Spring is a time for fresh starts – and that means it’s the perfect opportunity to revamp your home.
Whether you want to tackle a small project or have a spare weekend to devote to something grander, B&Q has everything you need.
The trusted retailer – which stocks everything from tools to paint, bathrooms to kitchens and lighting to garden furniture – is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month and is marking the occasion by launching a nationwide search for a home improvement rising star.
If you have transformed your first home, have given your bedroom an Instagram-worthy makeover or simply put your own stylish stamp on a rented flat with friends, you could be in with a chance to be crowned B&Q’s first ever Home Improvement Rising Star of the Year.
To qualify, tell B&Q about the home improvement project you’re super proud of and what skills you used to create the look and upload a picture. The three finalists will then be challenged to put their interior flair to the test during an exclusive project day in London, where they’ll style a space using products from diy.com against the clock.
The final result will be judged by our trio of judges; architectural and design historian and broadcaster, Tom Dyckhoff, B&Q Category Director of Surface and Décor, Iain McColgan, and Metro Home Editor, Liz Burcher. The winner will then walk away with a £2,500 B&Q gift card to help you improve your home the way you want it. Meanwhile, two runners-up will receive a £500 B&Q gift card each.
So, to give you some interiors inspiration, here’s eight clever ways you can transform your home – no matter what your budget…
Make a statement: Pairing a neutral wall with a bold ceiling is an on-trend way to bring drama into a room. Pictured, GoodHome Durable Kensington Matt Emulsion Paint, £16 from B&Q
1) TRY A STATEMENT CEILING
Statement walls have long been an interior design staple – but this year it’s all about raising the roof with a statement ceiling.
You can easily update any area of the home by focusing on this usually blank canvas and using colours or patterns that contrast with the rest of the room for ultimate drama.
This hot new trend is set to be huge this year, with searches for ‘statement ceilings’ up 185 per cent on Pinterest.
A bold ceiling will help pull a room together and works wonderfully alongside a more neutral colour palette such as greys, beiges and creams. Opt for some serious drama with a deep, rich shade like GoodHome Durable Kensington Matt Emulsion Paint, £16 for 2.5L from B&Q.
Can’t find that colour you have in your head? Don’t worry! B&Q can stir up over 2.2 million shades using the groundbreaking Valspar colour matching service*. All you have to do is take your chosen colour in to your nearest store the team will instantly generate a unique colour formula that can be blended into any interior or exterior paint product to a 99-100% level of accuracy.
Refresh any room of your house with GoodHome Walls and Ceilings Paint at B&Q – above shades include Pimlico, Fulham and Westminster (50ml Tester Pot, £1.30)
Stuck with how to start? Here’s how to brush up on your painting skills…
There’s no need to call on an expensive decorator to create your statement ceiling. Here, B&Q offers a step-by-step guide for exactly how it’s done…
Step 1: Open the paint can. Stir the paint until an even, flowing consistency without any lumps is reached.
Step 2: Before you paint the bulk of your ceiling, paint into the edges of the ceiling and around any ceiling lights or alarms with a small brush. This technique is called cutting in. Paint the edges where the ceiling meets the wall in one go to give the best finish. If you don’t complete it all at once you could end up with a band around the edges from the paint drying at different times.
Step 3: With the perimeter of the ceiling painted, it’s now time to paint the rest. Using a roller with an extension pole attached, dip the roller sleeve into the paint and roll it firmly up and down the ribbed incline of the tray to spread the paint evenly. Avoid overloading the sleeve to prevent paint splattering.
Apply the paint to the ceiling using the roller. Move the roller over the surface, using random strokes and a light, even pressure. Each time you dip the roller in the paint, move it to an adjacent unpainted area and work back to the painted area in overlapping strokes to blend in the wet edges.
Step 4: Once complete, allow the ceiling to dry following the advice on the paint tin. If more than one coat of paint is required, allow the recommended drying time and then repeat steps 2 and 3.
Read more in the full B&Q online paint guide here…
2) DO MORE WITH YOUR DOORS
So often we take our internal doors for granted, but they can be a great way to bring a personal touch to any space.
A new panelled door, for example, can be stained, painted or varnished to suit the feel and look of the room – and is a great way to give an older property a quick and modern facelift.
Replacing a traditional door with a glazed one will bring more light into a space. Choose a fully glazed door for maximum impact, or something partially glazed if you require more privacy.
Meanwhile installing a sliding door on a wardrobe or en-suite could be a way to create more usable floor space in a small bedroom.
