How to save hundreds as a DIY expert

I moved into a new flat a few months ago - and suddenly got terribly excited about DIY. Holes were drilled in walls, shelves were put up, and old furniture was sanded and painted to within an inch of its life.

Of course, for the really big jobs, you still need a building professional. But whilst on my DIY mission, I came across a website that helped me do many of the smaller jobs myself...

The DIY Fix It site includes lots of easy-to-follow 'how to' guides, teaching you to do everything from wallpapering a ceiling to removing an airlock in pipe work.

These could save you quite a lot of money, equipping you with the knowledge needed to sort small projects yourself, rather than relying on expensive handymen.

There's also a DIY community forum, where you can ask for advice and swap tips with other DIY enthusiasts.

As a result, my brushstrokes are certainly more even - and my drilling less disastrous - than they otherwise would have been. And nothing has fallen down or apart... yet.

So -feeling inspired to give your home a bit of TLC? Here are four makeover ideas that should be quick, cheap and simple to achieve...

1. Paint your front door

If painting the whole house seems like a horrible chore, spruce up your front door instead. You won't need much paint, and - as it's the first thing most visitors will see - this small task will make a big impression.

2. Replace hooks and handles

Revive tired-looking furniture and fittings by replacing hooks and handles. IKEA does a range of fairly minimalist handles at a reasonable cost; or check out Oliver Bonas for some more unusual options.

3. Mirror image

A couple of carefully-placed mirrors can make a small place look much bigger. IKEA comes up trumps in this category too, with wall mirrors starting from around £10.

4. A dramatic impression

A wallpaper feature wall can make a dull-looking room really special. And it's much more economical than wallpapering the whole place!

And if you don't fancy using wallpaper, you could create a picture gallery, use wall stickers or paint stripes on it instead... check out this Ideal Home guide for inspiration.

Good luck!

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