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decorating

There are more than a few ways to spruce up a small living space without spending an absolute fortune.

With homeware trends constantly changing, there are a few cheap, temporary home decor methods to ensure your home looks beautiful whatever the season.

Here are a few tips on adding character to a room without breaking the bank.

Fierce frames

Pictures make such a difference to your home – giving each space bags of personality and a homely feel.

You can get a set of cheap picture frames from Dealz, Penneys or your local charity shop, and add in your own personal photos for a touch of nostalgia. 

Window-lust

We all long for floor-to-ceiling windows flooding our little apartments with light, but unfortunately that's not always the case. 

Provide yourself with your own preferred view with a large-scale canvas picture of some gorge scenery. It will brighten up your home while providing a gorgeous view. 

Plant life

Plants make any home look a little more lively, plus they look amazing in the background of Instagram photos. 

Try some low maintenance cacti on your windowsill or go all out with a potted corner plant. 

Just don't forget to water them!

Upgrade with trim

Adding a trim will liven up otherwise ordinary upholstery around your home, especially if you're in a rental where permanent interior edits are frowned upon. 

Go for pom poms on lampshades or even add velvet ribbons to your decorative mason jars. 

You can also try creating your own coasters from fabric if you're feeling crafty. 

Pull it together

Pull your room together with affordable accessories you pick up along the way, as there is no need to buy new things if you already have home accessories to work with. 

Charity shops and car boot sales are great places for bargains, or add bits and bobs from your travels. 

Got a burned out candle? Re-purpose the jar as a jewellry holder or vase. 

Jazz up a shower curtain

Ever stepped into the shower of your rental accommodation and wondered 'what the hell is that on the shower curtain?'

Rather than living in fear that your shower curtain is slowing moulding away, pick up a cheap and cheerful printed curtain to add new life to a tired bathroom .

Spruce up your artwork

Spruce up a humble piece of art with oversize matting and framing.

Consider investing in original artwork by local up-and-comers and find out when art colleges are having student showings of original works at affordable prices.

Look around

Take the time to see what's out there. Refinish pieces you find in second hand shops, adding your own creative ideas to them.

If you're handy with the power tools, acquire a piece of marble, glass or granite, cut it down to size and put it on top of a dresser or end table. 

The piece you buy will become an original all over again.

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From Daniel Craig's 007, to Mad Men's Don Draper and Christian Grey of the Fifty Shades trilogy – sophisticated, dapper gentlemen have now firmly pushed to one side the scruffy, gum-chewing bad boys of yesteryear.

And while their suits, their swagger, and their many successes naturally appeal no end, their incredible abodes are something of a mega-attraction too. 

Indeed, here at SHEmazing! we say there are few things sexier than a man who takes pride in his home – whether that's a box-room in his parents' place or a sprawling, detached property.

Thankfully, and choosing to ignore any lingering traffic cones or quirky beers mats from his college years, there are simple, affordable ways to revamp a living space too. 

Yes, armed with the right inspiration (Fifty Shades Darker hits Irish cinemas on February 10, for example) even the dullest of spaces can be transformed into something manly and striking.

Goodbye tatty boys-club gaff; hello cosmopolitan man-cave dwelling!

Here are six simple ways to give refined home-decor a distinctly masculine twist…

1) Accessories are everything 

Forming the perfect living space isn't exclusive to those with a millionaire bank balance. After all, when it comes to creating sleek, masculine interiors, the likes of leather photo frames, matching plates and cutlery, and luxurious faux-fur throws go a LONG way. 

2) Get rid of any junk

Clutter is out! Small living environments in particular can't support a load of 'stuff'. Go through every possession and aim to chuck as much of it as possible. Old DVDs and CDs? Out! Keep your wardrobe simple and concise too; discard anything that's tatty, worn, or dated.

