‘Upcycling’ and ‘gran-millennial style’ can help you transform your home easily and cheaply.

With many areas of Australia regularly going in and out of lockdown and residents exhausted by what can feel like ongoing bad news, tackling a home project or three has become an ideal way to boost the spirits and improve your surrounds at the same time.

Sounds good yes?

Perhaps you’d like to invest in a significant renovation and you’re willing to spend an enormous amount of cash?

But, if not, there’s no need to fret.


Luxury Homes Designer of the Year, Adrian Ramsay, says the ideal place to start your home refresh is by making the most of the space you already have.

“Look at what space is available in your house and determine what can be used at what time,” he suggests.

“Keep in mind that the biggest areas are going to be the most functional … areas such as the kitchen and family area. Guest bedrooms will offer both privacy as well as space.”


The media room is another space that could get be repurposed by turning it into a productive and focused family work hub.

“Setting up the room so that the workspace is not facing the TV is a great start,” says Adrian.

In the bedroom, enhance the mood by removing devices and filling the space with natural, earthy materials.

“Tactile, actual wood like you find in nature, rather than furnishings made of bolted-together polyurethane-covered particle board,” says Adrian.

“You have the chance to add some personality to the room, so don’t skimp on the plants.”


The garage is often the most under-utilised space in the house, and in times like this, if you can get the cars out on to the driveway, you’ll open up a whole new area, says Adrian.

Most garages are lit by a single bulb or an unflattering fluorescent tube, but warm lighting will create a whole new zone.

“We all hate that fluoro light buzz. Standing lamps with warm light bulbs will add some focus and colour to the space,” he says.

He also suggests setting up the garage with rugs on the floor to help insulate against the sound, and cover any grease, oil or paint stains. The addition of soft furnishings will make it feel more like a room you want to stay in, work in and be productive, rather than just where you keep the car.


Sleeping well eludes so many of us, and since we’re spending more time at home than ever before, now is the right time to direct energy into the bedroom.

Bedsmade founder and CEO, Matt Griffin, says to create a calming sleep zone, opt for an almost all-white colour palette.

“To make your room feel more spacious, white walls and bedding are key. It also acts as a blank canvas to introduce accents of colour for added personality and warmth. Consider incorporating European pillows, textured throws or rugs to bring timeless pops of colour into the room.

Shades like dusty rose, sage green, mustard yellow or earthy tones can be paired with a contrasting colour or left on their own to draw the eye, setting a calming mood to open your mind to relaxation.”

Ever wondered what lives in the back end corner of the pantry? Us too. You’ll be amazed how much extra space you have when everything is organised in a tidy fashion.

Using a Cricut machine, DIY extraordinaire Geneva Vanderzeil tackled her “nightmarish” spice drawer.

“I got my hands on some pretty jars and knew they would make an amazing project,” she says.

“There is such a huge interest in upcycling right now and an opportunity to make something even more beautiful the second time around.”

With spring just around the corner, Justine Wilson, founder and principal stylist at Vault Interiors, says upscaling your environment may be as easy as bringing flowers into the home.

“For me, spring is always about bringing the outdoors in, the trick is to just add a punch of green, be it plants or greenery branches, or a colour pop from your favourite flowers,” she says.

“You can have a small vase on your bedside or dresser, in the bathroom or kitchen … you can literally include a floral arrangement in any area of the home to bring in the spring feels.”


What Justine is calling the “gran-millennial style” is also a cheap and cheerful upscale idea.

Make your grandmother proud by hanging a spring-themed gallery wall in your home, you can collect vintage gold photo frames and put in fun prints from picture books, calendars or any illustration or art that you love. “The trick is to display different heights and sizes in a cluster, it makes a wonderful mantle or dining table centrepiece.”