Modernising your home - tiny tips to update your abode

When you want to refresh your living space, it's often difficult to know where to start. However, a very general and simple rule of thumb is enough to get you started: "less is more". To modernise a home, it's as easy as following three key steps. After you've successfully overcome each one of these minor hurdles, you can set about decorating your home with the personality you desire. James Balston for Heart Home mag

Step one: De-clutter

De-cluttering a home can be a cathartic process, and it certainly doesn't have to be one typified by doing away with loved possessions. Indeed, the best approach isn't to own less - it's to store it correctly. Consider installing storage where space is going to waste - inside boiler cupboards, for example, or in under-stair cubby holes. The best place is often under the bed - of course, you can instead opt for a divan to make the entire frame into one big holdall.

Rosie Bartlett for Heart Home mag

Step two: Touching up the "always-theres"

"Always theres" are things you can't do anything about and, while we could be a lot more specific about what we mean, it's best to leave it open to interpretation. The obvious things are the likes of walls and windows. Modern, clean-looking homes benefit most from a new lick of paint on the walls, but there's no point in doing this if your windows are old and vintage. Consider improving them with décor or simply replace them outright - costs are surprisingly low to get new windows and doors these days.

Tina Fussell for Heart Home mag

Step three: Stick to a common theme

Most people feel the need to go a little wild after giving themselves a fresh palette to work with - especially if their walls are white or magnolia, and their flooring is laminate. The trick is to focus on a consistent-enough colour scheme, such as those on the ochre scale - red, brown and maroon - or primary colours. Too many ideas at once feels like clutter, even if the number of objects on display is sparse!

All images are from the current issue of Heart Home magazine.