40 easy style updates: Part one

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  • From best buys and clever tricks to mini décor projects… this is our roundup of the simplest, quickest ways to make your home more beautiful now

    1. Make your bedroom oh so cosy

    Paint a band of dusky grey behind the bed for warm colour that doesn’t overwhelm the room. Then switch cotton sheets for flannel and load the bed with throws and cushions to create a cosy nest designed to lie-ins.

    Karstead bed linen,
    £80 for a double duvet cover, Gray & Willow range, House of Fraser

    2. Luxe up your cutlery

    Make dinner with friends a more glam affair with silverware in a gold or copper finish.
    Available at House of Fraser or Habitat

    3. Use a cool coaster to mark your spot

    Prevent teacup rings on your coffee table and make it clear which corner of the sofa is yours, with a chic alphabet coaster emblazoned with your initial.

    Marble alphabet coaster,
    £8, Oliver Bonas

    4. Get a quirky look with cork wallpaper

    Textured wallpapers have been around for yonks and now cork is having a moment. It’s an easy way to stay in neutral, while putting a little fashion on your walls.

    Natural Textures cork-effect wallpaper, £19.99 per roll, Albany range, Wallpaperdirect


    5. Put on a floor show

    Spruce up bare wood floorboards with a paint treatment using a large-format stencil and black spray paint. Cheaper than new flooring and a great way to disguise past-their-best boards.

    Fennel stencil,
    £52.45, The Stencil Library

    6. Use a softer shade of whitePure white gloss paint can give woodwork a bit of a grey tinge, especially in winter light, so make it easier on the eye with a yellow-tinted eggshell, like Little Greene’s Slaked Lime, £27 for 1ltr.

    7. Revamp your dining table with a £5 fix

    This simple runner will update your dining table in an instant. We think it looks like something from posh fabric company Ian Mankin but it’s actually a bargain buy from Wilko!

    Ribbed table runner, £5, Wilko

    8. Brighten a gloomy corner with flowers

    Any citrus-yellow flowers (we used mimosa) will transform a light-starved corner and add a little everyday happiness to your room.

    9. Fit warmer light bulbsAudit your light bulbs and swap clear bulbs that give a white or bluish light for ones labelled ‘warm white’, for a softer illumination and a cosier feel. Look on the box for a colour temperature of 2, 700k or 3000k.

    10. Paint inside your kitchen cupboards

    Fancy a change without replacing furniture? Paint the interior of glass fronted cabinets a contrasting shade – the sharper the contrast, the more standout the effect. Display crockery inside and it’ll pop against the colour.

    Cupboard exterior painted in Gallant Grey Endurance+; interior painted in Soft Cinnebar 5 Endurance
    +;both £29.99 for 2.5lte, Dulux.

    11. Create a beautiful fireplace

    If you’re lucky enough to have one, make the fireplace the hero of the room- and a place that draws everyone together. Paint the chimney breast a deep shade and display treasures on the mantel.

    Chimneybreast painted in Dark Lead Colour Intelligent Eggshell, £27 for 1ltr, Little Green

    12. Curb daily clutter

    Tuck a couple of big, wide-mouthed baskets under the coffee table in the living room and use them to stow papers, magazines and discarded toys until you have time to sort them.

    Diamond seagrass baskets, £40 for two, House of Fraser

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