3) Keep the colour-scheme simple

Embrace earthy hues like browns, greys, or deep greens. Or alternatively opt for two or three complementing colours and work with those – not only on the walls and ceilings, but also via accessories, furniture, and paintings. 

4) Storage boxes are a BIG help

Aim to keep day-to-day clutter out of sight. Bathrooms shouldn't be littered with products; bedrooms shouldn't be strewn with clothing, and sitting-rooms should be free of the likes of games consoles and gadgets. Invest in some good-quality storage boxes to help you clear away as much as possible.

5) Create a central feature

Christian Grey may have THAT Fazioli piano in his breathtaking penthouse – but even a bicycle or smaller musical instrument mounted on a wall can create a great central feature and talking point. If that feels too ambitious, use a piece of art or a quirky charity-shop find instead. 

6) Stick to a cleaning schedule

After discarding, decorating, and rearranging – don't let all your hard work go to waste by then not implementing a strict cleaning schedule. Leave the actual scrubbing and washing for the weekends, but daily, aim to complete a 20-minute tidy and re-ordering.

 

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Surely we weren’t the only ones who used to flick through the Argos catalogue when we were kids, pointing out all the things we’d buy for our house when we grew up? A pink toaster, a bean bag, a hedge trimmers – wait, no! Not unless you could get them in pink, anyhow.

Well, not much has changed, because we still love imagining all the things we’d buy for our house if we had the money, or space. Here are some of our favourites!

We'd make every hipster in town green with envy when they saw our VW toaster.

And we wouldn't be able to make a pot pf tea without being overwhelmed from the cuteness of this kettle! 

Obviously, we'd have a ridiculously pretty, and totally impractical tea set for visitors.  

And a transparent washing machine, to show off all our fancy knickers. 

Clearly, we'd need a MASSIVE couch for all our friends. 

But if there was no room left on the couch, we'd just while away the hours with a good book on the loo. 

A walk-in wardrobe was always top of the list too. 

And an awesome indoor swimming pool – a girl can dream, eh? 

Images via Pinterest

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If your home is looking a bit dull and dreary lately, but the thought of picking up a paint brush fills you with dread, then fear not. A lick of paint isn’t the only way to brighten up a room. Here a five ways to brighten up your home, with minimal effort.

Bright cushions
We’re big cushion fans here in SHEmazing!, and the brighter the better.

Flowers
Not only will flowers breath fresh air into your room, they are also look really pretty.

New curtains
Curtains take up a lot of wall space, so if you invest in a brightly coloured set, they will definitely wake up your dreary room.

Paintings and photos
There’s nothing like some art or photos to brighten up any space, as well as adding some personality.

Colourful furniture
It’s our dream to own a multi-coloured couch just like this. This will DEFINITELY brighten up the dullest of rooms!

Images via Pinterest

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If you’ve grown bored of the décor in your bedroom but don’t have a lot of cash to spare giving it a complete revamp, don’t worry. There are some simple things you can do to breathe some life into a tired space.

Cushions
You can get cheap and cheerful cushions in Ikea or even Tesco that will brighten up your room. If you’re a crafty type of person, you could make new covers for your old cushions out of any material you have lying around – it’s always nice to have a personal touch!

New furniture
Ok, so this might not sound like a budget friendly option, but if you look on any of the Freecycle websites, you never know what you might find, and it won’t cost you a penny!

Change things around
You’d be surprised what a difference you can make by simply moving your bed from one side of the room to another. Just beware of uncovering a LOT of dust and/or cobwebs!

Mirrors
It’s always nice to have some pretty mirrors in your room. Screw them to your wardrobe doors or strategically place them on your wall so that they increase the light in the room.

Change bed clothes
Whether you want to go out and buy a brand new duvet cover or just change it to one you already have, changing bed clothes is definitely a great way of giving your room a facelift.

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If you’re living in a tiny apartment or bedsit, it doesn’t mean you can’t get creative when doing some decorating.

Here are some tips on how to make the most of your small space, after all, we all know size isn’t important!

