Refresh your home and refresh your life

Feeling like your home looks tired, but worried about the cost of a revamp? We ask an expert for simple strategies for sprucing things up without it costing the earth.


Shabby chic is all very well, but if your home hasn’t seen a paintbrush this century, it could be overdue for a revamp. 

That doesn’t mean you need to chuck out your carpets (which, in any case, are making a comeback). “It’s not about fashion,” says Judy Smith, Crown Paints’ colour consultant. “Think about what you want—is it a room that makes an impact, or one that’s a background for your possessions? It’s your home, so it should please you.” 

To make that happen, she suggests adding:

  1. Instant sunshine: “Make sure curtains pull clear of the windows, and paint the frame white so light bounces off it.”
  2. Classy details: “Think cushions with piping, and immaculate skirtings.”
  3. Contrasting alcoves: “A painted recess is more subtle than a feature wall or wallpapering the chimney breast.”
  4. A splash of green: “It brings spring into the room and there’s a lot of it about, from citrus greens to restful greeny-blues.”
  5. One standout piece: “One red sofa in a neutral room is more powerful than a match-matchy decor. Or look for a beautiful shape. I love the Conran Shop’s Cherner walnut armchair—but at £1,058, it’s likely to stay on my wish list.”
  6. Upcycling: “Painting and customising old furniture is popular, and stencilling with small geometric patterns is very now.”

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