At The Lifestyle Edit, we treat our homes much like we do our wardrobes. By this, we mean that in order to have and maintain the homes that we want – i.e. their look, feel and overall mood – without having to call our other-halves/parents to bail us out, there are certain rules we try to follow.
The first, is that there are basics: your jeans, shift dresses and white shirts. Must haves. When it comes to interiors, this is the shell. A good wall colour, the right flooring, essential furniture. Then, we build to investment buys: that handbag that took months to pay off, an exceptional pair of suede boots. In your home, these are the pieces you likely had gifted to you; think a luxe rug, artwork, or that Nespresso machine you begged for when you started your first job. So far, so thrifty, we’ve generally coloured inside the lines when it comes to the finances. But what about those fizz buys? That third section of your wardrobe you’re like to feel most guilty about; buys brought on by a sudden urge for a seasonal update. It works the same in your sitting room, too.
As humans, we need change. One cannot look at the same shade of Elephant’s Breath forever, in the same way that you can’t wear your navy cashmere everyday (albeit, we have tried.) This innate desire doesn’t always (read: ever) come cheap though. The choice is either to reign it in, or find a way to make it work for you.
Now, this is easy enough with your clothes, because fizz buys can be contained to the high street. Shopping responsibly for the home though, is trickier. Perhaps our schemes are just too grand, but redecorating is regularly abandoned at the thought of the cost, and the result is our homes feeling a little flat after a while. But, says Josephine Bennett, Head of Design for Home at Laura Ashley and Kristine from The Painted Hive, this need not be the case. These are their tips for keeping things fresh, without breaking the bank.
Josephine Bennett, Laura Ashley
“Add colour: If your home is looking tired and in need of a refresh, painting your walls in a vibrant or pastel shade is a great solution. Whether you’re looking to completely revamp your colour scheme or simply mix up your wall space, painting creates a fresh and inexpensive look which is easy, quick and cost effective.”
“Wallpaper can also make a statement and is perfect for a simple yet effective way of coordinating rooms. If you are feeling brave, you can also try opting for something slightly bolder such as our Beatrice Cyclamen Floral wallpaper to create a feature wall.”
“Revamp existing furniture: Don’t forget to look around to see what you already own, as restoring existing pieces is one of the best ways to decorate on a smaller budget.Tired looking furniture can be transformed with a fresh lick of our furniture paint or decorative paint rollers. Furniture can also be reupholstered with a choice of our fabrics – this adds a fun element to redecorating, as well as being cost effective.”
“Accessorize: Filling your home with decorative accessories is a way to add your personality on a budget. In the lounge or bedroom, a mixture of cushions – floral, patterned or textured – can be coordinated with the colour scheme you already have in your home. Try this season’s new faux fur trend or a contemporary floral print and bring life to new areas.”
“Lighting will also enhance a mood so by changing a lamp shade to a different colour or design, such as our Cranberry shade with Wisteria Floral Inner, is an instant update for the autumn and can make a subtle but noticeable difference to any room.”
Kristine Franklin, The Painted Beehive:
“Accessories are also a big one for me. A tired, dated or basic space can be given an incredible lift with some thoughtful styling. I like the idea of de-accessorising a room so only the “bones” remain and then re-introducing decorative elements in a fresh and considered way which compliments the scheme and injects character. Keep costs down by refurbishing items you already own (such as painting an old vase or hand stamping a plain cushion cover), using inexpensive vintage finds (like old books or unique objects) and borrowing from nature (maybe fill a big glass jar with clipped foliage or pack a lovely bowl with lemons).”
“Roll up your sleeves. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, though if you’re serious about creating a gorgeous space on a tight budget, some DIY is pretty much inevitable. Whether it’s upcyling an item of furniture, creating some original artwork, hanging your own wallpaper or sewing new cushion covers, not only will some DIY save you cash, it also provides an excellent avenue for self expression…and is super rewarding.”
“Buy second-hand. This is probably where you can save the most. New furniture can be incredibly costly so make a habit of scouring pre-loved online directories, visiting auction houses and browsing at car boot sales. Know your prices so you can be sure you’re getting a great deal and remember to keep an open mind, look for hidden potential and enjoy the hunt! With a little patience and persistence you might be surprised what you can find.”