Want to refresh your rooms on a budget? These bargain buys don’t skimp in the style stakes

22nd Aug 19 | Lifestyle

Little touches can make all the difference – and you really don’t have to spend a lot, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Comfortable plush settee with pastel cushion and a side table with fresh flowers in a vase against blue and white ombre wall in a living room interior. Lamp hanging over the table. Real photo.

Styling up your favourite space might take a little inspiration and creative know-how – but it really doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

In fact, once you’ve honed in on a few functional pieces, jazzy textiles and quirky decos, a swift update or quick-fix refresh can be much more playful and fun than blowing the budget on statement furnishings.

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“Updating your home doesn’t have to be costly; in fact, there are plenty of simple updates that can be achieved on a budget,” says Claire Hornby, head of creative, Barker and Stonehouse.

“Whilst some might think you have to completely overhaul your home in order to give it a fresh lease of life, adding new pieces of furniture, or even accessories, can inspire a whole new trend for your home.

“Wall art is a great way to inject a sense of personality – by mixing and matching different prints, personal photos and mirrors you can not only bring a plain wall to life but also create the illusion of space with the use of mirrors,” adds Hornby.

Another approach is to introduce some new soft furnishings, such as cushions or rugs. And if you’re looking to make a statement, a bold pattern or colour can go a long way.

Finally, for many of us, introducing elements of natural life into the home is of the utmost importance. As Hornby points out: “Adorning your home with plants not only gives your room a lift but it also helps to improve your overall wellbeing.”

We trawled the shops for this season’s best bargain buys for a speedy home update…

£10 and under


Aldi Limited Edition Oud Bergamot and Honey and Nectarine Candles and Diffusers, £3.99 each, Aldi (in store from Aug 29)

Aldi limited edition candles and diffusers in Oud Bergamot and Honey and Nectarine
(Aldi/PA)

Scented candles are one of life’s little luxuries, and we love Aldi’s classy new addition.

John Lewis & Partners Artificial Ferns in Hanging Glass Vase – 23cm, £6, John Lewis

Artificial ferns in hanging glass vase
(John Lewis/PA)

Tempting to have a trio of these… Loop a ribbon and hang them high or simply place across a mantelpiece or windowsill.

George Home Lips, Eyes and Mono Geo Cushions, £6 each, Monochrome Zig Zag Cushion, £7, Direct.asda

George Lips, Eyes, Mono and textured weave stacked cushions
(George Home/PA)

The playful cushions strike just the right balance, and the iconic lip print screams designer without the hefty price tag.

Set of 2 Bronze Monkey Coat Hooks, £9, Dunelm

Dunelm Monkey hooks
(Dunelm/PA)

These whimsy brass hooks will play up a dull wall and can be used to hold boho baskets and summer straws – woven hats are a great prop and can be hung on bright string.

Sculpted Vase – Blue, £10, Barker and Stonehouse

Sculpted blue vase, Barker and Stonehouse
(Barker and Stonehouse/PA)

A basic blue vase could be filled with wild flowers, wooden spoons and funky faux blooms to suit the season or your colour scheme.

£25 and under

Global Nomad 6 Compartment Wooden Shelf, £14.99, Homesense stores

Global Nomad 6 Compartment Wooden Shelf, Homesense
(Homesense/PA)

Keep those summer vibes alive with this rustic shelf, which can also double as a mood board.

Sainsbury’s Home Kanso Living Bedroom Collection: Blue Sticks Double Bedlinen Set, £14; Blue Geo Double Bedlinen Set, £21; Monochrome Crewel Cushion, £16; Concrete Planter, £16, Sainsbury’s (in store from Sep 1)

Sainsbury's Home Kanso Living Bedroom Collection
(Sainsbury’s/PA)

A one-stop shop for every room in the home, we love this eye-catching geometric pattern, which is bang on trend for the new season.

Tulum Wall Banner, £20, Barker and Stonehouse

Tulum Wall Banner, Barker and Stonehouse
(Barker and Stonehouse/PA)

Macramé is having a very fashionable moment. These tactile textiles double up as works of art – and are versatile enough to hang anywhere.

Botanica Opulence Green Velvet Stool with Gold Legs, £24.99, TK Maxx stores

Botanica Opulence green velvet stool with gold legs, TK Maxx
(TK Maxx/PA)

Gorgeous and glammy, this velvet stool looks so luxe, especially in this soft, sorbet shade.

George Home Gold Gin Glass 2 Pack, £7; Gold Wine Glass 2 Pack, £6; Gold Geo Hurricane Vase, £6; Timeless Gin Glass, £2; Timeless Coupe, £2; Timeless Tumbler, £1.50; Timeless Hiball, £1.50; Metallic Geo Dinner Set 12 Piece, £25, Asda (available from September)

George Home selection of wine glasses, cocktail glasses and Metallic Geo 12 piece dinner set
(George Home/PA)

Striking cut crystal, smart stemware and gold accents; this glassware and tableware offers fine dining on a beer budget.

£45 and under

Dax Side Table (H48cm x W45cm), £30, Matalan

Matalan Dax side table
(Matalan/PA)

Bright as a buttercup, this retro looking stool can double up as a side table or book stand.

Voyage of Discovery Wallpaper Mural, from £32 per m2, Wallsauce.com

Wallsauce Voyage of Discovery Wallpaper Mural
(Wallsauce.com/PA)

A brilliant backdrop to build on (you can start with a small image), made to measure murals can be tailored to fit your scheme. And some are so magical, armchair travellers can unearth a fantasy world from a choice of more than a million mural images.

Set of 4 Bamboo Baskets, £39, J D Williams

J D Williams set of 4 Bamboo Baskets
(J D Williams/PA)

Having a clear out, sorting and organising ‘to get the look’ can be as much a stress-buster as going to the gym, and these bamboo baskets bring an artisan quality to home storage.

MOMA 1949 Canvas – Black and White, £45, Barker and Stonehouse

MOMA 1949 Canvas, Black and White, Barker and Stonehouse
(Barker and Stonehouse/PA)

A timeless monochrome print makes for an instant update, especially if you style this 1950s portrait with natural materials and clean lines. Otherwise, think more is more and prop it on a shelf unit with a collection of vintage perfume bottles.

© Press Association 2019

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