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Transform your home in 2010 

20 ideas for transforming your home in 2010

Whatever the time of year, sprucing up your house works wonders for your morale, but if the thought of all that hard work is putting you off, here's a suggestion.

Rather than quoting Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen at you and resurrecting that old patter about makeovers, how do you fancy trying a new tactic? It might just do the trick in these cost-cutting times.

Why not put off that full-blown decorating project you had in mind until the recession is over, and brighten up your home with one or two carefully selected transformations from our suggestions below?

All of the ideas listed here – some minor, some major – can be achieved by using businesses that are based locally, so you’ll be helping the local economy too.

1 Buy an original artwork Be a patron of the arts and admire your artwork every day in the knowledge that nobody in the world has one exactly the same. Check out the Swindon-based Exactly What I Want website or check out the latest works at The Croft Gallery.
 
Croft Gallery Swindon
Croft Gallery
Fascinating gallery and shop in Devizes Road, Old Town...
 

2 Make a sound investment Remember the days before everybody was obsessed about the quantity of tracks on their iPod and quality was everything? Get down to Swindon's Bang & Olufsen shop and sample the very best in sound systems.
 
Bang & Olufsen Swindon
Bang & Olufsen
Home entertainment experts in Old Town...

3 Chuck out your old cooker It’s the household appliance you are least likely to replace before it breaks down or the door falls off, yet it’s the one that brings the most pleasure to the cook of the house when he or she (she, probably) gets to use a new one. So replace it while you can do it at your leisure. The privately owned household appliance suppliers, Basics, in Gorse Hill, are a good place to start.
 
Basics Swindon
Basics
Supplying high quality domestic appliances...

4 Join the tub club Hot tubs are getting more and more fashionable, are a great talking point – and now you can build your own. The Timber Decking Company will supply you with the latest easy-to-make kit (and, of course, all you need to make the decking to put it on). They’ll also sell you all you need to upgrade it to have an optional bubble system!
 
Timber Decking Company Swindon
Timber Decking Company
Creators of outdoor living space...

5 Lofty ambitions A loft conversion is easier and less disruptive than an extension and – especially if you live in an older house – creates an interesting, perhaps unique den or workspace. Check out our mini guide to the area’s most reputable loft conversion experts.
 
> Loft Conversions in Swindon

6 Ditch those doors It’s much more economical than buying whole new units, yet you can totally transform your kitchen by swapping tired old cupboard doors for made-to-measure replacements in vinyl or solid wood. The family run Nuimage, based at Cheney Manor, will show you how.
Nuimage Swindon
Nuimage
Family run independent bathroom, bedroom and kitchen furniture specialists...

7 Think fabrics Cover the sofa, change the curtains, make some cushions or sew a throw. If you’re handy with the needles, you get a head start on the rest because the old-fashioned fabric shop, selling designs you won’t see anywhere else and dispensing priceless advice from years of experience, is alive and well. It’s in Havelock Street and it’s called Sewcraft.
 
Sewcraft Swindon
Sewcraft
Specialist local craft shop in Havelock Street...
 

8 Get a new front door “But I remember the salesman said this one would last a lifetime, and that was only 20 years ago.” Yes, but he didn’t tell you it would look terribly old-fashioned first. Check out the 21st century designs supplied by the Swindon firms listed in our guide to door suppliers.
 
> Door Suppliers in Swindon

9 Buy more books Not just to read, but as an interior design feature. Name something else that can be as varied, brightly coloured or have more alternative practical use than a shelf-full of books. And if you are a bookworm, support the charming little old-fashioned Bassett Books by browsing their shelves.
 
Bassett Books Swindon
Bassett Books
Offering an excellent selection of books covering all tastes....
 

10 Put others in the shade An awning is just what you need over that patio or decking – and it’s an increasingly popular way to bring style to your back garden. Start shopping now, in plenty of time for the warmer weather. Swindon Door Services are local specialists.
 
Swindon Door Services
Swindon Door Services
Garage doors, residential and commercial door and window specialists...

11 From little acorns... Nothing looks as stylish or creates an impression like quality oak furniture - either to match other oak furniture or as a one-off purchase to set off the rest of the room. Cheney Manor-based Easy Living Furniture Warehouse (suppliers to ITV’s 60-Minute Makeover) have a truly beautiful range.
 
