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Freshen up with a chic and cheap makeover

It's hard to kick straight into the new year. It's still cold, the nights are short and the wait until payday is long. But come the end of January, spirits start to lift. And what better way to get 2010 off to a good start than to have an interiors makeover? So, where to begin?

de-clutter Clear out all the clutter that has built up over the past year. And don't let it turn into a trip down memory lane where everything finds its way back on to the shelves and into the drawers.

COLOUR Once the deadwood has been cleared, think about painting. It's one of the easiest, quickest and cheapest ways to bring life back into any room. Play with tones and shades. Use colour to give depth but, unless you have large, open spaces, it's best to stay away from strong colours throughout.

THEME It's going to be the season for mixing and matching. Floral and stripes will work together -- but they'll need a unifying theme. Be it colour, tone or texture, the designs you use must have a common thread.

GO GREEN Try to bring the outside in. Introduce plants into your home -- and flowers. What better recession-busting way than beautiful fresh flowers to bring a little life back into your living room, kitchen or bathroom?

lighten up One thing that can darken a room with small windows is curtains, so try changing to blinds. They are neat and unobtrusive and, most importantly, are great for letting in a maximum amount of light. If you need a little bit more privacy but want natural light shining through, wooden blinds are a great choice and they are not too pricey either.

CLEAN START If you would like to overhaul your flooring but don't have the funds for new carpets, then think about getting them professionally cleaned. It will take away the tired, weary feeling and bring a bit of bounce back to your step.

There is much you can do to inject a bit of life back into your home and, with a bit of creativity and willingness to have some fun, it needn't cost a fortune. Enjoy!