The best DIY decor updates for every room

Firmly settled into the spring season and ready for summer, this time often marks the moment when many of us decide to dust off the paintbrushes, purchase a power tool and use the bank holidays and weekends to embark on some DIY decorating.

While relaxation and taking a well-deserved break is necessary, why not also use your weekends to be productive around the house, giving each room a little bit of a revamp to settle into spring.

Living room

Those planning a refresh of their living-room walls might consider yellow – a colour that is having something of a moment thanks partly to the recent gold-themed redecoration of the much-Instagrammed London restaurant Sketch. Farrow & Ball released a sunshiny yellow called Citrona as part of its California Collection, created by superstar LA interior designer Kelly Wearstler, last year. “A yellow can introduce an optimistic and uplifting feeling to a space that’s perfect for spring,” says Wearstler, who adds that she likes to “completely saturate a room” in one colour, including painting the mouldings and doors.

For those who like the idea of yellow but don’t want it over all four walls, painting doors, shelves or woodwork are all ways to introduce it as an accent colour. It makes a good choice for a window surround too, where it can give the effect of sunlight streaming into a room, as shown (top) in a window recess painted in Mustard Jar by Crown.

On the cooler side of the colour wheel, powder blue is another shade that is on the rise. Bright Skies, a light airy blue, is Dulux’s “colour of the year” for 2022 and is described by the brand’s creative director Marianne Shillingford as “a breath of fresh air” and “a colour that makes us feel happy”. “It’s a cloudless sky filled with sunshine and birds,” she adds. “It’s almost a colour that makes a noise, as if you can hear the birds singing.”

Pale blue also makes a good foil for the greenery of house plants, wooden furniture and the rich terracotta shades that are currently on trend – as shown here paired with richly patterned pieces from Soho Home’s new collection with designer Eva Sonaike.

Updating your living room lighting scheme is another way to effect an instant change, and it doesn’t have to require a complete rewire. Plug-in wall lights with coloured flexes (try Dowsing & Reynolds) are an easy way to add an extra glow to dark spaces on walls, without having to call in an electrician, and adding an extra table or floor lamp will bring a soft pool of light to dark corners. 

Alternatively, just switching up your lampshades will give existing lamps a new lease of life and bring a splash of colour into the room. New brand Hum London sells pretty shades hand-painted with gingham, gemstone and zebra motifs, and Penny Morrison is a good source for fabric shades in colourful patterns with contrast trims (gathered fabric shades are currently on trend and help to bring texture as well as colour to a room). Choose a shade that echoes a colour from your furniture or cushions to help create a cohesive look.

TIP: For novice DIYers without all the kit, new company Roomix is a handy concept. Visit the website,, tap in the details of the job you want to do, and click to buy a project box that will be delivered to your door with everything you’ll need to achieve it, including how-to instructions.


Depending on the size of your kitchen (and the standard of finish you want), painting your cupboard doors is a job that could be done over the long weekend. It’s also the most cost-effective way to totally change the look of the room. (For inspiration, check out the Instagram feed of Lisa Dawson, who has repainted her kitchen cupboards no less than three times over the past two years.)

Colour-of-the-moment yellow will bring a cheerful look, as seen in the London kitchen of creative director Andrea Gelardin, who worked with paint brand Mylands on a new shade, named Freegrove Mustard. “I wanted to retain the traditional features and spirit of the house, while using vibrant colours and furniture to bring something new to the space,” she says, adding that she wanted to bring “the feel of a country house” to her urban home.

A quicker fix is to give your kitchen floor an update with a runner. Ruggable’s runners are inexpensive, starting from £79, and come in the form of a rug pad that clings to the floor and a patterned cover that can be removed and machine-washed, making them a good option for high-traffic areas. 


You don’t necessarily have to make major changes to your bathroom to give it a new look. Putting a house plant on the windowsill, hanging a picture and decluttering your bathroom products (as a general rule, throw out anything that has been open for more than a year), are all quick and cost-free ways to refresh the room.

Bathroom accessories have been a best-selling category for companies such as John Lewis, who report that customers are buying towels, bath mats, storage jars and baskets, and soap dishes and dispensers, to help give their bathroom a spa-hotel vibe. Advertisement

Painting your bathroom ceiling – usually the smallest ceiling in the house – is a job that can be done in a day, perhaps in Dulux’s Bright Skies, to give the room the feel of a spring morning.


The long weekend is a good opportunity to declutter and reorder the home-office, while work isn’t such a pressing issue. 

It might sound obvious, but rearranging the contents of your shelves can give a room a totally new look. Clearing, dusting and rearranging your shelves can also be a surprisingly therapeutic activity – and a good one to get done at a leisurely pace over a weekend. 

If the thought of colour-coordinated books leaves you cold, try mixing things up by arranging books in stacks – some vertical, some horizontal – and interspersing them with plants, candles and ornaments. 


The quickest way to give your bedroom a new look is to update your bedlinen, and dress the bed up with blankets and cushions. Patterned bedlinen is currently fashionable, but if the idea of a splashy print all over the bed feels less than conducive to a good night’s sleep, try a smaller-scale ditsy floral, such as the new range from Secret Linen Store, which introduces a little pattern in a subtler way.   

Updating your headboard is another way to add pattern to your bedroom (and is less visually distracting, as you won’t see the headboard when you’re lying in bed). A couple of metres of fabric, or a patterned blanket, can be stretched around the headboard and stapled into place (look up YouTube videos on headboard reupholstering for advice on how to get a neat finish). 

A perfect weekend DIY project is to paint your bedside tables. According to Annie Sloan, founder of the eponymous chalk paint brand, painting your bedside tables is a good place to start for an inexperienced decorator, as it’s quick to do (and easy to re-do if you get bored of the colour). Chalk paint requires very minimal preparation – simply wipe the cabinet down before you start. Try Zara Home for new cupboard or drawer handles to finish off the look in style. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *