Category: Decor
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Home improvements on a budget.

Every single time I go out of the house I end up buying some kind of homeware, whether it is a new cute ornament or a new bookcase, it has to be done. Especially when the sales are on I can't help but buy things in the hope that they will look good in my home, there isn't usually much thought into what I am going to buy and why. But recently been looking at other ways to improve my house, such as making over the walls and floors and I thought I'd share with you my top tips for home improvements on a budget with you which I have come across whilst attempting to do this to my own home, let me know in the comments if you have any ideas which have helped you save money when making home improvements.

Look around:
Like with most things, the key is always to look around before purchasing, and you can often get better deals online than you can in stores. When it comes to tiles although you get to see them in person etc, it's worth purchasing online as it tends to work out cheaper, also you can order samples of them to get the look and the feel of whether you'd want them within your home. For me, I'd love to purchase some tiles for a feature wall in my bathroom or kitchen and I've seen the most amazing decorative stone tiles which when looking in stores or on other online sites these work out considerably cheaper. 

Search for ex-display items: 
In some shops such as Ikea, there is a section which is full of ex-display items, and they're a huge discount off the original price. Some of the items are covered in stains or are a bit broken, but you can also find items with small marks on them, I purchased a bucket chair a few years ago with a small rip on it which is hardly noticeable and it was 75% off, which was a mega saving! I've also purchased a variety of blankets from there as they're pretty much new. 

Wait for the sales: 
Again, with the same as most things waiting for the sales can result in a massive saving, it's worth going at the end of the 'season' for some small items, but for larger items such as kitchen units and baths these seem to be massively discounted in the new year when they bring in a whole new selection of items for the new year. It's worth doing your research on when the discounts are due to take place and which stores offer the biggest discounts. 

Change the smaller things first: 
It is amazing how much just a small change can make to a room, and often changing one or two things can give a room a whole new look! Things such as skirting boards, repainting the radiator or bringing some new colours into a room can make a huge difference and costs significantly less than all new furniture and gives it a new lease of life. I love to add new decorative items to a room when I fancy a change, such as flowers and a new throw, it always makes me feel better about a room, even if it is just for a while. 

Upcycle your items: 
I didn't realise how much of a great feeling it is to upcycle an old piece of furniture and turning it into a new one, you can use old pieces of furniture to build a new piece or just take an old item and make it like new. Great items to do this to are old chairs as you can change the fabric on them or tables as spray painting them gives them a whole new look and you can even change the legs on some tables. 

What are your top tips for making home improvements on a budget? 

*This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts are my own :)

Top tips to optimise a small room!

Are you living in a house with a small room? It might be nice and cosy during the winter months, and it might be a bit of a squeeze if you have guests over, but have you ever thought about making your living space look a little bigger? Don’t worry, there’s no moving house or knocking down walls involved! Check out these home style tips to make your room look and feel a little bigger than before!

Your Walls:
Dark colours and busy wallpaper are definitely a designers best friend, but they do tend to make a room look and feel smaller. If you stick to paler colours like cream, beige, pale greys and blues it’ll make any room appear wider and brighter. Don’t forget your skirting boards too! A modern style skirting board will make any room look brighter and airier than before.

Use mirrors:
It’s an old designer trick, but it does actually work! You don’t have to recreate a fun house, wall-to-wall style room to create the effect either. Try positioning one large, full-length mirror against a key wall or create a salon-esq feel with more than one mirror on a wall to create a statement piece.

The illusion of height:
Yes, you’ve been advised to keep your walls pale and light to create the illusion of space. But what about the illusion of height. To make your room seem higher and taller, consider painting the ceiling a darker colour than the walls It not only draws the eye upward, but it creates depth.

Your furniture:
You might be under the impression that having small furniture in a small space is the best way to create the illusion of a room. Well, in actual fact a large statement sofa or cabinet can do that for you. It leaves the space around it clear and makes the room look more spacious than it really is. Also, be wary of the type of furniture you purchase. If it’s square or boxy then it’ll look larger in a smaller space. Try to focus on furniture that has small, sleek arms or none at all. Visually, these pieces will look smaller than their square, boxed off counterparts.

Your rug:
Choosing the right sized rug is really important if you’re hoping to create a more spacious look. Understandably, most homeowners go for a smaller sized rug but this actually has the opposite effect – making the room look disjointed and squared off. Always go for a larger sized rug, and if you’re unsure of the size, always go with the idea that you all the legs of the main pieces of furniture in the room should be sitting on it. The front legs at least.

Say no to clutter:

Even the largest of rooms can seem smaller if they’re filled with clutter. So now is the time to have a good clear out. If you still find you have a lot of items hanging around then invest in some new storage solutions to keep them safe but out of sight. 

*This is a sponsored post, however, I have had full edtorial ownership over this and made it my own!

Flamingo Lights, Rose Gold Mirrors and everything cactus!

I think I have officially become an adult when I get more excited about switching a night out for a night in with a new duvet and a documentary. Instead of going round shops looking for new clothes, I usually go to the home section, a place which 5 years ago when my mum would take me to, I'd spend at least half of the time in there moaning about how bored I was, constantly querying how she could find this fun and who wants to look at clocks for 45 minutes. I will still maintain that I am not that bad yet. But buying new things to make your house look better makes me *happy* Living in rented accommodation can make it harder to make your place your own, but thank god for soft furnishings and the variety of them around, it makes it so much easier to make a place feel more like your own. I am a huge fan of new bedding, I must buy a new duvet cover at least once a month (yep I am that bad) recently I was in Trentham Gardens and came across the Julian Charles store, looking at their lush duvets I fell in love especially with this Paradise Bedding set. As it's officially now Spring (although the snow doesn't make it feel that way, please stay away until Christmas) I decided to create a few mood boards of styles I am *loving* this season and it's been a while since I created a wishlist styled post, so hopefully you enjoy this post and I would love to know what trends you are currently into. 

The pretty in pink trend:

Pink is one of my favourite colours and I am always drawn towards pink, these quirky pink picks, are a great way to add an element of fun to your home. Win. With a statement front room like mine (it's pink and grey) these pieces would fit perfectly. 

Shop all things pink from Amara (Images taken from the Amara website)

The cactus trend: 
If you haven't seen this trend yet, where have you been? I believe it's been growing for some time, with myself also falling head over heels with the trend. With everything from cactus printed bedding to having an actual cactus within your house or in my case several of them. There are so many other cactus-themed items I currently have my mind set on. 

Shop all things Cacti at Sass & Belle. (Images from the Sass & Belle website)

The Copper Trend:

Copper is such a pretty trend and every time I see something new in a copper shade I automatically am drawn to it. There are so many different ways you can use copper and it is great for pretty much every room in the house. 

Shop all of your Copper needs from George (Images from the George @ Asda website)

What are your go-to trends currently? 

*This post is in collaboration with Julian Charles.