Heather Young is an interiors journalist and blogger at GrowingSpaces. She’s also a self confessed DIY addict.
There’s nothing I love more than finding a hack that will make my home that bit better, whether it’s about getting more organised, giving it a style update or nailing a DIY project that really delivers. I’ve rounded up my favourites which you could tackle in a weekend, from quick ideas that cost under £10, to home updates that make a big impact with minimal effort required.
BUDGET: UNDER £10
1. Get organised with blackboard jar labels
If you’re anything like me you’re always in a rush when you’re cooking, so I love the idea of painting the lids of storage jars with blackboard paint so you can write on the contents, making them really easy to grab from a drawer. You can get a bottle of blackboard paint for £3 from craft stores. Paint the lids if the jars are kept in drawers, or add a strip of paint to the side if they’re on a shelf.
2. Maximise under-sink storage
The cupboard under the kitchen sink is one of my ongoing clutter challenges – usually rammed full of cleaning products so it’s impossible to find what I need. One simple solution is to keep spray bottles off the bottom of the cupboard by hanging them over a tension rod (usually used for curtains). Try Johnlewis.co.uk for a range of products from £9.
3. DIY cable tidy
Anything that can help sort out the mass of cables and chargers scattered all over our house gets a big thumbs up from me. From keeping each one wound up in an empty toilet roll (labelled, of course), to this quick and easy label idea using washing tape, this is a quick organising project would make our home a lot happier.
BUDGET: £10 - £100
4. Give windows an easy update
For windows where privacy is an issue, but you don’t want to splash out on new curtains or blinds, window film could be your answer. Watch how super-stylist Maxine Brady from WeLoveHomeBlog.com replaces her dated net curtains with contemporary window film – a great solution if you’re on a tight budget. Window film starts from around £40 per sq m.
5. Add an over-door shelf
If space is tight in your home, then you need to get creative when it comes to storage options. One great idea is to utilise the often overlooked space above or around doorways. Add a shelf above the door frame, or go one step further and build shelving that frames the whole door. All you need is a plank of wood and some shelf brackets.
6. Spray kitchen cupboard doors
Stuck with a wood-effect kitchen that feels cheap and dated but not up for full kitchen renovation? Painting the doors will give your kitchen a new lease of life. Your best option is to spray them – PlastiKote Twist & Spray Colour comes in 43 shades (£7.49 for a 400ml can). If you're just painting the outside of the door, expect one can to cover around three doors.
7. Paint ugly vinyl flooring
Vinyl flooring is a hard-wearing and budget-conscious option for bathroom and kitchen floors, but it can look tired and dated. Why not give it a quick makeover with a lick of white paint? Watch how Hester makes her WC feel lighter and bigger simply by painting the wood-effect floor white. You can pick up a can of floor paint from around £30 from your nearest DIY shed.
8. Create a feature wall
Paint one wall a bold shade – not only will this add character and warmth, but it can help enhance the room’s proportions, too. Darker colours make the walls appear closer, so if your room is on the long side, paint one (or both!) of the shorter walls a deeper shade to bring them in. Learn more about picking the perfect paint colour with stylist and presenter Sophie Robinson…
9. Build a bench seat
I’m always up for an Ikea hack, and this DIY bench seat is a total winner in my book. It’s so easy to put together – all you need are two Alex drawers (£60 each), and two Besta shelf units, with Hanviken doors (£38 each). Screw them together to create a single unit. If you can’t get a cushioned seat made-to-measure, just add some standard seat pads for comfort.
10. Wall-to-wall storage
It’s official – you can never have too much storage! Spend a weekend creating a wall of storage and it will not only transform your space by helping you beat the clutter, but it will also give you a display space that will add a real focal point to the room.
11. DIY indoor climbing wall
My husband thought I was bonkers when I suggested we build a climbing wall in our son’s bedroom, but it’s been one of our biggest DIY hits! All you need is a couple of boards of plywood (around £40 each), some pro climbing holds (we got ours from holdz.co.uk for around £30), and some heavy-duty fixings (around £20) and you can build your own in a weekend.
Turn a bed into a four-poster
Another awesome Ikea hack, this time from Hester’s Handmade Home. In her video you can see how she turns a simple Malm bed from Ikea (£245) into a stunning four-poster with just a few bits of timber…
More about Heather Young