Brighten up your home on a budget!

The sun is out and everyone is feeling bright and happy. But with the sun shining outside, it can sometimes make inside look very drab and dreary. So just like everyone is giving their wardrobe a summer makeover, why not treat your home to some tlc.

Quick Move Now spoke to Freya Barton, a Berkshire-based designer who set up The English Cloth Company, about some of the little things that can make a big difference to your house.

There are countless things you can do to give your home a small facelift, especially before family and friends come to stay for the holidays. You don’t need to be able to afford expensive interior designers to get a look you are happy with.

Here are the suggestions Freya has for sprucing up your home on a budget.

  • Find out where your nearest trade paint store is. It is likely to be located on an industrial estate in your nearest town. This is where the painters and decorators go to get paint and it will cost less than a DIY store.
  • Don’t be afraid to shop online for fabrics. Websites like Ebay are a great place to pick up a bargain; often a remnant left over from when a stylist has done up a house will crop up at a fraction of the price. Additionally, it can work out much cheaper to buy an old chair or sofa and fabric from Ebay and have it recovered. There are many good upholsterers around and you could end up with your ideal sofa that no one else will have at less than or the same as an uninspiring off the peg sofa price. The same applies to curtains as well.
  • Seconds all the way. Buying seconds applies to so many things and all it takes is a quick call to the manufacturer. We have bought seconds kitchen and bathroom tiles, fabric and kitchenware. It doesn’t take much for these things to be rejected, perhaps a colour issue or slight mark so, unless you are extremely particular, you will not notice.
  • Paint, paint, paint. If you have a tired kitchen it can be totally transformed by painting the cupboards. If you need new kitchen work tops go straight to the manufacturers, after all, this is who kitchen design companies use, but they add on their profit on top!
  • Buy the best you can afford (even if you need to buy second hand) to avoid having to buy again in the near future. Poor quality flat pack furniture has a short life expectancy before either going out of fashion or breaking. You are better to buy an older, more solid piece of furniture, and give it a face lift.
  • Can’t afford to change the carpet? Get rid of it, hire a sanding machine and freshen up the floorboards or buy a lovely big rug. Painting wooden floors is also an option, although you will need to use special floor paint.
  • The devil is in the detail and there are certain elements of a room that generally go unnoticed but can be the difference between a finish looking expensive and luxurious or not. These include the skirting boards (the taller the better); artwork (pick up some original work from local artists); curtains (the thicker the better and make sure they go down to the floor, ideally pooling slightly for that luxurious look; feather cushion inners (these can be bought so cheaply but look so much more stylish than polyester filler); lights (stick with chrome for a slick look and match with door handles, window latches and taps. Also use lamps and wall lights for a more subdued effect); and tablecloths (always have one on your kitchen table).


By using a bit of imagination, you can brighten up your home so it’s as shiny inside as it is outside in the sun.

This content was written by Quick Move Now
Published on 10th July 2013
Last updated on 24th April 2017

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