How to add pattern to your walls and floors – the thrifty way

If you want to add colour and pattern to your walls but want to get a completely unique finish, here’s a way to do it on a budget with stencils…I love to add pattern to my walls – just have a look at the vintage-style wallpaper I’ve added to my guest room – but it can be expensive to wallpaper anything more than just a feature wall. I mean, the cost of all those rolls of paper soon add up, not to mention the time and skill it takes to hang it correctly. Which is precisely why I’ve been researching the idea of stencils to decorate my walls instead.

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Pattern is truly the thing that upgrades your home from simple to luxurious. It adds a touch of your personality to the space, as you can choose the colour, design and finish to reflect your own taste. When you think of decorating with pattern, you probably think about wallpaper or tiles, but I’ve found that the lowest-cost way to add a design to your home is with stencils. Okay, occasionally I get lucky and find a few rolls of £1 star wallpaper in the bargain bin at the DIY store (which I decorated my home office with!) but that’s such a rare occurrence. Usually, you’ll only find one or two rolls, and that’s nowhere near enough to cover a wall. So, the next time I want to fill my home with stars but don’t want to spend my entire budget on wallpaper, I’ll be picking up a 50 star stencil like the one below.You can use a stencil any pattern you like, in any colour and in any formation. And on any surface you like, too! Concrete floors can become a chic tiled hallway (my next project!) or you can make wardrobe doors disappear seamlessly into walls when you continue the pattern over the furniture too. If you search on Amazon you can find fabulous ready-made stencils at low prices, and the great thing is that you can wash and reuse the stencil over and over again.Oh, and here’s another design idea I like – using just one huuuge stencil design to add a focal point to a wall. This could be above the headboard (such as the mandala stencil design above) or on the chimney breast. I think it’d look pretty cool on the front of a chest of drawers too. You could pick up a piece of secondhand furniture at the carboot sale or a cheapy flat-pack item and add your own design to the front for only a few pounds-worth of paint.

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I love this idea above from Kammy’s Korner blog – she’s painted a wooden floor in grey paint and then used a large ornate stencil to add a carpet-style pattern all over the floor in white. When you consider how little a tub of paint costs when you shop at discount stores such as Wilko or B&M, this could be a very thrifty way to add pattern to a room without spending out on new bedding, wallpaper or curtains.

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Don’t forget that there’s nothing stopping you from using metallic paint with your stencils to create a sparkling feature wall. Sometimes the twinkly wallpaper designs out there are a little to ‘glitzy’ for my taste, but I love a matt metallic gold in my home accessories, so why not add it to my walls too?

What do you think of this decorating trend? Have you used stencils in your own home yet? I’d love to hear how you’ve got on and any tips you have for stencilling walls or furniture so please leave your comments below.

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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