Vamp up your home without making a single purchase

Time to be smart, don’t rush to the sale and buy because it has a good price — the sale will be back in a few months. It is better to analyse what you have and make the best of it, you can always look at buying new items in three months if it is really necessary. Determine which items within the room(s ) you want to redecorate can be reused, which should be refurbished, and which should be donated to charity or thrown away. Remove the items from the room(s ), putting them into three categories — re-use, refurbish, and donate or toss.

Here are some useful steps to redecorate without buying anything.

Step one: Repaint the room with left over paint, or just touch up where the walls or trim are marred using leftover paint from that room.

Step two: Move furniture. If you have decided to switch pieces from other rooms that you are redecorating, now is the time to accomplish the switch. Move old or worn furniture to a rarely used room. Separate a pit group, putting some of the pieces in one room and some in another.

Step three: Why not move curtains from one room to another, or use the existing ones in a new way? For example, use old drapes to make valances for existing ones or, add flower or greenery ropes to the top of old drapes to give them a new look and feel.

Step four: Swap linens from one room to another or use existing fabric and/or trim to give existing linens a new feel. For example, use fabric and trim you already have on hand to make an accent topper or runner to place over an existing tablecloth.

Step five: Switch the wall art from one room to another, or just move what you have in the room to new positions. If you have some frames you never put up, remove existing ones and use them; it will create a whole new feel, then change again in six months

Step six: Use leftover paint to paint old accessories such as candleholders, shelves, or knick knack items, or move these items from around from room to room. Cluster knick knacks together to form a mini collection. Use existing silk flowers or greenery to accent certain pieces.

Step seven: Use books from a bookshelf to accent knick knacks, candles, and figurines to create a new focus to the piece.

Step eight: Use slipcovers to give a new look to sofas or armchairs that are past their prime.

Step nine: Repurposing items can change things as well. Maybe there's a chair in a guest bedroom that would complete the look you're creating in the living room, or maybe you could get that water stained coffee table restored.

Step 10: Save the planet! Chances are you have quite a few plants that might not be doing too well stacked in a corner somewhere. Scatter them around the house for positive energy and give them appropriate care instead of buying new ones.

Winning mirrors

Without painting or putting up wallpaper, you can change the look of any room in your home by just adding mirrors or using some you already have.

• Lighten up a dark room or hallway by reflecting natural light, as well as artificial lighting.

• Add depth, width, and length to rooms by adding mirrors to short or narrow walls.

• Cover up imperfections on your walls.

• Cluster mirrors in interesting arrangements.

• Use mirrored table runners and placemats.

Top decluttering tips

If it ain’t broken, don’t throw it.

For example cover a water stained coffee table with a nice tablecloth or get it restored for the fraction of the price of a new one. An old pine bookshelf can be painted cream and duck egg blue, giving you a New England style.

Declutter small areas. Say you decide to sort out the press under the stairs. Set a timer for 15 minutes, put on some upbeat music, and you’re ready to go. Then completely empty it and give it a quick clean. As you pick up each item ask yourself, why am I keeping this?

Storage: This is when your best investment is not a new piece of furniture but a storage unit. Whether it is a pantry or a DIY cupboard in your utility, the more space you have to store objects the more you will use them.

Sell it: If it isn’t broken but you still don’t know what to do with it, put it on eBay or in the classified ads. Then reward yourself with a brand new, useful, purchase.

Swap it: What you want to get rid of might be of interest to one of your friends or family, who might also want to dispose of household items. See if you can organise a swap that will make everyone happy.

Let it go: A home is like your life; your tastes change, so don’t feel guilty of letting go those gifts that have been in the cupboard for 10 years. The room you will create by decluttering will generate a more relaxing and renewed energy.

Laurent Billiet



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