Welcome a little advice from the experts at B&Q with tips on how to choose the right doors for your space here.
Decorate your doors with bold, statement colours; (above) GoodHome Flat Matt Magome Furniture Paint 500ml, £8 from B&Q
3) REPLACE YOUR BASIN
A complete bathroom renovation can be a big – and expensive – undertaking. But you can transform your space by tackling individual fixtures and fittings to give one of your most used rooms a facelift.
Basins, for example, are the hub of the bathroom, but can often take up a lot of room. When space is at a premium, there are two ways that you can change your sink to make your bathroom feel much bigger:
- Choose a wall-mounted basin, also known as a wall-hung basin, which doesn’t include a traditional pedestal and so frees up floor space and makes your room look more streamlined.
- Or, choose to make maximum use of the footprint of your basin by incorporating storage underneath. Vanity units, sometimes known as washstands, have seen a resurgence of popularity in recent years – and can be utilised for much more than old cleaning products!
Inspired to sink your teeth into a bathroom improvement? Visit the B&Q website for more small bathroom ideas.
Bathroom refreshes are easy with B&Q; take a look at the Imandra Range (above) for inspiration
In the kitchen, you can add aspects of trends without ripping out the whole room; try replacing your taps with something sleek and sophisticated like Cooke & Lewis Katiki Matt black Kitchen Pin side lever tap, £47 at B&Q while the innovative Romesco 1.5 Bowl Composite Sink & drainer, £220 at B&Q utilises space with a chopping board, colander, reversible drying rack and cutlery holder all coming as part of the package.
Replace your taps or sink to refresh your kitchen this spring; the innovative Romesco 1.5 bowl Composite Sink & drainer (above), £220 at B&Q utilises space with a chopping board, colander, reversible drying rack and cutlery holder included
Pictured: a peaceful corner created using furniture, accessories and paint, such as GoodHome Feature Wall Pasadena Metallic Effect Emulsion Paint 2L – £15 (above), from B&Q
4) TURN YOUR BEDROOM INTO AN OASIS
Planning a new bedroom gives you the chance to create your own private oasis, no matter how busy or hectic your home might be.
This is especially important if you’re in a flat share or live with friends, as it allows you to have somewhere to escape to for some peace and quiet.
Top tip for perfect kip: Keep technology out
While you’ll feel relaxed in your own personal oasis, getting a good night’s sleep can still be tough for some of us.
If possible, try and keep your bedroom a tech-free zone.
The blue light that is emitted through technological devices (along with the temptation to regularly check your social media feeds) can interfere with your body’s circadian rhythm*, resulting in a poor chance of getting a decent night’s sleep.
* University of Glasgow research study of 91,000 people in 2018
While a complete bedroom redesign is great if you own your own place, there are small changes you renters can make to refresh an existing room – without risking the wrath of an angry landlord!
You could bring the room up to date with a trend-focused colour; a dark grey such as GoodHome Feature Wall Pasadena Metallic Effect Emulsion Paint 2L, £15 at B&Q, will make any room feel calm and look chic.
New freestanding furniture, vibrant accessories and stylish door and drawer handles are all easy ways to make the space instantly look better – and make anywhere feel more like a home.
Storage is perhaps the most important consideration in any bedroom. Do you want your favourite photos and trinkets on display? If so, shelves might be the answer to put your personal touches all around you.
If you’re looking to create a space with a little more ‘zen’, then a freestanding wardrobe or chest of drawers might work better for you.
The best bit about the bedroom is that you can do as much or as little as you’d like, depending on your budget.
For more information on planning a bedroom worth dreaming about, read B&Q’s excellent organising guide here.
Bold strokes: This year, terracotta is back in a big way! (Above) GoodHome Durable Pimlico Matt Emulsion Paint, £16 for 2.5L from B&Q
5) GET A TASTE FOR TERRACOTTA
There’s nothing like a fresh lick of paint to transform your home – and this year terracotta is back in a big way!
This warming, sun-soaked shade is making a welcoming return for 2019, with UK-based Pinterest searches for ‘terracotta walls’ having increased by a staggering 86 per cent.
The GoodHome Durable paint range, available at B&Q, has the perfect terracotta palette called Pimlico, to add some earthy, warm tones to your living area. Made with the toughest formulation and excellent covering power, the durable range is extremely hard wearing so is ideal for high traffic areas such as hallways, stairwells and children’s bedrooms. You can try experimenting with rich burnt oranges or muted reds to add an instant touch of Mediterranean chic to even the most high-use of rooms in your home. Try the GoodHome Durable Pimlico Matt Emulsion Paint, £16 for 2.5L at B&Q.
