Make it your own
Customising newer or existing pieces is always a fun project and you can transform something basic into something truly unique. Get clever with paint, textures and other features. One of the big recent trends is customising IKEA wardrobes and shelving units with paint to create unique, and expensive-looking, storage in a room. Or you can do something as simple as swapping handles on cupboards or drawers to change up the style. Freshen up an old table by changing the top or pop a new lampshade in a contrasting colour or texture on an old or basic lamp.
Reap what you sow
Plants and flowers breathe life into a room, and a great way to save money is to grow your own. Even if you're not very green-fingered, there are so many varieties of plants and flowers that are easy to grow and need very little looking after. Dried flowers and pampas grass can be a lovely, longer-lasting addition to a space. And I love the structural look of small branches in a vase in the winter or spring.
Check out retailer returns schemes
If you've just used the last of your favourite skin care product, check if the pot or bottle can be recycled before throwing it away. You can be rewarded for returning empty beauty products to some retailers. The BeautyCycle scheme at John Lewis allows you to bring in a broad range of beauty packaging in-store and you'll get £5 off your next beauty purchase every time you return five beauty empties.
Similarly, Boots has a recycling scheme that will take old makeup and empty beauty packaging in exchange for Advantage card points. It's a win-win!
Some clothing retailers have similar schemes for clothing. H&M will give you a money-off voucher to be redeemed against a spend in-store if you recycle a bag of unwanted clothes or textiles in any condition. Marks & Spencer offer something similar, as do shoe retailer, Schuh.
Sell, sell, sell!
While you're looking for second-hand pieces online for your home, why not list some items to sell too? That way, the cost of something you buy might be covered by something you've sold which generates a very smug feeling, I can tell you! Check out my blog post on How to Sell Kids Clothes on eBay - whether it's children's clothes, home accessories or furniture, the principles behind the tips in this blog post still apply. If you don't want to use eBay, you can also use Facebook Marketplace or apps such as Vinted.