Bank holiday weekend home makeover projects

Caroline Cassidy

August bank holiday is going to be one the biggest DIY weekends of the year but that doesn't mean you have to go to town to make a change. Use the weekend to make some subtle, inexpensive changes to your home that will make you feel you've given it a real makeover without the stress. It's just a weekend but it is enough time to make a difference. Here are ten tips for making the most of your DIY bank holiday.

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Painting is a fairly obvious choice but is guaranteed to give your home a lift. It doesn't matter if you're painting it the same colour; a fresh layer of paint makes an area feel cleaner and fresher. If you are happy with the colour you already have then why not try nudes? They are very trendy this year and translucent colours will work with the majority of colour schemes. To make a room seem larger than it is paint a light colour on the walls. To add warmth paint the walls a deeper colour.

Embellishing is very fashionable at the moment. Cushions, pom poms, sequins and embroidery are all being used to add a certain something to interiors. Liven up cushions with a strip of pom poms; they're easy enough to sew by hand. Embroidery can turn a mundane looking item in to something completely unique.

Rugs are a great addition to your home and can transform a cold room into a welcoming space. They can also add sophistication whether your style is traditional or contemporary. The can also cover a multitude of sins like worn out flooring and threadbare carpet.

If the weather is good why not venture out in to the garden this bank holiday? Try planting some aromatic herbs to give your garden a lift. You can save some cash on your favourites like bay and rosemary by growing your own. Try planting the seeds in tins and vintage pots. It's so simple to build your own little herb garden and seeds can be bought from local hardware shops or garden centres.

Why not have a big clean? Buy a re-grouting pen for old tiles, it breathes new life into kitchens and bathrooms. To really freshen things up around the home try mixing a few drops of lemon, lavender or orange to bi-carbonated soda, it works brilliantly as a natural cleaner for carpets. Just sprinkle over and hoover. Your room will smell amazing and be stain free to boot.

Putting up shelves is one of the simplest of DIY tasks. It can also make the biggest impact in terms of storage and space management. Try some staggered shelving, it looks unusual and makes a great focal point with candles and vases.

If DIY isn't your thing you don't need to get out the stepladder and power tools to make a difference. Why not add a few glass drop beads, buttons and trims along the edge of a lampshade for an individual look which you can change according to your latest colour scheme. Old bracelets are a good source of beads and won't cost you a penny.

Upholstered furniture is very trendy at the moment. Try your hand at upholstering a lamp by cutting, gluing and wrapping scraps of material around an old or salvaged lamp base or shade. Then customise with accessories like beads.

Add some colour to your home with some bright vases and flowers. It's a great way to get kids involved too. Why not get them growing cuttings from the garden. Anything can be used from biscuit tins to jam jars.