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Easy weekend projects to refresh your home

Read time:

21st May 2024

Looking for simple ways to inject new style? Try one of our quick projects you can get done and dusted in a couple of days

An achievable makeover gives a real sense of accomplishment and can make a big impact to the look of your home in just a weekend. The advantage of a small-scale, specific project is that you can have your paint and tools packed away before the working week rolls around again – and you may even have time to fit in a Parkrun or pub lunch while you’re waiting for the paint to dry.

For instant gratification, choose a project that makes a real difference to your quality of life, whether that’s creating a more attractive home office, giving yourself a warmer welcome with a front door refresh, or adding a decorative feature to your living space that will lift your spirits every day.

Celestial Blue by
Celestial Blue by

Give the front door a makeover

Adding instant kerb appeal, painting your front door is such a simple way to transform the look of your property, and give you a boost every time you arrive home. You don’t even have to take the door off its hinges – just make sure you pick a fine, dry day when you won’t need to leave the house, as the door will need to be left open until it’s dry.

These days, almost anything goes for front doors so don’t be afraid to express your personal taste – from baby pink to heritage green or sassy scarlet – but just ensure you choose an exterior paint.

If you have patches of bare wood, you’ll need to apply a primer first, but if the existing paintwork is in good condition you may be able to progress straight to a topcoat. If you’re going from a dark colour to light, it’s best to apply an undercoat first or you may need several layers.

Put your door hardware back on, or update it with new fittings. Check out the large range of quality door furniture at Broughtons ironmongers, from knockers to letter plates, or for originals reclaimed from period homes go to English Salvage. Finally, add a pretty planter to your doorstep – from spring bulbs to an evergreen bay tree – for a lovely finishing touch.

Add character to your office space

With remote or hybrid working a reality for many of us, the home office has become a permanent fixture. Workspaces range in scale from a purpose-built garden room to a tiny desk squeezed on to the landing, but regardless of how spacious your office is, one of the many joys of working from home is that you can personalise it in a way that inspires and motivates you.

Space-saving accessories such as a slimline desk or folding bureau and wall-mounted shelves are great for a smaller space or an office ‘corner’, and ideal for displaying unique pieces that bring you joy. And even if it’s not a room with a view, you can still ensure you have something lovely to look at, whether it’s a wall mural or hanging plants.

Adding feature wallpaper or using a bold shade of paint can add character to your office or nook, and help create a visual transition between business and pleasure each day, something that can often be missing without a commute to create. While wallpaper can be a little more time-consuming to hang, the new paste-the-wall varieties make it so much easier to apply. Try Mind the Gap for maximalist patterns with a vintage vibe, or prints designed by contemporary artists at Feathr.

For a few original touches, take a break from DIY and pop out to an antiques market or car-boot sale to pick up some quirky vintage accessories to personalise your revamped workspace.

Transform a window

A new window treatment can make a substantial difference. Adding a roller or roman blind in simple linen, a beautiful print or a zingy colour adds instant style while keeping the window – and the room – uncluttered, while curtains are more traditional and create a luxe or cosy feel. For vintage-inspired fabrics for window treatments, F&P Interiors has an extensive collection, or try Jane Clayton.

Dressing with plants can help bring the outdoors in – interior windowsills are the perfect place to gather a collection of sun-loving houseplants. They can also help soften a less attractive view, while still letting in light.

Adding a seasonal window box elevates your home’s exterior and ensures your views are always framed by flowers and foliage. Decorative Garden Antiques has vintage window boxes, or you can find beautifully handcrafted planters in a range of vintage styles at Garden Requisites.

If you’re in London, consider a membership with Living Windows, who will plan, design and maintain seasonal window boxes for your home.

Create a reading nook

Sometimes, just finding the right chair can give you the impetus to create the perfect space to relax and enjoy some screen-free time, while an underused corner in the house could be cleared this weekend for your new me-zone.

You don’t need much space for a comfy chair and small side table, so consider the landing, a corner of a rarely used spare bedroom, the space under the stairs, the garden shed, or perhaps think about installing and painting a simple window seat in the living room or kitchen.

Dulcet fabric in Old White by
Dulcet fabric in Old White by

In an ideal world, a reading nook would be in a room with a view too, but if a space by a window is not possible, think about creating a cosy hideaway in a neglected corner instead, and illuminate the nook with carefully considered task lighting.

Antiques fairs are a great hunting ground for your essential furniture and fittings. Look for a beautiful antique chair (which could be reupholstered) – Vinterior is your online go-to for vintage chairs of all styles and eras. Include a little side table with scope for upcycling with paint or decoupage, and accessories such as a footstool and storage for books and magazines, including wall shelving and a rack or basket. Add a beautiful cushion and throw for cosying up, and a pretty coaster for your cuppa too.

Make a natural hanging display

Lately there’s been a growing trend for creating stylish hanging decorations, using foliage, twigs and flowers. These can vary from extravagant, almost chandelier-like hanging displays, to more discreet wall hangings.

An effective ceiling display can be created with two securely positioned hooks, some strong wire, and a beautifully shaped branch or multiple branches. Check you have sufficient clearance height to avoid bumped heads, and then decorate. Fairy lights that run from a battery pack are ideal – look for elegant sets on copper wire or try contemporary bulb or lantern-style lights. Lights4Fun offers lovely decorative lighting options, including some faux branches and foliage with lights attached.

You can also add some hanging decorations such as white or silver baubles or glass globes, and entwine with natural materials such as feathers and real or faux foliage or flowers. Try Sophie Allport for faux foliage, or Cox & Cox for the prettiest dried flower baubles along with faux flowers.

If you don’t want to attach branches to the wall or ceiling, try a simple arrangement of interesting-shaped twigs and small branches in a large vase, from which you could also hang decorations or entwine with fairy lights. Remember that simple looks are often more effective, so sticking to one decorative addition may appear more striking.

For more inspo, take a look at our budget-friendly ideas for instant impact.


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