Home improvement

With winter approaching and restrictions in many areas, most people will be spending more time at home, either due to the cold weather or having nowhere to go.

One advantage to having all this extra time indoors is being able to spruce up your home. Even if money is tight at the moment, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

New blinds

It’s winter, so it’s cold and dark a lot of the time. Investing in some new shutters will at least provide you with something worth looking at when you glance towards your windows, in addition to adding style to your room. In many places throughout the UK, particularly in busy cities such as Manchester, shutters are becoming more popular. The high-quality hardwood that these are made from is not only affordable, but it also instantly adds to the appearance of any room, and will last for years to come. You don’t even need to be a DIY expert because they can be fitted by professionals who know what they’re doing.

Cushions and throws

If you shop around, you can pick up cushions and throws at reasonable prices. If you’re feeling creative, you can even make your own, or take this opportunity of spending more time at home to learn. Making or buying new cushion covers is an option if your cushions are in good condition but you just want to replace the covers. Opting for brighter colours and eye-catching patterns can bring life into a previously dull room, and as you’re spending more time there, they can also improve your overall mood. 

Creating art

You don’t have to be an artist to create art. If you’ve got time on your hands and materials or items lying around that you might otherwise have thrown away, you can make use of them. Whatever you make will be unique, and you may even surprise yourself with some of your creations. For example, empty glass bottles can be painted and used as vases. Taking your own photos and having them enlarged (if you choose to venture out of your home to take photos) will then look great on your walls, perhaps in a frame.

The internet and books are good places to start if you’re looking for inspiration to create your own art. You can even pick up some cheap wall stencils and create your own wall designs. Whatever your budget, you should be able to add style to your home.

Cover it up

If you’ve spilt red wine on the carpet and can’t get it out, a rug is a quick and effective way of covering it up without having to buy a new carpet, even if it’s just as a temporary measure. Stubborn marks on the wall can be covered with pictures or some of the art you’ve made. Fading sofas can be concealed with a throw and some of the cushions mentioned earlier. Although you may want to redecorate at a later date, or buy replacement furniture, if that isn’t possible at the moment, these stop-gaps will spruce up your home until you can.


If you decide to decorate your home, getting paint samples before you commit to a colour or shade will give you the chance to see how it might look in your chosen room. When you’ve settled on the paint, any that is leftover can be used to paint and brighten up shelves or cupboards. The same applies to leftover wallpaper, which can be used to line shelves, bookcases and cover cupboard doors.

Adding more shelves

If you have the wall space, shelves can be added to display all kinds of things. In the kitchen, you can have your best crockery on show, even if you only reserve it for special occasions. Adding labelled jars for coffee, tea and sugar will also make your countertop look less cluttered, and you may even be inspired to spend more time cooking with the extra space you now have. You can use extra shelves in the children’s bedroom to display soft toys, or collectables in your own bedroom. While in the living area, you can display ornaments/figurines. Even though some charity shops may not be open at the moment, you can still pick up some bargains from online sellers. 

More storage

While you’re creating more storage, you might want to consider boxing up papers and any other items that are normally left lying around cluttering your home. Keeping them in matching storage boxes (which you can either buy, create or decorate yourself) will stop them appearing to be clutter and make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

Add lighting

Adding lamps or changing to a light that you can alter the brightness of can improve the mood of your home, making it feel cosier. You may need to move things around to get your room the way that you want it. Candles can also add to the ambience of the room, as long as you keep them a safe distance away from any home accessories or anything else that could catch light.

Install a fireplace

If you don’t have one already, you might want to add a fireplace to your living room. Even if you don’t want a real one and the cost associated with installing and having it switched on, a fake one will still add to the comfort and appearance of the room.


If you miss the outdoors, add plants and flowers around your home. Although you may prefer real ones, fake plants and flowers can be just as eye-catching, adding colour to your rooms. They don’t need watering and will cost less over time as they won’t die or need to be replaced.

Whatever you choose to do while spending more time at home, it doesn’t have to be expensive, and you may just discover a new hobby creating things or a passion for home decorating. It’s your home, so enjoy it.