Decorate without blowing the budget

With the change of seasons often comes the desire to refresh and update your interiors, but there's also that new pair of boots you have your eye on, or that amazing coat! There are plenty of ways you can breathe new life into your home without blowing the budget, and I'm going to share a few of my faves.

Bring the outdoors in. Flowers and foliage always looks beautiful in your home, adding life and texture. You don't need to spend a lot of money at a florist, just look to your garden. Sometimes the simplest arrangements are the best.

Clean and declutter. It goes without saying that the easiest way to make your home look good is to clean and declutter it. I love knick knacks and ornaments, but I'm careful to only have pieces that I absolutely love. Look around your house at the things you have on display, if they're not beautiful, sentimental, or functional, let them go. Once you've done this, rearrange your shelves and table tops to create new vignettes with your favourite possessions. Your home will look and feel lighter as well as tidier.

Change your layout. Regularly changing the vignettes around my home keeps things fresh and interesting. The same applies to furniture. Changing the layout of your room can transform your space. Pull your sofa out from the wall, swap pieces from another room, move pieces around, it's fun creating a new look using your existing furniture.

Get out your paintbrush. Paint is one of the simplest ways to transform a room, and is much cheaper than new furniture. You may want to freshen everything with a crisp white, or get brave and introduce colour. If you're not sure about which colour to choose, talk to us, we love working on colour palettes for our clients.

Display your kids' art. Kids often create the best art - they're not afraid to go crazy and they have a certain freedom about their creations. One of my favourite pieces I've seen online is a bedhead made by a teenager and her friends on a simple canvas drop-cloth.

Get crafty. Don't leave it all to the kids, get in touch with your own inner artist and crafter. Are there any pieces of furniture that you can repurpose or breathe new life into? I love this simple side table created by a stack of magazines on a piece of wood with caster wheels. What a great use of all those magazines you have lying around.

Here are a couple of cool DIY projects that I came across recently (click on the image to see how to make them)... I love the wall hangings and they will add great texture to a room.

The pressed flowers hark back to my first suggestion to bring the outdoors in. You take the glass from two equal size frames, place your pressed flower or foliage between the two and tape together with strong white tape creating a frame - love that!

I hope you find at least one thing in this post that you want to try. Remember, it's your home, the choices you make should reflect you, and make you happy when you walk through the door. Change is as good as a holiday.

Made It My Own with Annie Sloan

Annie Sloan developed her unique Chalk Paint™ over 20 years ago, and she is now perhaps the world's most respected expert in decorative paint, colours and techniques. With Chalk Paint™ you get a velvety matt finish without the need for tiresome printing and sanding. The paint sticks to just about any surface... wood, concrete, metal, matt plastic, earthenware and more. Add Annie Sloan Soft Wax to achieve a subtle sheen as well as protection and durability.

The colours available and finishes you can achieve are just amazing, and you'll find a fabulous range of tips and techniques on the website. Try two-colour distressing, a smooth, modern finish, or how about the rustic, chippy look.

Everything you'll need for your painting projects can be found on the Annie Sloan website - paint, wax, brushes, stencils, even books and fragrances, and I'm pretty taken with their range of fabrics.

Get inspired by creations and transformations others have achieved with the help of the Annie Sloan range...

And when you're ready to start on your own project, you can share and show off your creative flair and up-cycling skills, as well the chance to win $100's of Annie Sloan prizes. Made It My Own with Annie Sloan is running until the end of September, so there's still time to be a part of it. To find out what's involved and how to enter click here.

Tea Pea School

Dael and I have had the pleasure of working with Meg, Scott and the wonderful Tea Pea team over the years, and we were really excited to hear that they were expanding their thriving business to include a Tea Pea School.

As well as being extremely creative herself, Meg has had the opportunity to meet and work with a plethora of other talented people. Wanting to share the joy and the knowledge, "The School" was established to teach, and inspire others to express their creativity in a diverse range of ways.

make a wreath with adaptation to a floral chandelier

ceramic bunting making

Launching this month, there are over twenty workshops, talks and demonstrations for you to choose from. Try your hand at Shibori dying, or learn to make ceramic tea lights; have you always wanted to learn the art of writing, or how about cake decorating? There are so many options and more are being added all the time.

the art of writing

ruffles and roses cake decorating

You can book and go alone to your favourite workshop - use it as an opportunity to network and meet other like-minded people. Another fun idea is to gather a group of your girlfriends or work mates together. Contact the Tea Pea team to see if you can organise your own special workshop - what a great team-building idea!

make a kokedamas

tricks and tips for decorating a child's space

As well as the knowledge, the experience, and the yummy refreshments, you will also take away with you a lovely goodie bag. Classes start from just $45, so go and check them all out now. To keep up to date with any new classes, join the Tea Pea mailing list and follow them on Facebook too.