The arrival of Spring sends many people bustling into action as homes across the UK are freshened up in time for summer. To help us in the style stakes, interior designer, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen has put together some hot tips for making designer home accessories.using simple technology that we'd all recognise.
"I think it's great that brands like Hewlett-Packard are designing products that make it easier to create exciting things", says Llewelyn-Bowen. "I've played around, and have come up with a couple of ideas that anyone can use to give their home a facelift."
Keep things simple by choosing one or two clever accessories to personalise each room you want to make-over. Go for light fabrics and neutral colours for smaller rooms and use an accent colour to add personality. Larger rooms can take deeper colours and more use of patterns.
Pop Art Photo Gallery
Instead of hanging traditional photos of your family on the hall wall why not create a contemporary feel to the wall of fame? Scan in traditional photos and increase the colour to give them a sixties pop art feel. You can print four copies of the same picture using different colours and then lay them next to each other. Or, if you prefer big, use the special poster feature on an HP AiO or inkjet printer to divide your photo into sections and then enlarge each ready for assembly.
Every House Deserves Flowers
Fresh blooms are lovely, but they rarely last. Add a contemporary twist using a digital camera to capture close ups of your favourite spring flowers. If you have a photo card reader you can print this image directly from printer onto specialist paper (it should be fairly sturdy) and then clip them onto a peg at the top of a wire stem and base.
Curtains and cushion covers
Patchworks is back in so use it as inspiration for an unfussy version? Design a simple motif that you can scan into your PC and then print onto transfer paper. Iron this on to existing cushion covers and curtain bottoms to coordinate your bedroom. If your curtain is patterned, choose the most striking colour from the pattern to create blocks to run along the bottom of the curtain. Remember: Use a fixative to prevent the dye running in the wash.
Wall Hanging and Pictures
Stripes will give any minimalist living room a modern edge. Scan in a barcode or other design, and enlarge on your PC. To print directly onto pre-treated cotton (200 thread count), attach paper to the material before feeding through your printer. Leave quarter of an inch for the hem and limit the width of the fabric to the size of the printer. Once the ink has dried, remove the paper and pop it into a picture frame or create a seam and insert a poll for a modern wall hanging. Remember: Printers don't print white so choose a white fabric if you need to incorporate this colour into your design.
There is a definite return to patterns and floral designs in pared-down stylised forms. Take inspiration from real life, magazines or the net - but remember to look for copyright-free images if you do. You can use the software that comes with your scanner or PC to edit and manipulate your design into something really special. Print onto transfers or direct to fabric. Remember: Use the mirror mode on your scanner software to reverse text and images so that they face the right way when ironed onto the fabric.
If your room has very high ceilings you can break up the space with a border that borrows from an existing theme or colour. Create a motif that you can scan in, duplicate and then print on to banner paper. Fix to the wall using a permanent spray.