a wreath made up of bows that would usually feature on a Christmas present is an easy DIY craft that adds a festive touch to your home, all while sticking to a smaller budget. A quick trip to the local hobby store and card shop is all that’s needed to gather the necessary supplies.


You will need
Polystyrene wreath (35cm)
100 x decorative bows
Hot glue gun
Ribbon or twine (for hanging)

How-to guide

This craft is as simple as sticking your bows around your wreath until it is covered completely. Don’t be afraid to mix colours and sizes for an interesting finish. Any bows that are leftover can simply be used when wrapping up those presents!

Price: Wreath £4.40, Decorative Bows £2.00

A magical marker added to a window using washable marker pen

Magical markers

A super simple but always effective trick is to use a washable marker pen and add some festive doodles to glass and mirrors. Snowflakes on gold framed mirrors look effortlessly pretty or you can add them to picture frames and windows.

You will need
White washable marker
Window cleaner
Microfibre cloth

How-to guide

Take some time to add delicate snowflake shapes and perhaps a festive bauble or two in the corners of mirrors and windows. It’s the ideal budget decoration if you want to create a subtle but festive vibe in your home.

Price: £4.00

Are you ready?

Ready to renovate your home on a budget? Follow these tips and enjoy a beautiful home for less.

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