When I first moved into The Pink House I begged, steeled and borrowed all kinds of furniture to fill the house. I sat on a deck chair for weeks until I bought an Ikea futon that would double as a bed for when people would stay (oh those were the days).
It took me a long time to get the house as it is now and it still isn't finished. I'm not sure either of them will ever really be finished. The joy of making a house a home is continuing to add things over time that have sentimental value, that makes you happy when you stop to look at them.
Whether you are renting, just bought your first home or feel like giving your home a facelift here are my small tips to make a big difference without too much money or effort.
I've said it before and I will say it again no home is complete without a copious amount of cushions and throws. They instantly lift the corner of a room if they are placed in baskets, they add texture and intrigue to a bed or sofa and add warmth to a bench in a hallway. The more the merrier I say, you can mix and match styles, shapes and colours to suit all decor and you don't have to pay a fortune for them either. Quilted throws are also in at the moment, I am on the lookout for one for the spare room bed, they are comfy and perfect for snuggling into. You can change your cushions seasonally is you like which will make the room look like it has been decorated even when it hasn't. They can also make a room look different depending on how you style them, so try some different options to spruce up your bedroom or lounge
Change your cupboard and door handles to something more appealing or interesting; by doing so they will look more bespoke and not something that came off the shelf from Ikea or B&Q. I have changed all the door handles and cupboard knobs at The Pink house. It is one of the first things I look at when visiting a new clients house that I am going restyle, it makes such a difference without a large budget required.
Another good soft furnishing tip is to buy a spare piece of carpet and get them to bind it to turn it into a rug, instead of forking out a load of money on a large rug. Rugs can be ridiculously expensive and although you can sometimes get away with layering smaller similar rugs over the top of one another, this still can end up being quite pricey. So instead of spending a fortune on a new top of the range carpet or a Persian rug, get in touch with your local carpet shop (small independent shops are better) and see if they have any offcuts that they can bind for you.
I know I have spoken about this before on my blog; without a doubt, art elevates a home. It doesn't have to be expensive you just have to like it. The good thing about art is it comes in so many different forms, from posters to postcards, drawings to oil paintings there are a wide variety out there for everyone's budget. You could even a have a go at creating your own art, Harriet De Winton does some wonderful watercolour tutorials or pressed flower art likes these from Flowers and Press, or even follow these tutorials for a stunning macrame, which I would love for the guest room at The Pink House.
Paint the radiators the same colour as the walls or a striking contrasting colour like I have done at The Pink House. It turns an everyday necessity into something more visually appealing. It is quick and easy to do and makes such an impact on the room.
Other options to spruce up your space; are to add lamps and lots of them, play around by switching different ones on at any given time. A dark corner in a room can make the room look larger, so you don't always need to have all your lamps on at once. I love just having my neon sign on in the lounge at The Pink House; it makes the whole room turn pink.
Plants are also a great option whether they are real or faux; they can hang from the ceiling, drape off a shelf or brighten up a dark corner. I love to keep it simple and clean looking with greenery; a lovely bay tree in the kitchen, a bunch of blueberry stems in a vase or a few small ferns on a shelf or coffee table.
Baskets are an all-time favourite for me; I use them to house plants, blankets, cushions, books, cosmetics, the list goes on; I love them. They organise a space so effortlessly and look beautiful and come in a range of finishes and colours.
Hang your kitchen/utility wear; that's right you heard me. Instead of hiding everything away in drawers fix a metal rod or hooks to your wall and hang your utensils, apron, pot and pans to them. It is also trendy to display your decorative plates and coloured glassware as art along with chopping boards, so get styling those kitchens up.
Finally, paint your woodwork; while you have your paintbrush out for the radiator's give your doors skating and architrave a paint too. It will certainly freshen up the house, I promise you; it certainly brightened up my stairway and dining room after I painted my doors pink and changed the handles.
So remember to lift a room; you need to bring entertainment to the eye; by doing some or all of the above you most certainly will achieve that.