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January is finally over and with Spring just around the corner (we hope), you might be getting the urge to update your home.

If money is tight, there are some simple fixes that won’t take a lot of time or money. Stylist has spoken to London Property Makeover, an interior design company that specialises in running classes on the subject. They’ve given us their top tips for improving the style of your home.

DO YOU LOVE IT?

Look at your home with a fresh pair of eyes by asking a friend to walk around with you and point out anything that might put them off as a potential buyer. It will help you to focus on what's working and what could be improved. Look at (or photograph) every item in the room and analyse whether you absolutely love it, whether it should be given away or recycled.

PAINT IT

As well as rooms, lots of items can be refreshed with a simple lick of paint. Have a look through interior magazines or sites such as mydeco.com and get inspired. For colour scheme ideas, look at the book Colour Now by Grand Designs Kevin McCloud.

STORAGE

There’s nothing worse than clutter - it’s bad for your peace of mind - so get your house in order. You could use the space above doorways for bookshelves, storage trunks that double up as coffee tables, or create seating areas under bay windows with liftable padded lids. Visit Muji for amazing containers to store small items like make-up or jewellery, or use the space on the back of wardrobe doors for necklace, belts, etc.

BOOKSHELVES

There’s no reason to have a messy book shelf! Display the spines from the tallest to the smallest, or colour code to make a rainbow spectrum. This is a simple trick that can really make an impact. You can also allow breathing space on the shelf by adding picture frames or other items that you love.

AMAZING DISPLAY

Displaying personal treasures give a home heart and soul. Sometimes coffee tables, mantel pieces and bookcases can become a bit of a mess, but there are some simple tricks to sort them out. An easy way is to group items according to colour or texture, or you could display items with varying height and displaying them in a zig-zag line, rather than a straight one. Make sure each item has enough space around it to help with the visual flow.

PICK ONE TRUE THING

If you’re not sure where to start in the design of a room, find one item that you absolutely love and build a whole theme/colour scheme around it. It might be a photo, piece of art, a vase, or something else. Take the main colours in the item and ensure that everything else in the room is sympathetic to this from a design point of view.

GALLERY

Turn one wall of your home into an art gallery. Take the photos that you love and have large black and white prints created by your local photo printers. You can then mount these on white card and place into black frames. Make sure the pictures are spaced accurately on the wall. To do this perfectly either place them on the floor first or create a PowerPoint plan of your wall and then simply copy it.

SIZE IS IMPORTANT

Make sure you buy the right size furniture for the room. There’s nothing worse than a room that is too jam-packed with ‘stuff’ so that it can’t breathe. Equally, if you are lucky enough to have a converted warehouse or a massive space, make sure that you ‘upscale’ all the furniture. For example, look for extra large floor lamps, sofas and pictures. Keep everything in scale.

SMALL SPACE

Don’t panic if you have a small space - it can still be a perfectly designed space. Think about foldaway items such as tables and chairs; Habitat do a good range. A folding table will allow you to have a dinner party for 6 people, even in a studio flat. Store the foldaway chairs under the sofa or at the back of wardrobes.

If you’ve been inspired and would like to take your interior design skills to the next level, then why not take a interior design class? Visit londonpropertymakeover.com for more information.

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Give your home an Orla Kiely update

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Lisa Stickley

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