Top 5 tips on how to make your house extraordinary without costing the earth

I love my home, and I love a bit of interior design, but some people really do go that extra mile which is why I wanted to share this competition with you because some of my readers might actually have an extraordinary home just like the one in the video below!

make your house extraordinary

By Craig Phillips, Aviva’s Extraordinary Homes ambassador and competition judge

1. Clever use of mirrors

Mirrors can make a world of difference to any room if set correctly. They can make it feel larger and much brighter, creating a whole new atmosphere.

If you have a very small room, covering a wall with a large plain mirror, preferably one with no frame, automatically gives the impression that the room is much larger than it really is. These can be purchased from any good glazing supplier and can be cut down to suit. You will need a good grab adhesive to apply to the back and fix it straight onto the plaster.

2. Draw in the light

Hallways are renowned for being dark due to the limited amount of natural light. One of the top tips I use in my home is to use long thin mirrors to draw natural lighting into the corridors. The trick is to position a torch where you have placed the first mirror and reflect it down the hallway to see where the light lands. This will create a zig-zag effect causing the natural light to continue down the hallway.

3. Create a feature wall

Patterned wallpaper is a great way to inject some colour into a once-plain room. By only wallpapering one wall, you can really splash the cash and go for quality and buy one that you really love. To be extra thrifty, you can use the ends of the paper that haven’t been used and put them into picture frames to hang on the plain walls.

4. Back tile your kitchen walls

Splash back tiling in your kitchen is a great way of changing the kitchen’s look and making the area more hygienic. Just place three or four tiles high along the top of the surfaces to create the effect. A great range is available now, my favourite being black gloss ceramic tiles. Just remember, if you’re using black tiles, use black grout too!

Another idea for splash back tiling is to make a collage of photographs on the wall and cover it with clear Perspex. The Perspex will need to be around 6MM thick – however, you will need to consider heat-resistant Perspex around the oven area. This is a great way to personalise your kitchen area with fond memories.

5. Get creative in kids bedrooms

A great idea for children’s bedrooms is to paint a small area with magnetic/chalk paint. It will not only make a great feature for their room, but it will be a good way to encourage them to learn by using it to help them with their sums or spelling.

A great way to make the kid’s room more exciting is to create a stepping-stone effect. Lay green carpet to give the impression of grass, then using patterned vinyl, I’d recommend a stone effect and cut to form stepping stones. Place these from the door to the bed, wardrobe, desk or anywhere you want the path to go. Once you’re happy, cut the carpet to the exact size of the stones and stick them down using double-sided carpet tape.

If you’ve done something extraordinary and wonderful to your own home, Aviva wants to hear about it! Simply submit a photo or short video and description, which will be judged by Craig, for your chance to win the £5,000 prize. Go to Facebook and search for “Aviva Extraordinary Homes” to enter their competition.

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