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Get the look for less at this year’s Ideal Home Show

Posted at 12:00 pm, March 16, 2012 in Shopping & Style
Alison Cork - Ideal Home Show

Want a spring spruce up but can’t really afford it? Alison Cork’s ‘Get The Look For Less’ room sets will feature at this year’s Ideal Home Show 2012 (March 16-April 1). We chatted to her about interior decorating on the cheap…
We’re sick of tacky paper lantern lampshades – is there a cheap (but less studenty way) of dressing lights?
Paper lanterns are cheap, but stylish they are not. It’s always worth spending a few extra pounds to create a centerpiece for a room. The ever reliable BHS (where lighting ranks amongst their strongest lines) is a great place to start, as is B&Q, where the designers keep close tabs on trends and even closer tabs on prices. For a twist on the paper lantern with eco and style credentials, you can’t beat the Bloom Pendant Light Shade  which smacks of designer style but is only £36.95.

The  industrial chic trend doesn’t look like its going anywhere: we still want enamel lights, dark wood floors and utilitarian furniture. How can we get the look without taking out a loan?
For authentic lighting, raw materials and shabby industrial chic, head to reclamation yards or, better still, demolition sites and speak to the site manager for salvage. For flooring, try local timber yards or ask your local builder for a recommendation. As for recycled, rescued and restored accessories, I love Re Found where the unique items start from a few pounds.

Time  Out Towers has an empty box room – any ideas for giving the dead space a purpose on the cheap?
Where space is at a premium, you’re not going to be able to produce a room for relaxation or socialising that won’t feel oppressive. I would suggest putting down one or two scatter cushions or beanbags and painting the walls with blackboard paint and creating an ‘ideas zone’ for brainstorms.

What  are your top three tips for giving a room a facelift on a shoestring?
A lick of paint and updating soft furnishings like curtains, lampshades, cushions and throws can totally change the dynamic of a room and are easy enough to change regularly. Also, look to up-cycle and recycle. Before you replace something, think about how you could transform your existing furniture and transform it into something special. Think about how a nest of tables might look if they were painted in 3 different shades or how your dining set would look with painted chairs and new covers…

Sofas are super expensive, but we still want to sit comfortably and stylishly. Can you help?
Sofas can be expensive but they don’t have to be if you know where to look. Out of town furniture warehouses stock cancelled orders and overstock from some of the major high-street brands. You can pick up branded sofas, armchairs at 50 per cent less than you’d pay in your local department store. Visit trade-secret.co.uk  or homebrands.co.uk for more info.

For info, see idealhomeshow.co.uk (sponsored by Everest and in support of the Ideal Homes For Heroes appeal in aid of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity).

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