Save £100s when you decorate

Teena Lyons

Brighten up your home with these top ten tips for bringing a new look and a little cheer to your house without breaking the bank

One: Lick of paint. As a rule, paint is always going to give you the biggest single improvement and it is one of the least expensive options. Switching the colour of a dingy room to a lighter colour creates the illusion of a much larger space. Look out for discounted cans of paint at your local DIY store – customers often change their mind about pre-mixed paint and return it.

Two: Go treasure hunting. Remember, one man's junk is another's treasure. Use online resources such as, or to find 'new' pieces of furniture to revamp your room. Look out too for garage sales, going out of business sales and flea markets. Paint any shabby pieces to give them a new lease of life. Read our guide to safe trading on eBay here.

Three: De-clutter. It is time to get rid of some of your junk too. It is amazing how ditching piled up clutter and re-arranging some of your favourite pieces of furniture can instantly transform a room.

Four: Plump it up. A new bright cushion or throw can transform a tatty old sofa – and will cost a fraction of the price of re-upholstering or buying a new one. For the best value, buy remnants of fabrics from textile shops.

Five: Shed some light. A little nice lighting goes a long way and creates pools of warm light. Don't splurge on expensive lamps and fixtures, buy cheap lights and place them behind a sofa or plant and you will still get a great effect.

Six: Frame it. Framed pictures of loved ones add a personal touch and an instant focal point. Brighten up inexpensive, plain frames with embellishments such as seashells or buttons.

Seven: Go green. Introducing a few house-plants will immediately soften any room design.

Eight: Make a splash. Freshening-up the old grout in the bathroom will instantly give the room a new lease of life. It's a lot cheaper than retiling too.

Nine: Frame it. New curtains can be expensive, so why not update existing drapes by sewing on simple cording or a fringe at the base, or add beads or applique shapes to create a completely new look? If you don't sew, there are a number of iron on options available from craft stores.

Ten: Get advice. For handy DIY tips and basic tutorials on how to do basic work, such as installing a power socket, try, or

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.