Big little buys: Affordable home updates that can make a difference to any room

Getting sick of seeing the same four walls? These easy, affordable updates can make a whole lot of difference to any room.

Kitchen sweeteners

The original kitchen architecture has been revitalised rather than renovated here, with the exposed brick painted white for a fresh take, acting as a neutral backdrop to the statement fluted island.

Bauer Media Group/Jessie Prince/Camera Press
  • Breathe new life into old cupboard fronts with a fresh lick of paint. Green bring s a sense of vitality and adds depth
  • Open shelves create the illusion of space and draw the eye upwards
  • Replacing handles is an easy update for a kitchen. Brass looks chic, or try textures such as leather or suede. has a good selection

Brass mixer tap, £286,

Dish drainer, £25,

Folding shelf, £89,

Brass handle, £55,

Copper-bottomed pans, £76 for three,

Glass jars, from £10 each,

Pendant light, £155,

Stool, £128.99,

Artificial plant and pot, £19.50,

Chalkboard slow cooker (3.5 litres), £20,

Dessert plate, £16,

Storage trolley, £39,

Tile, £4.40,

Coffee machine, £279,

Shelving unit, £20,

Coffee canister, £22,

Living room luxe-ups

Break up a neutral palette with a bold room divider or by painting the ceiling in a different colour. For rooms with less height, opt for pale shades to help bounce light around. Sofa, £1,899, armchair, £499, and coffee table, £249, all


  • Stripes in contrasting shades liven up a space or quiet corner
  • Mirrors can act as wall art, reflecting whatever is opposite them – so make sure it’s a good view!
  • Mix and match rugs from the same colour palette in different sizes to add texture. Or hem the edges of an old carpet in a contrasting colour for a new look

Print, £45 unframed,

Pendant light, £85,

Cushion, £29,

Planter, £120,

Vase, £25,

Throw, £60,

Coffee table, £659,

Storage cabinet, £199,

Sofa, £2,700,

Plant, £55 (without pot), 

Rug, £398,

Cushion cover, £37,

Magazine rack, £66,

Vase, £45,

Chair, £199,

Bathroom refreshers

Mixing materials such as wood, plaster and stone gives this minimal bathroom design more depth. For a similar roll-top bath try For pink linen fabric go to


Shelving unit, £130,

Tile, £28.74,

Loo-roll holder, £25,

Artificial bamboo tree in pot, £25,

Bath mat, £19.99,

Wall hooks, £19 for three,

Shelving, £39.99,

Bath bridge, £29,

Baskets, £166.99 for three,

Wall mirror with shelf, £69,

Laundry basket, £225,

Jar, £14.95,

Soap dispenser and storage set, £29,

Toilet brush, £50,

Hand towel, £8, bath towel, £16,

Bedroom revamps

Neutral shades and natural materials create the perfect bedroom zen. A calming backdrop allows for a few statement accessories scattered through the room. Bed, £599; bedside table, £199; watercolour duvet cover (part of set), £70; striped pillowcases (part of set), £48; orange wool throw, £80; fawn chenille throw, £25; framed print, £195, all


  • Art can help change the dynamic of a space. Create a gallery wall or move prints between rooms to make them feel new
  • Bring new life to pre-loved pieces by mixing vintage finds with modern accessories
  • For an instant lift, swap plain bedding for patterns or bold colours. Here soft watercolour tones are offset by a sharp orange throw

Storage basket, £80,

Drawer handle, £6,

Cushion, £20,

Bench, £420,

Storage side table, £98,

Jug, £34,

Light switch, £38,

Throw, £71,

Jar, £15,

Floor runner, £119,

Cushion, £70,

Print, £109,

Lamp, £35,

Bedding set, from £79,

Coconut and beeswax candle, £49,

Report by Nicole Gray