Two inexpensive ways to update the appearance of your home

Updating your home's appearance when you don't have a lot of money to spare can be quite tricky. Here are some tips which should help you to do this:

Create a tile border in your bathroom or kitchen

Retiling all four walls of your bathroom or kitchen is an effective way to improve the appearance of these areas of your home. However, it's also an incredibly laborious and expensive process.

If you want to update these rooms but don't have the time or the funds to replace all of the tiles, it might be worth removing one single strip of tiles from the centre of each wall and putting contrasting tiles in their place, to create a beautiful, eye-catching border.

If the existing tiles are plain, you might want to use patterned or brightly coloured ones for the border. Conversely, if the current tiles in the room are quite 'busy' looking, then it might be best to use simple, unadorned tiles for the border.

This is a good way to add some visual interest to these parts of your property. Due to the fact that you only need to buy and fit enough tiles to cover one strip on each wall, it's also very affordable.

Introduce more light into each room

Adding more light into a poorly-lit room can instantly alter its appearance, turning it from a dark, drab and cramped space into a bright, inviting and more spacious-looking area.

There are several ways to introduce more light into a room. Begin by maximising the amount of natural light that enters the space; you can do this by swapping heavy, opaque curtains for low-cost sheer voile panels, that will allow sunlight to stream through the windows throughout the day. Then, hang a plain mirror on a wall across or next to the window; this will reflect any light that comes through the glass and make the room look even brighter.

To ensure that the room continues to look bright and welcoming after sunset, use table lamps with low-wattage bulbs instead of stark overhead ceiling lights.

Additionally, if any of the rooms have special features (such as an antique fireplace, a striking piece of artwork or a beautiful rug), you might want to place candles or table lamps around or underneath these items, to draw attention to them. This will serve to detract from the room's less attractive areas and enhance its best features.