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A New Living Room on a January Budget

Your living room has become tired looking and dog eared but you simply don’t have the funds to cover a complete makeover. It’s a well known story for most us; especially in the current sub zero financial climate. A new settee alone can cost anywhere between three hundred and a thousand pounds- not exactly prices that appeal so soon after Christmas. Luckily, I’ve wracked my brains and rung out the most cunning areas of my interior design knowledge in an attempt to give you a new front room that won’t break the bank. If you can rustle up £100, I promise to leave a smile on your face and change in your pocket….easy tiger, you thought it, I didn’t say it!

First of all, take stock of what you already have. Perhaps with a better layout your room could be vastly improved. Move things around and see what first. Sometimes it’s not actually about buying new things but is instead about getting rid of clutter and creating a more spacious and sleek ambience. If you feel you can do without an old cupboard or chair then get rid of it- you may even be able to top up your decorating funds by selling such items. Take a look at your couch covers and curtains, could they be updated with a good wash then the application of a dye in a lovely new shade?

The cheapest way to transform a room completely is to paint it. An even cheaper option is to choose a wall to be a feature wall and paint only this one. Adding a feature wall in a bolder colour is also a great way to create atmosphere or brighten a room without having to buy paint for the whole room. Try mixing your own colour by adding sample pots to white matt emulsion.

Concentrating on just one feature wall also provides the opportunity to choice an elaborately patterned wallpaper as you will probably only need one roll. Adding a floating shelf to your feature wall and using it to display some of the natural world’s decoration such as a rock smoothed by the sea, driftwood or pebbles in a nice jar will create real chic appeal whilst costing ext to nothing.

Changing the flooring in your living room will make a big difference simply because it’s such a large area of colour and a major focal point in the room. If you’re lucky, that old carpet might have floorboards underneath that you can polish up. If not, you don’t have to break the bank by updating the carpet or putting down an artificial floor. If the budget won’t stretch to a new floor, make the most of the one you’ve got. Get your carpet professionally cleaned or steam clean it yourself; polish up or paint floorboards and fix the ones that squeak and buy a rug for a splash of colour.

Soft furnishing and details can help to spruce up your existing furniture and décor. Brightly coloured cushions, throws, cheap rugs, curtains and blinds can all have a dramatic effort and change the way you view your old things by bringing out their colours or style.

Lighting the room better will have a huge difference. Brighter bulbs, new table lamps and new light shades will help hugely.
Finally, when you are out shopping for your items, it can really pay to remember these three simple words- timing, negotiation and choice.

Timing when shopping can have a huge effect on the money you pay. Wait for January or mid season sales before you begin your decorating.

Choice refers to the fact that lots of shops sell the same products. Don’t simply purchase what you are looking for in the first store you see it, shop around and compare prices. Often you can make a surprisingly large saving for a little more effort. A really efficient way of finding the best deal is to shop online. Often internet shops are much cheaper anyway due to the fact that they have lower overheads. You may even get free shipping or delivery on large items- saving you petrol money and a bad back!

Last but certainly not least is negotiation. People tend to forget that it isn’t just on holiday that you are allowed to haggle. Store prices are not set in stone, they merely rely on the fact that the British don’t like to make a fuss and will therefore always pay the often over inflated asking price. The best time to haggle is at the end of the day as shops often have sales targets that haven’t been met. Make sure you are speaking to manager or at least somebody who has the authority to cut prices. Though this can take some courage initially, once you start you will be hooked!

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