Easy Living Furniture Swindon
Easy Living Furniture Warehouse
Quality furniture, individually styled. Everything from beds to sofas...

12 Sweet dreams They may have had a reputation for being dour in lots of things they did, but the Victorians certainly knew how to 
design a good bed. Treat yourself to one of the many traditional (not to mention romantic) designs, hand-made by craftsmen and supplied by interior furnishing specialists Young's of Wood Street.
 
Young's of Wood Street Swindon
Young's of Wood Street
The home of interior furnishings in Old Town...

12 Play a blinder The perfect way to shut out the sun yet dazzle your visitors with your excellent taste is to get some blinds. Nothing transforms your windows like blinds, and gone are the days when it was a straight choice between Venetians and roller blinds. Today you’re spoilt for choice – as, indeed, you are with the local specialists. Our mini guide to blinds manufacturers and suppliers lists the top three.
 
> Blind Shops in Swindon

13 Vote conservatory So often neglected and underused, a conservatory feels much warmer all year round if you go for stylish quality furniture, and nothing – repeat: nothing – looks better in the conservatory than cane. Check out at the range on offer at Garden of Eden at the River Ray Industrial Estate to see what we mean.
 
Garden of Eden Swindon
Garden of Eden
Quality conservatory furniture with service to match...
 

14 You can’t beat a clock If there’s one thing that is guaranteed to create an impact in any room, it’s a smart clock. Buy a quality one and it may even turn out to be an investment and have the makings of a family heirloom. Ever since they were supplying clocks to the Great Western Railway, Deacons have had a reputation as one of England’s most knowledgeable suppliers, so talk to them about it. And for a slightly less orthodox clock - but one that’s no less of a talking point - note that F Hinds stock self-assembly cuckoo clocks in their Brunel Centre branch.
 
Deacons Jewellers Swindon
Deacons Jewellers
Swindon's finest jewellers, Est. 1848...
 
F Hinds Jewellers Swindon
F. Hinds
Britain's oldest family jewellers, located in the Brunel Centre...
 

15 Magic carpet If your carpets could do with replacing but you’d rather not fork out this year, get a rug instead! Not only will it hide the wear and tear on the carpet, but will provide a new focus by making a big impact. Gilberts, in Old Town, are exclusive stockists of quality bespoke Zeba which can be cut and/or dyed to your specifications. Also try The Rugshack.
 
Gilbert's of Swindon
Gilberts
Traditional furniture shop offering good old-fashioned service in Old Town...
 
The Rugshack Swindon
The Rugshack
Specalist rug and flooring specialist...
 

16 Picture this A home cinema is what every techie and gadget freak wants these days, but if you’re thinking of fitting the latest plasma or LCD screen, then you’d better call in the experts - because a job like that shouldn’t be left to chance. Swindon has its own specialists, called Home Cinema Installations, who come with years of experience and bags of know-how.
 
Home Cinema Installations Swindon
Home Cinema Installations
Specialists in installations of Plasma TVs, LCDs, projection equipment and speakers...

17 Hardware heaven It may not be the first shop you think of when you are looking for something really stylish for the kitchen, but Old Town Hardware might surprise you. Among the ordinary (weedkiller, paint pots and light bulbs), you’ll find the extraordinary: unusual, retro and designer kitchenware that is worth taking a look at.
 
Old Town Hardware Swindon
Old Town Hardware
Everything you need for the home, garden and DIY...

18 Come on, focus! Our thoughts usually turn to fireplaces when the winter sets in, but fireplaces are the focal point of living rooms all year round. That’s why more and more people are going for wood-burning stoves and stylish surrounds, which look great, even when they’re not being used. Check out our mini guide to suppliers in Swindon who provide all you need (and will tell you all you need to know) about fires and fireplaces.
 
> Fireplaces in Swindon

20 Get the decorators in OK, if it must be a proper decorating job, at least you don’t have to do it yourself – and there’s a firm you can trust, called Wall 2 Wall Decorating. They’ve grown from a one-woman business into a 14-strong unisex decorating team with a great reputation.
Wall 2 Wall Decorating
Wall 2 Wall Decorating
Covering every aspect of painting and decorating from inside to out...
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