1. Change around your furniture
Before you call in the heavy lifters, draw your room to scale on a piece of paper, do the same with your main pieces of furniture on a different sheet, cut them out and see if you can make them work in a different configuration. Perhaps think about changing the focus from, say, the TV to a window with a pretty view or the fireplace.
2. Add some accessories
Just as statement jewellery can lift an outfit, cushions and textiles can transform a room. Try Spotlight or No Chintz for a host of fabrics to make a throw or envelope cushion – a simple sewing project which can be run up in an afternoon.
3. Create your own artwork
Frame keepsakes to make a personal montage, or source a cheap canvas from a craft store. Try sample pots or spray paint for swirls of freehand colour, or stretch a length of fabric over the frame for instant wow.
4. Revitalise tired furniture with a fresh coat of paint.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paints can be used with very little or no preparation, come in a range of French provincial style shades and give great coverage. Colourwise, white is timeless and goes with everything, while black is having a moment, and is great for giving a traditional piece a more modern look.
5. Invest in a rug.
They are less about softness underfoot and more about defining spaces and adding personality. Try Temple & Webster for a fabulous range in all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns, and at very reasonable prices.
6. Max up on mirrors.
The secret weapon of interior designers, large mirrors reflect light and make a space appear bright and airy. Try auction houses for pieces that can be updated with a coat of paint.
7. Fashion a feature wall.
Use bold paint, a decal or wallpaper – it’s a little work for a big result. Try Pickawall for wallcoverings that can really make a statement.
8. Introduce living colour.
Potted plants last much longer than cut flowers, and will add bursts of beautiful greenery and even colour. Spring bulbs such as hyacinths make a lovely display and deliver a wonderful fragrance as a bonus.
9. Shake up your shelves.
Rearrange photos, objects, books and ornaments to devise new vignettes; the stylist’s trick is to group in odd numbers, and to stick to a limited palette to give the look cohesion.
10. Look to your lighting.
A few strategically placed lamps can work wonders to give a room a completely new feel. If you’re pushed for table space, consider a floor lamp, perhaps paired with an armchair to create a reading corner; try Beacon Lighting for a broad range.