THE VERY BEST IDEAS TO... Refresh your living room |

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THE VERY BEST IDEAS TO... Refresh your living room

Battening down the hatches has never been so stylish with these incredible decorating tricks

Picture research Charlotte Coward-Williams and Natalie Osborn

Whilst we were busy sunning ourselves in July and August, our living rooms were taking a breather. They no longer feared the onslaught of a muddy boot or a misplaced bowl of soup, and were basking in the hours of delicious peace and quiet. Well, that’s over now. The cooler climes have brought us inside from our outdoorsy pursuits and Britain’s living rooms are back to being the reluctant centre of attention. So now is the time to get stuck into a mini makeover and ease our homes into this new, high-traffic season. Here, you’ll find four swoon-worthy schemes, fit to bursting with bargain buys and top tricks, to inspire every decorating brief and budget. And who knows, maybe we’ll be repaid with £10 down the back of a sofa cushion...

Can you see storage?

Look at the picture below. There is a family’s worth of daily dross tidied away in this room – but where is it? The walls aren’t hiding a hidden cavity and there isn’t a trap door under the rug. However, there is a voluminous hidden compartment in the sofa. The design in question is the Fleetwood in Charcoal from, and it’s a snip at just £600.

Pure and...

Geo pendant, £20, Next

Areo concrete pendant, £70; ampersand, £90; Amos table lamp, £40; Reynold task lamp, £50; Nash table lamp, £40; Nero wiggle pendant, £75, all Bhs
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About Homestyle

My taste seems to change on a daily basis! In the last few weeks I’ve visited readers with swoonworthy homes in the furthest reaches of the UK to photograph them for our pages. The interiors are vastly different, yet with each visit I fall instantly head over heels for that look! When I walked through the front door at Ali Cowie’s house, (turn to page 52) with her warm and rich colour schemes and references to popular music all around, I wanted to rush home and get the paint out. Then a trip to Guildford to meet Cathy Pyle (turn to page 40) in her unbelievably calm, light and airy home – created using a myriad of savvy cost-saving DIY devices – and I was smitten with a pared down neutral colour palette once again. Do you get dizzy at the thought of all that choice when confronted by a paint chart or new sofa style (not to mention having to fight your corner with your partner!)? If I’m agonising over decisions for my home, I gather together tear sheets from magazines of all my favourite things for a few weeks and then see which colour I have the most of. Try it... the results might surprise you!