De-clutter
Before you start decorating, it is essential that you de-clutter. Get rid of everything you don’t use or absolutely adore. This will allow you more space to showcase your most prized possessions.

Storage
The number one problem when you’re living in a small apartment is finding somewhere to store all your stuff. A bed or couch with storage underneath can be a life saver for the bedroom. In the kitchen area you can play around with ideas, such as using a peg board to hang utensils on. Walls are generally empty spaces so you should use them to your advantage. Look on Pinterest for some creative DIY options, such as using a magnet on your kitchen wall to hold cutlery!

Mirrors
Mirrors create the illusion of more space, so if you’re feeling slightly claustrophobic, a mirror could do just the trick. Personalise it with some photos or flowers to add your own feel to the place.

Accessorize
Just because your home is small, doesn’t mean it can’t be filled with character. Accessorise with photos, paintings, cushions, rugs and throws to put your stamp on the space.

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Feeling a little uninspired lately? Rather than blaming sleep or other things have you ever thought that the ambience of your study area could be holding you back?

Here are the best ways to inspire creativity at home  – stick with us and you will be inspired in no time

Choose your colours wisely
Paint your walls green or blue to help remind you of the outside and feelings of being free. Yellow is good to get the juices flowing but avoid white which will likely give you a headache.

Listen to music
Background noise is helpful in keeping you awake and creative. Punk, jazz, classical and rock are good to get your juices flowing but avoid chart (whoops!) and disco.

Have a drink
Coffee is great to keep you alert, but stick to decaf. A glass of water or juice will also keep you going.

Create a nice smell
Light a scented candle or pop a little vase onto your desk and fill it with fresh flowers. There is nothing like a good smell to unleash your creative side.

Have stress ball
Release tense by leaving a stress ball on your desk. Squeeze it when you’re feeling overwhelmed and you will be back to yourself in no time.

 

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Place mats are not just for sitting under your plate – they’re actually pretty handy if you want to decorate your home on the cheap.

Most of them cost less than your bus fare and come in really funky colours and designs. You can pick some up in IKEA from just €0.85, so you can go wild.

Wall art
Pick up four place mats – you can use varying colours or stick to the same ones. All you need to do is fix them to your wall in a creative design or pop them into frames for alternative wall art. The floral one (below) from IKEA would be so pretty on your wall.

Pop of colour
If you fancy a pop of colour around your house, grab a couple of fabric mats and drape them over your sofa or use as a centre piece on your table.

Mouse pad
Add colour to your work or study life by investing in a laminated place mat for under your mouse. Amazing.

Now you have no excuse not to have a fun home, even if you don’t have a huge budget.

placemats_001

L – r: IKEA €0.85, IKEA €1.45, IKEA €3.50, IKEA €2.25

 

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With such a vast range of colours to choose from, it can be very easy to just pick a colour we love rather than thinking about how it affects the room as a whole.

Below are some suggestions for what colours should go in each room and how they can positively affect the people in them.

1. Kitchen

The colour red is known to stimulate the appetite. Good for Mc Donald’s? Definitely. For your home, perhaps not. Warm colours are also generally avoided in a kitchen as they make a room look small and overcrowded. Neutrals such as taupe or beige work very well in kitchen as do muted greens such as sage.

2. Bathroom

The bathroom is a place that should be bright and airy. However it should also be a haven of relaxation. One way to maintain this balance is to paint one or two walls (depending on the shape) a darker, bolder colour, such as a navy or orange and leave the rest a bright neutral colour such as white, which is associated with cleanliness.

3. Living room

This is a room in which you will spend quite a lot of time, so it has been suggested you keep the living room a muted neutral colour that will promote both calming and warming properties. In order to relax it is best to avoid stimulating red and oranges. Muted greens, yellows and beiges would work well in a living room. Rich browns/blues also work well, but they will make a small room even smaller.

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