WE ALL know that the economy is bad and that we must tighten our belts. With all the doom and gloom we hear about the recession, many people are reorganising their budgets and revamping homes is being put on hold.

According to Johan Bloom of Bloom Interior Decorations, it is possible to beautify your home without going bankrupt.

"There are many ways to refresh your home without breaking the bank.

The easiest way to refresh your home decor with major results is to de-clutter, organise and clean," he says.

Bloom adds that decor forecasters are calling for a return to safe neutral colours on walls with bright vibrant shades as accents.

"This way you can switch around your accessories and fabrics without too much effort or cash needed to co-ordinate.

"Brightly coloured accents bring lightness and cheer into your home at a time when the outside world may feel grey and depressed.

"Citrus shades of orange, red and yellow may be just the thing for those of you who are feeling down," he says.

Here are some of Bloom's tips for updating a home without spending a fortune:

l Reuse and reduce when you renovate. Try an architectural and home-salvage facility;

l Make your own art and frame it. Raid the art supply store;

l Paint can be a home's new best friend. Paint is much cheaper than buying new furniture or wallpaper.

Maybe it can heal the winter blues. Think colour therapy, not shopping therapy. Try green. It helps to create balance, contemplation and inner peace;

l Forgo pricey overhead lighting. Don't underestimate the importance of good lighting.

The wrong lighting can exaggerate flaws, visually change the colours of any décor item or worse still, make a perfectly beautiful room look terrible.

Experiment with the lighting in your rooms until you achieve the effect you desire. Table lamps also give off soft light and they can be moved around the house for dual purposes;

l Enjoy your small house. Small is in and now you can sit back with no regrets about not owning a bigger house;

l Try a DIY home project;

l Cut costs by buying only the best. The best meaning - what looks best in your home, is the most useful and fits best with your lifestyle and home decor;

l Refurbish. If you have any pieces that are still in good condition and are still functional, then give them a face-lift;

l Re-upholster that old tired sofa or strip the paint on that chest of drawers and either stain it or paint it and it will look new again.

If anything does not fit all these criteria, just walk away.