Using soft furnishings to style your home: quick and on a budget

Sometimes you find yourself flicking through interior design magazines, gazing longingly at their glossy pages or unrealistically smart homes – always ‘on trend’, ‘ahead of the curve’, and in ‘this season’s fashionable colours’.

If you, like me, find yourself thinking how much you’d love to have that look, but can’t fathom how frequently these people must decorate their homes, then I may just have the answer. Well… an answer anyway.

See you can spend thousands on decorators, Farrow and Ball paints, and at Laura Ashley/John Lewis/[insert alternative desired soft furnishings brand here]. Or… you can spend a lot less money, and change the look and feel of your home cheaply and quickly.

So what’s the secret? Argos colour match. Yep, you read that right. A home and decorating magazine recommending the store with the laminated book of dreams.

Argos have designed a range of products that are all the same colours – curtains, lampshades, blinds, towels, rugs, and even bedding. Just pick the colour or colours that you want to use to create your new theme, and off you go. I chose to go with the grey or ‘mocha’ – looking for an understated neutral colour scheme to offset the developer whites and creams of my new build – but making sure that I didn’t make the home too dark – I’m a big fan of natural daylight.

You can pick up a pair of curtains for £15-£40 and they come in a variety of widths and drop lengths. Of course you get what you pay for, so don’t expect them to be lined or suitable for blackout, but for a quick and cheap refresh of your entire house – changing the colour of the curtains is a sure fire win. Get the matching colour lampshades to tie the theme in and you’re away.

The final addition to my shopping list was in keeping with my neutral theme, but taking the colour to the floor this time – Argos have a selection of rugs that once more are a really good price, and give you the chance to make a statement in your lounge, or bedroom, are soft underfoot, and best of all don’t give off a ridiculous amount of fluff (like one I had previously from a shop named after a mill).

All in all, I’m thrilled with my budget makeover – by simply choosing one colour and sticking to it across your soft furnishings, it looks both stylish and thought through. And best of all, it wouldn’t cost a lot if I change my mind in three months time and keep up with the ‘next season’s must have colour scheme’.

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