Hey Skint pals,
Hoping you all had a good Easter. Did you spend the entire holidays maxing out on chocolate, or did you use any of your free time to tart up your home?
When the clocks go forward and the sun shines brighter, it pokes its pesky rays into our homes, showing up the yucky bits the very second anyone walks through the door. So today I’m going to share with you my top ten cheap things that make a statement in a hall – after all, a bit of razzle dazzle keeps everyone’s eyes off the dust.
I always think that halls are the ideal place to show a bit of flourish, to display stuff you love but which doesn’t quite work in any other room. None of these ideas break the bank. Most can be found ten a penny in second hand shops and fleamarkets. Here’s my hit list:
- Flying ducks – once the preserve of Hilda Ogden from Coronation Street, these are in vogue right now – both the traditional ones and modern ones that come in silver, gold and white. You can even buy your own flying duck plaster moulds and make your own, then paint them whatever colour you fancy. As you can see, I’ve gone for gold, though I’ve also got my eye on these ones.
2. A stag’s head - Giving traditional items an ironic twist is so chic and there’s nothing as traditional as a stag’s head. Once the epitome of stuffy country houses, stag’s heads are making it into stylish homes, updated of course by covering the antlers with glitter or draping fairy lights around them for a fun, modern take on an old classic. You can hang your hats on them too. You’ll find plenty of the classic ones at auction houses, and for some tips on auction bargaining like a pro I wrote this post which you might remember.
3. A huge oversized table lamp – One massive lamp is a great style statement. These were really popular in the sixties and seventies, often with great prints on the shades and they still look really cool today, in a quirky, Elle Decoration sort of a way. A massive turquoise lamp with swirly gold patterns is the first thing you see when I step through my front door and I love it. It costs me £20 in a junk shop many moons ago and has long-since earned a place in my top ten all-time buys.
4. Mirrors – My hall’s a bit poky so I like to hang a giant mirror on the wall straight ahead as you come in the front doorto give the illusion of the hall being twice its actual size. Or fasten mirror panels along the length of a wall to give the impression of width. These are super-cheap in nearly all DIY stores.
5. Sunburst clocks – Like oversized lamps, these were everywhere in the seventies and are still pretty easy to find at car boot sales or charity shops. Spray painted in a colour of your choice (pound shops generally do a great range of spray paints), they look edgy and modern.
6. Horseshoes - In days gone by, people hung horseshoes over their door for luck. It’s a charming custom that has faded – why not make it your mission to bring good fortune to everyone who steps across your door? Give it a twenty-first century twist though by grouping a collection of them over your door or in the porch and spraying them a funky colour.
7. Tea lights - If you live in a house with stairs try lining each side of the stairs with tea light candles in glass holders to create a twinkling runway. You can use the same technique on the outside stairs leading to your house or flat by using candle holders designed for garden use. Nothing says get-the-party-started quite like that!
8. The walls - Generally I’m sceptical about the promises made by some fancy paints, but for poky hallways, light-reflecting paints do seem to make a difference. These claim to reflect twice as much light as conventional emulsions, making them perfect for small, dark spaces – and it seems to work. I had good results with the Light & Space range from Dulux. Likewise you can try reflective or metallic effect wallpaper to increase the amount of light bouncing around your room.
9. Art - It doesn’t have to be expensive or original, but hallways give themselves well to hanging pictures and other art objects in groups. Don’t worry about clashing styles or colours here, just go for it and call it eclectic.
10. The smell - It’s often the first thing people notice when they walk through the door. Spraying perfume around your hall light bulb before you turn it on is an old trick – apparently the heat from the bulb slowly diffuses the scent.
Win £500 to Spend on Furniture
And in keeping with the spring DIY theme, if you’re a fellow blogger, you can win £500 to tart up your home just by sharing a pic of your favourite corner. The Fashion For Home store, which sells all manner of stylish home goodies, is inviting bloggers to post details about their favourite little corner of home for the chance to win the £500 of vouchers. Here’s mine:
You might remember I wrote about my mantlepiece before here, as part of my mission to turn the whole world on to fairy lights. It’s a very wintery tale, because I think that’s the season when Chez Skint looks it’s best and I love the way the fairy lights illuminate the tea light holders, (which cost £3 for the four holders from Poundstretcher!)
But with spring now here there are parts of my home which are simply looking too gloomy, especially the lounge. It’s just all a bit too brown really. Dark wood floorboards, brown leather couches, wooden tables – there’s a whole lot of chocolate going on. Kind of like living in a forest, but hibernation season’s over and it’s time to come out blinking into the light. I’m thinking that some funky cushions and a couple of new lamps might brighten the place up a bit.
So, do you plan on tarting up your home on a shoestring this spring? Or are you more about the chocolate? Got any great budget style tips to share? Go on, spill the beans!