Outdoor update: Five budget decorating tips

Give your exterior space a makeover without breaking the bank.

1) First impressions count

A newly painted front door can dramatically change the look of your home. The best colour for your door depends a lot on the style of your house, but as a guide, traditional homes generally suit high gloss finishes such as rich red or navy, while modern homes suit more contemporary shades, such as warm greys, smoky lilac and teal.

2) Start small

Newly painted shutters, window frames and trim will make a huge difference to how your exterior looks and feels. Or, if you only have an afternoon to spare, why not use paint testers to give old pot plants a fresh look? Fill with your favourite plants or cuttings from your existing garden.

3) Keep the colours simple

A scheme of two or three colours will help you pull off a polished look without overdoing it. A sleek monochrome colour scheme is a great way to add drama without blowing the budget – and makes it easy for you to add colourful accents through accessories

4) Cue the colourful accents

Add a bold pick-me-up with soft furnishings in vibrant colors and modern prints like stripes and florals. Even a corner of your outdoor area can be made brighter with a splash of colour. Why not try dressing up an outdoor chair with some bright pillows and a striped beach umbrella?

5) Look after what you already have

A good waterproof exterior paint, fortifies wood against the effects of wind, sun, rain and snow and can even help iron and metal resist rust and corrosion. By refreshing your fence and furniture with a new coat of paint every 2-3 years, you will help to strengthen the timber, reducing the likelihood of it needing to be replaced. And, as an added bonus, you will always have a colourful backdrop for outdoor festivities.

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