DOES your home have room for improvement? If so, making changes may be easier than you think.
Bank Holiday Monday is the perfect time for some DIY – and Escape To The Chateau stars Dick and Angel Strawbridge say you can do it on a shoestring.
Fans of their hit Channel 4 show have seen the glamorous crafting connoisseur and her DIY doyen husband transform their dilapidated French chateau into a grand wedding venue and stunning family pile on a shoestring.
In their latest series, Make Do And Mend, the couple have helped viewers with their own renovation projects.
Follow Dick and Angel’s easy but thrifty hints and tips to transform the rooms in your home for less.
Change your handles
AN easy, low-cost option for giving your kitchen units a fresh look is simply changing old cupboard or drawer handles for new ones.
It can take just one afternoon. Head to your favourite vintage or DIY store and get creative – they don’t even have to match.
Step 1: Remove the old handles.
Step 2: Find a new handle with the same measurement between screw holes, or drill fresh holes for the new handles. Any spare holes can be filled in with wood filler.
Step 3: Secure the new handles.
Wallpaper your cabinets
ADD flashes of colour and pattern to your kitchen by putting wallpaper on the inside of your units, shelves or interior walls.
You can use offcuts left over from other renovations.
Step 1: Clean areas you want to wallpaper and allow to dry.
Step 2: Use a measuring tape to measure the length and width of the unit. Cut paper to size.
Step 3: Apply using regular wallpaper paste and smooth carefully. Or, if it’s adhesive paper, align, peel and stick.
A lick of paint
REMOVING cupboard doors and drawer fronts and painting them a different colour can make your kitchen feel brand new.
Step 1: Give surfaces a good clean.
Step 2: Line cupboard edges with masking tape. Lightly sand if needed for a smooth surface. Apply primer if desired and remove handles.
Step 3: Paint the colour of your choice. Allow to dry, and seal with wax or varnish. Reattach handles.
For laminate or vinyl surfaces follow the steps as above but choose a multi-purpose paint (Wilko Quick Dry Cupboard & Furniture English Paint, £10, wilko.com).
Spruce up a splashback
MAKE the area behind your sink or hob beautiful by creating a unique splashback design.
Give retiling a go, or for an even easier option use vinyl tile stickers.
These are widely available, with a range of effects from marble to glitter as well as traditional patterns. See bmstores.co.uk.
At the chateau we also love personalising tiles. An easy way of doing this is to pick up a pack of ceramic pens (£6, hobbycraft.co.uk).
Stencil on shapes or get arty. The sky is the limit.
WHATEVER seating you have in your kitchen, you can add pattern, comfort and colour by making your own seat pads.
Choose a fabric you love or recycle cloth you have to hand already and get sewing – they are very simple to make.
It’s a great way to upcycle existing furniture or add a splash of colour without completely redecorating
You can re-cover old chair pads or buy foam pads cheaply to upgrade (£6.50, hobbycraft.co.uk).
A SIMPLE change such as switching up kitchen light fittings can make a big difference to the feel of a room.
Try replacing a standard lampshade with an exposed bulb industrial design (£17, wayfair.co.uk).
Or switch up your old shades and get a new look.
You can source lampshades everywhere, but on a budget always try thinking outside of the box.
Old baskets, which you can buy online, work really well as light fittings and they bring a lovely bohemian feel to your space.
WALLS with lots of art and pictures in different sizes are an amazing way of showcasing your favourite prints in a bedroom, living room or hallway.
Rather than spend a fortune, think outside the box and reinvent your gallery wall by creating your own unique art.
Frame fabric or hand-printed wallpaper samples. There are some beautiful ones out there that look stunning framed.
Mix it up with different coloured mounts and surrounds, or you could even display some of them in glass frames.
Make a table
YOU can buy bargain-price hairpin legs for a table off the internet (from £17, etsy.com).
For the table top, use old wood, floor or scaffold boards or even an old door.
Step 1: Prepare your table top wood by cutting to size if needed and cleaning.
Step 2: Sand down the wood to make it smooth and apply a sealant for your preferred finish such as oil, wax, varnish or paint.
Step 3: Position your hairpin legs on the bottom of the table where desired (measure first if needed) and screw into place.
WE’RE all guilty of storing our best china and ceramics in a cupboard for a one-off special event.
Why not keep them on show instead?
If items bring you happiness, we think they should be used or put out somewhere you can see them to make you smile every day.
Whether it’s family items you’ve inherited or just bits and bobs that you love, why not create a beautiful display of crockery on open kitchen shelves?
Or you could even hang a selection of vintage plates on the wall to make a beautiful art-like feature display.
YOU can upcycle any wooden furniture with a lick of chalk paint.
Try it on drawers, wardrobes, tables or wooden chairs.
Step 1: Clean and sand (if necessary) your furniture surface for the perfect base before you start.
Step 2: Apply your chalk paint (try Rust-Oleum Chalky Furniture Paint, £15, homebase.co.uk), allow to dry then add a second coat.
Step 3: Use furniture finishing wax for a perfect result. You can also sand back again for a distressed, vintage look.
A RETRO drinks trolley in your sitting room gives a chic boutique hotel vibe, plus it’s a great talking point when friends visit.
You can pick one up quite cheaply second-hand from auction sites such as Ebay or antique shops.
Then you’ll probably just need a little TLC, elbow grease and flair to bring it back to life.
Style with paint, gilt spray, decoupage (pasting paper on to a surface) or a mixture of all three.
Adorn with your favourite tipple bottles, some bar accessories such as a cocktail shaker, and a candle for ambience and a luxury look.
THERE are so many lovely ways you can make a plain wall more exciting.
An easy craft project is a faux flower curtain which you can use in any room to cheer up a boring space.
They are widely available – dunelm.co.uk, for example, has a selection – and make a vibrant, colourful statement.
Drape a sheet of lightweight, transparent fabric on your wall (an old net curtain or sheet will do the trick) and sew your favourite faux flowers on to it.
Or create hanging garlands with string and tie each flower on to it individually for a romantic look.