Intersperse all these with candles or oil lamps At an undisturbed place, float flow ers and candles in water in a metal lic or earthenware urn Brighten up your sofas with vivid ly coloured cushions some plain and some with mirrorwork . Use inverted empty flower pots, bricks, empty crates, covered with fabric or jute, to give them dif ferent heights Place a brass or terracotta statue at the highest level as the focal point.

Re-orient the furniture, space per mitting, or shift or interchange paintings on the walls At a corner of your living or dining room, group together green potted plants. Arrange them at varying heights. Mix wall paint with clear varnish to use on woodwork Eggshell finish paint on woodwork does not show imperfections like gloss paint does.

When painting corridors, keep in mind that dark colours will short en them Before buying a piece of furniture, to gauge how much room it will take up, take a piece of newspaper and a tape measure and make a tem plate the same size as the item in question.

To liven up kitchen cupboard doors just change the knobs and handles. Old cutlery can be bent and wired to the doors as handles To get more light into a room, re place the top of the door with glass Clever use of mirrors can give the illusion of more space.

Place paper on floor to give some idea as to the amount of space needed To save on costly trimming when finishing off a table cloth, cover table with a larger untrimmed cloth. Put a decorative trim around the edge of a smaller cloth which is then placed over the top Hang decorative baskets from hooks to provide extra storage

 Make an unusual and low-cost show er curtain by using bubble wrap fit ted on key rings Blankets and pieces of leftover ma terial can be made into attractive and unusual curtains without sewing, by using special clips which can be purchased in most haber dashery shops When buying curtains or decorat ing materials, take a cushion from the sofa with you while shopping to ensure you get the right colour.

To make fittings such as radiators less obtrusive, paint them in the same colour as the wall In a dark room, go for bright colours, not light ones. Terracota (orange based) colours are warm. Pink based colours are vibrant and dramatic. Use yellow in rooms that don’t receive as much sunlight as some other rooms. Green has a calming effect. Blue is cool and restful.