Give your family room a makeover

If your family room feels like it's still stuck in the 20th century or looking a bit worse for wear, here's how to give it an affordable makeover. In this feature we look at how easy it can be - and inexpensive - to give your family room a makeover.

Slipcovers... seriously !

You don't absolutely have to replace furniture that is still in good condition, despite the fact that it looks stained and shabby.
If you don't know how to sew, sign up a new friend that does and get them to help you make affordable slipcovers for your furniture.

There are some great fabrics out there that won't cost an arm and a leg . Think cotton or bull denim and you'll be able to wash and wash your covers clean as and when they need it. Keep colours neutral and you will find it more affordable to add colourful cushions and accessories to keep your home looking trendy.



Treasured trash

Shop secondhand stores for bargain buys that can be transformed with a can or two of Rust-Oleum spray paint in the accent colours you have chosen for the room. Lamp bases and candlesticks can be instantly revamped with a good cleaning and a quick spray.

Tailormade accessories

With a few DIY skills up your sleeve it's easy to think about making your own furniture for a home. You'll find plenty of quick and easy DIY furniture projects that you can do, so when you can't afford to buy something unique for your home - you can make it. While our circular ottoman might not be designer, with the right fabric there's no reason it can't look stunning.

Refresh with paint

One can of Plascon Double Velvet goes a long way towards giving your family room a brand new look. By keeping to light colours in neutral tints any room will be instantly refreshed. Paint trim in a crisp white Plascon Velvaglo to brighten up those dull skirtings and trim around windows and doors.

And don't forget our trick for adding trim to windows for even more impact. Paint isn't just for walls. Make up a coffee table using supawood and finish in your choice of colour.

If you follow our tip below for making your own picture frames, a sheet of supawood costs around R600 at your local Builders Warehouse and they can cut everything to size to make a coffee table and your picture frames, plus still have board left over for odd projects you might want to do.

Roll out the rug

If your budget doesn't stretch to buying a new rug, you can always look at the option of buying an inexpensive plain rug and adding a colourful design with paint. It does work and it does look good if you don't rush it and do it properly.

Impact art

Create a gallery of your favourite family photographs by mounting them in the same frames. Use a PC scanner - or ask you local print shop - to convert all the photos to greyscale (black and white) and mount with white matt mounting boards. And don't forget that it's easy to make your own picture frames - and you can make them all to match.