10 cheap and cheerful ways to lift January gloom

Is your home feeling bare and looking duller than you remember now you’ve taken down the Christmas tree and put the decorations away for another year?

It’s a familiar feeling, made worse by the fact that money’s always tight at this time of year. But you don’t have to splash the cash to sweep the post-Christmas blues out of the house.

Try these suggestions to jazz up your January home with some help from the sales and a little creativity. It’s amazing how a fresh approach and a few new finishing touches can cheer the place up – without busting your household’s New Year austerity budget!

Fairy (light) magic
Simple white fairy lights look lovely on the Christmas tree, but there’s no need to box them away just yet. Keep the winter gloom at bay by draping them over shelves, a bedstead, or use them to decorate a large feature plant or arrangement of twigs

Keep some sparkle
OK, baubles look a little sad when they come off the tree, and lots of glitter just feels wrong after December 31. But think again – a couple of gold or bronze baubles will add a warm glow to a bowl or basket of rattan balls or pot pourri and make a pretty table display

Scatter some colour
Hit the sales and snap up some new scatter cushions in a cheerful colour to liven up your living room

Snuggle up
Cosy throws can be found at low prices in the sales, so if your budget/diet means you’re not going out and you can’t have chocolate this month at least you can console yourself and be a warm and comfy couch potato while you watch TV!

Mug up
Cheer up your kitchen – and breakfast on these dark January mornings – with some new mugs in bright colours. Matching dinner services, tea towels and oven gloves can also be picked up in the sales.

Try a new accent
If you can’t afford a whole room makeover, for the price of a pot of paint you can have a dramatic new feature wall. Pick up the free decorating guides at your DIY store for inspiration.

Let the sunshine in
Warm up windows and grey days with simple blinds in sunny yellow or spring green – seek out roller blind bargains in the sales or buy some cheap fabric and it’s really easy to make your own tie-up blinds - you can download a how-to guides at www.clarifyinteriors.co.uk

In the frame
Want some new wall art? Recycle your old frames but replace images you are tired of with a patterned fabric that matches your colour scheme. Or for small frames, find some high quality images you like on the internet and print off and frame them.

Flower power
Nothing lifts a room like a flower arrangement, but you don’t have to spend a fortune. Cheap and cheerful daffodils in a sparkling glass are a welcome visual reminder that Spring’s not TOO far away, and the gorgeous fresh scent of a simple potted hyacinth will boost your winter-jaded spirits better than any artificial air freshener.

And so to bed
If you can only afford to buy one new thing in the sales, make it a set of crisp new bedlinen - there are some great bargains to be had, particularly in supermarket home departments. If humans can't hibernate, waking up in a refreshed bedroom will at least make those grim dark winter mornings yet to come a tiny bit easier to face!

Clarify Interiors specialises in 'minimum expense, maximum impact' home styling including one-room makeovers in a day. If would like a new look for your home in 2012 and want professional interior expertise WITHOUT the interior designer price tag - call Clare at Clarity Interiors on 01865 549955 or 07917 716004.