If there's one things we love, it's a good hack, right? Those simple little tips that, once you hear them, will make you think: "Of course, why didn't I come up with that?" The beauty of these tricks lies in their simplicity. They aren't difficult to achieve, but they will make a huge difference to your home – and your life. Here are some of the best we've found that you can use for your abode. You're welcome.
Create wallpaper art
A simple and budget-friendly way to create wall art is to use spare wallpaper that you may have left over and just frame it. This is particularly effective where you have a feature wall – use a clipping of the paper from that wall, frame and hang it on an opposite plain wall to create a look that ties in perfectly.
Repurpose necklaces as curtain ties
If you’re not a fan of the traditional rope-style curtain tie-backs and want to create something with a bit more personality, why not use a necklace? You can either repurpose some of your own or root around your favourite vintage shop for something quirky. Don’t worry about finding two of the same – mismatches will just add to the eclectic feel.
Decant bathroom essentials
When you’ve spent ages putting together a beautiful bathroom, the last thing you want is a bunch of garishly coloured plastic bottles of products cluttering up your surfaces. Buy pretty glass bottles instead, and empty your shampoos and other essentials into them so they look more decorative.
Use magazines as placemats
Want to jazz up your dinner table but bored of your regular placemats? Use magazines instead. They do the job perfectly, plus they’ll keep your guests entertained while you’re in the kitchen putting the finishing touches to meals. Make sure to pick up titles you know your guests will enjoy – they’ll appreciate the personal touch.
Create temporary art displays
If you’ve got a lot of artwork that you want to display, but don’t have quite enough space on your walls, buy yourself an art shelf. That way, you can layer up your current favourites without making endless holes in the wall and switch them out any time you like.
Disguise the TV
A wall-mounted television can end up dominating a room, but there's a simple way to trick the eye into not seeing it. Place a picture frame around the TV screen and then hang actual artwork or even framed photographs above, beside and below the framed TV to make it look like part of a grouping.
Light up your cupboards
It can get frustrating when you can’t quite see into the back of a cupboard. Things can get jumbled and you risk buying replacements of items you think you don’t have, but are actually just hidden in the shadows. One easy solution is to stick small battery-operated motion-sensing lights inside your cupboards to ensure all the nooks are clearly visible.
Organise your wardrobe
Another way to make sure you can always find what you’re looking for is to paint your clothes hangers in different colours. Then simply group together items in a way that suits you – perhaps shirts on blue hangers, eveningwear on black and trousers on yellow. Or hang winter clothes on white and summer garments can go on red.
Hang pictures perfectly
If you’re trying to create an artfully arranged group of prints or photographs, you’ll need to create some sort of layout to see how things look before you start punching holes in your wall. Use contact paper cut to the size of your various frames. Stick them on the wall, moving them around until you’re happy, then use them as a guide for your drilling.
Natural insect repellent
If you’re not into repellent and don’t fancy shelling out for endless citronella candles, your best bet for getting rid of unwanted midges is to buy a naturally insect-repelling plant. Basil, lemon balm and lavender are all good options, and they look pretty, too.
Create a curtain rod canopy
Have you always wanted a four-poster bed, but couldn’t quite justify the expense? Create your own budget-friendly version by attaching curtain rods to the ceiling in a rectangular shape, then hang light voile curtains to create a luxurious canopy.
Use paint to raise your ceilings
Designers have all sorts of tricks that are easy to apply once when you know them. This includes making ceilings look higher by painting your walls only three quarters of the way up, then painting the top quarter in the same colour as the ceiling.
Rehang curtains to make windows bigger
Another clever optical illusion to do with size can be achieved with curtains. By hanging them higher (that is, closer to the ceiling rather than directly above the top of the window), you’ll give the impression of bigger windows.
Test paint colours in a box
When trying to decide on paint colours, it’s not enough to test a sample pot on a small patch of wall. Instead, paint the inside of a cardboard box. That way you’ll see how the colour changes with the shadows, plus you can move it around the room to see how the different lights impact the tone.
Keep the floor clear to create space
The eye naturally looks to floor to get a sense of the size of a room, so by keeping things off the floor, you can give the illusion of more space. You can do this by using wall-mounted shelves instead of a bookcase, for example, or choosing a sofa that is raised on legs rather than flush to the floor.
Create an eclectic peg rail
All you need for this cute little project is a scrap of wood (try a bit of driftwood or a distressed industrial-style plank) and a selection of drawer knobs. Screw these onto your wood and you have a perfect place to hang items that tend to get scattered about, such as summer scarves, jewellery, belts and other knick-knacks