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Tricks that will make the best of the very worst

Everyone gets a different lot in life. Some of us are tall, some short. Some fat, some thin. Some, like Angelina Jolie, seem to have it all, while those like the lovely Mr Danny Devito, not so much.

We all have to work around the parts we don't like, but that's what makes us interesting and individual. So how do we apply this to interior design? How do we work around the parts of a room that we can't stand the sight of but don't have the money to replace?

Here are a few examples of those areas that you might not like but might bust your budget to remove.

Tiling: What's the alternative to the lime-green bathroom tiles that have been there since 1972? Take the colour and use it in other areas of the bathroom. For example, in the shower curtain, blinds or accessories. You don't have to use the exact same colour as the tile; pick other greens or yellows that hold the same tone that will complement rather than blend in.

Kitchen: Why not think about keeping the main body of the kitchen and either changing the doors or repainting them? Or, perhaps, you could get the new look you want by replacing the door handles, counter top and sink mixer.

Lighting: Lighting can date very quickly, especially given the speed at which new designs are coming on to the market. But if you're happy to replace with shades rather than hanging or fixed light fittings, then there are a number of tasteful and cheap alternatives.

If you have surplus material that you love, but it's just too small to do anything with, then think about having it incorporated into a shade. Check out lamp shade company Nostalgia who make bespoke shades of all shapes and sizes (wwww.nostalgiadesigns.com).

Sofas: Maybe it's a faded red or a burnt orange with one of those embroidery-type patterns etched into it. Or perhaps it's a dusty pink that used to match the curtains . . . and the carpet . . . and the walls . . . Lord!

Whatever the colour, there are many choices when it comes to sofas. Getting them re-upholstered is not only a financially viable option, but also an environmentally friendly one.

Floral curtains: Unless it's 1975 and The Bay City Rollers are in the charts, there's just no excuse for floral curtains.

So, on the basis that you've saved on all the areas above, why not go mad and buy a whole new set of curtains?


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