Little touches can make all the difference – and you really don’t have to spend a lot, says Sam Wylie-Harris.
Styling up your favourite space might take a little inspiration and creative know-how – but it really doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
In fact, once you’ve honed in on a few functional pieces, jazzy textiles and quirky decos, a swift update or quick-fix refresh can be much more playful and fun than blowing the budget on statement furnishings.
“Updating your home doesn’t have to be costly; in fact, there are plenty of simple updates that can be achieved on a budget,” says Claire Hornby, head of creative, Barker and Stonehouse.
“Whilst some might think you have to completely overhaul your home in order to give it a fresh lease of life, adding new pieces of furniture, or even accessories, can inspire a whole new trend for your home.
“Wall art is a great way to inject a sense of personality – by mixing and matching different prints, personal photos and mirrors you can not only bring a plain wall to life but also create the illusion of space with the use of mirrors,” adds Hornby.
Another approach is to introduce some new soft furnishings, such as cushions or rugs. And if you’re looking to make a statement, a bold pattern or colour can go a long way.
Finally, for many of us, introducing elements of natural life into the home is of the utmost importance. As Hornby points out: “Adorning your home with plants not only gives your room a lift but it also helps to improve your overall wellbeing.”
We trawled the shops for this season’s best bargain buys for a speedy home update…
£10 and under
Aldi Limited Edition Oud Bergamot and Honey and Nectarine Candles and Diffusers, £3.99 each, Aldi (in store from Aug 29)
Scented candles are one of life’s little luxuries, and we love Aldi’s classy new addition.
John Lewis & Partners Artificial Ferns in Hanging Glass Vase – 23cm, £6, John Lewis
Tempting to have a trio of these… Loop a ribbon and hang them high or simply place across a mantelpiece or windowsill.
George Home Lips, Eyes and Mono Geo Cushions, £6 each, Monochrome Zig Zag Cushion, £7, Direct.asda
The playful cushions strike just the right balance, and the iconic lip print screams designer without the hefty price tag.
Set of 2 Bronze Monkey Coat Hooks, £9, Dunelm
These whimsy brass hooks will play up a dull wall and can be used to hold boho baskets and summer straws – woven hats are a great prop and can be hung on bright string.
Sculpted Vase – Blue, £10, Barker and Stonehouse
A basic blue vase could be filled with wild flowers, wooden spoons and funky faux blooms to suit the season or your colour scheme.
£25 and under
Global Nomad 6 Compartment Wooden Shelf, £14.99, Homesense stores
Keep those summer vibes alive with this rustic shelf, which can also double as a mood board.
Sainsbury’s Home Kanso Living Bedroom Collection: Blue Sticks Double Bedlinen Set, £14; Blue Geo Double Bedlinen Set, £21; Monochrome Crewel Cushion, £16; Concrete Planter, £16, Sainsbury’s (in store from Sep 1)
A one-stop shop for every room in the home, we love this eye-catching geometric pattern, which is bang on trend for the new season.
Tulum Wall Banner, £20, Barker and Stonehouse
Macramé is having a very fashionable moment. These tactile textiles double up as works of art – and are versatile enough to hang anywhere.
Botanica Opulence Green Velvet Stool with Gold Legs, £24.99, TK Maxx stores
Gorgeous and glammy, this velvet stool looks so luxe, especially in this soft, sorbet shade.
George Home Gold Gin Glass 2 Pack, £7; Gold Wine Glass 2 Pack, £6; Gold Geo Hurricane Vase, £6; Timeless Gin Glass, £2; Timeless Coupe, £2; Timeless Tumbler, £1.50; Timeless Hiball, £1.50; Metallic Geo Dinner Set 12 Piece, £25, Asda (available from September)
Striking cut crystal, smart stemware and gold accents; this glassware and tableware offers fine dining on a beer budget.
£45 and under
Dax Side Table (H48cm x W45cm), £30, Matalan
Bright as a buttercup, this retro looking stool can double up as a side table or book stand.
Voyage of Discovery Wallpaper Mural, from £32 per m2, Wallsauce.com
A brilliant backdrop to build on (you can start with a small image), made to measure murals can be tailored to fit your scheme. And some are so magical, armchair travellers can unearth a fantasy world from a choice of more than a million mural images.
Set of 4 Bamboo Baskets, £39, J D Williams
Having a clear out, sorting and organising ‘to get the look’ can be as much a stress-buster as going to the gym, and these bamboo baskets bring an artisan quality to home storage.
MOMA 1949 Canvas – Black and White, £45, Barker and Stonehouse
A timeless monochrome print makes for an instant update, especially if you style this 1950s portrait with natural materials and clean lines. Otherwise, think more is more and prop it on a shelf unit with a collection of vintage perfume bottles.