Remember, it is also possible to give a room a fresh lease of life by painting the skirting board, coving and radiators, you just need to make sure you have the right paint.
To check out what colour trends are in this year – and where they will work best in your home – visit the B&Q paint buying guide here.
6) SWITCH OUT YOUR CURTAINS
Just like paint or wallpaper, curtains can transform a space – particularly in a room with larger windows. Making the right choice can introduce colour, pattern and texture – and add the finishing flair to any home improvement project.
When choosing new curtains, there are several important factors to consider; everything from measurements, lining and material.
Another lesser known factor is the ‘header’ of the curtain, which is how it attaches to the rail or pole.
Eyelets, for example, are easy to hang and add a sleek, contemporary finish to any room. Meanwhile, pencil pleat curtains are a more traditional style, with a gathered header which conceals fixtures.
7) SHOP FOR AN INSTANT REFRESH
If you want to immediately transform your space, accessories and soft furnishings are the way to do it.
Paintings, decorative wall hangings, cushions and throws all combine to give you an updated look in a matter of minutes.
Choose a single theme – bohemian and botanical are big this spring – or mix and match styles, patterns and textures to create a more eclectic look. For a touch of nature in the home, add something on-trend and fun like a Dragonfly Multicolour Cushion, £13 at B&Q.
For all things soft furnishings, browse B&Q to see the latest designs to inspire your spring refresh.
8) MAXIMISE YOUR WALL SPACE
Whether it is a busy family home or a rented flat that’s short on space, maximising your wall space is a fantastic way to give yourself more room to play with.
Shelves placed above head height are great for keeping lesser-used items out of the way or as a feature – think colour-ordered books or plants worthy of any home-inspiration Instagram post.
Or, if you want to tap into the houseplant trend but don’t want to clutter up floor space – or leave them within reach of pets or little fingers – then indoor hanging baskets could be the perfect solution.
Not only will your vertical jungle bring life to your home, some scientists believe houseplants can help boost our moods and even reduce stress**.
One thing that won’t be stressful is improving your home with B&Q!
Make the most of your wall space in any room with statement colours; (above) GoodHome Walls & Ceilings Milltown and Chueca Emulsion Paint, each from £12 for 2.5L, available at B&Q
A Great Time For Change! Do YOU have what it takes to be B&Q’s Home Improvement Rising Star of the Year?
Challenging your inner interior designer, B&Q is asking those new to home improvement to show off their skills and ingenuity. You’ll do this by coming up with an inspired project to transform an area of the home, all for the chance to win a fantastic prize.
Firstly, you will need to provide a minimum of one photo of one room you have already transformed to show off exactly what you’re capable of.
Then, you’ll need to write 200 words to support your entry, outlining how you developed the design, chose the aesthetics and what skills you used. For this first stage, you will be judged on the transformational impact of your project, aesthetics, design, innovation and use of your DIY skills.
If you’re chosen as one of the three finalists, you’ll be asked to put your skills to the test in an exclusive project day in London, where you’ll bring your designs to life with products that you have chosen from diy.com. You’ll have seven hours to make over a space in accordance to your plan and your chosen materials.
The final result will be judged by architectural and design historian and broadcaster, Tom Dyckhoff, B&Q Category, Director, Surface and Décor, Iain McColgan, and Metro Home Editor, Liz Burcher, who will assess your home improvement skills and the creative flair you’ve demonstrated.
If you’re selected as the winner, you will receive an incredible £2,500 B&Q gift card to help you improve your home the way you want it, as well as earning the prestigious title of Home Improvement Rising Star.
There’s a prize for the two runners up, too. They will each walk away with £500 in B&Q gift cards, enabling them to pursue their own projects and continue improving their homes.
Open to UK residents 18+ excluding professional decorators/ designer/influencers. Promotion opens 15/03/19, closes 07/04/19. Visit metro.co.uk/home-improver-of-the-year to enter. 1 first prize: £2,500 B&Q gift card; 2 runner up prizes, each a £500 B&Q gift card. Full T&Cs apply, for more information, please click HERE.
*Valspar Colour Matching service – B&Q can match any item they scan. Items that are shiny for example can’t be scanned as they don’t provide a solid enough colour to match or if the item is smaller than 1 inch sq.