Contrast is en vogue

With the average house price in the UK dropping again this month to £180,000, many Brits will now be planning to stay put and improve their home rather than move house.

With this in mind, brightening up a home can make a massive difference to those occupying it as well as help to wow visitors.

Architecture consultancy company Target Livings chief executive officer Tara Bernard suggests moody colours are the in thing for 2008.

"Monochrome and 1970s colours can wake up a room cheaply," she told MetroHome.

"Burnt oranges, citrus greens, chocolate browns and slate greys do wonders.

"A citrus green sits elegantly with a smoky grey."

Ms Bernard also extols the virtues of contrast suggesting darker colours with white.

Another way of introducing contrast is to have dark colours illuminated by installing a conservatory or lean-to.

This would allow natural light to flow in during the day, radiating through the room, while the darker furniture can be light up by clever interior lighting once the sun sets.