Interior Expert Shares 5 New Season Transformations on a Budget

The consumer team is here to solve your problems.

Mel Hunter will take care of consumer issues, Jane Hamilton will give you the best advice on buying your dream home, and Judge Rinder will solve your legal problems.

Jane Hamilton, real estate expert


Jane Hamilton will give you the best advice on all matters related to real estate.

Color is back

READY for joyful color after the storm? Banish the gray skies with new spring trends.

Interior expert Lisa Prideaux shares her picks for a makeover this season on a budget. Follow her on @LizaPrideaux.

Add Some Color To Your Home To Make It Look Bright And Trendy


Add some color to your home to make it look bright and trendy1 credit

COLOR LOCK: Transform a small space like a home office or nook with a contrasting color. It adds instant personality for a couple of pounds. Lilac and pastel shades are my favorites for spring.

UMBRELLA: Not just for dresses, fine fabric looks fresh and modern for interiors and works especially well in bathrooms and children’s bedrooms. Add rugs, pillows, curtains and dishes.

VINTAGE: Try a whimsical vintage fabric display case that can be updated with the seasons. For spring and Easter, choose vibrant greens and yellows. Find cheap items at thrift stores, antiques stores, or car boot sales.

WETTING COLOR: Not as dirty as it looks. This trend uses one color and contrasts it with different tones and shades on different surfaces. Add it to walls, furniture, fixtures and fittings, and even bedding for a bold yet complementary feel.

KOTTEKOR: Popular since 2020, this look is even bigger this year. Think of a traditional English cottage. Embrace any quirky and homely touches in your pillow or add them using wood or natural finishes.

buy of the week

Rent A Country Cottage For Just £250,000


Rent a country cottage for just £250,0001 credit

Escape to the village and market town of Corsham, Wilts. This year, the UK saw the highest level of consumer demand with a 124% increase in inquiries. This pretty two bedroom cottage needs a major overhaul but is yours for £250,000 at



Be sure to take photographs and time stamps to prove to the insurance company that repairs are needed.

You must also provide pre-damage photographs to show the extent of any damage. Michael Foot of consumer site said, “If you need to make temporary repairs, tell your insurance company and keep all receipts because it could be part of your claim.”

Deal of the week

Our Offer Of The Week Is Perfect For A Patio Or Balcony.


Our offer of the week is perfect for a patio or balcony.1 credit

GET closer to nature.

This gray industrial chic two-seater trough and bistro cost £75 and is now £60. The width of 1.05 m is great for small spaces.

SAVE: £15

Judge Rinder Gives Legal Advice To Readers


Judge Rinder gives legal advice to readers

“Despite the assurances of the real estate agent, the seller left. Can I claim a £1,000 fee from them?”

C) The real estate agent through whom I bought the property assured me that the seller, an employee of the same agency, intended to move in with her daughter after the sale of her house.

She accepted my offer and I paid for the search and interview. Twelve weeks later, the agent told me that the seller couldn’t find the property, and although she wanted to sell to me, moving in with her daughter was no longer an option because she had bought a dog.

Disappointed, I abandoned the purchase so as not to miss other opportunities. I had to pay my lawyer no matter what. The bill was £1,000. Can I claim this money back from the agent or supplier?

Julia, Twickenham, South West London

BUT) You are still responsible for your attorney’s fees even though the seller declined.

If you were to exchange contracts and reach a point where you were confident the sale would go through, it could be argued that the seller should pay the money you now owe your lawyer. You weren’t at that point in the deal.

There are calls to change the law to make it harder for sellers to refuse to sell in such circumstances without compensating buyers. But I’m afraid it’s too far.


Q) I had a golf weekend booked for June 2020 which was canceled due to Covid.

The hotel gave me a gift voucher that can be used for bookings until 2023. But when I used it, golf and weekend stays increased by 50 percent, so my voucher doesn’t cover like for like.

Is this legal or should I be entitled to the stay I have booked at no extra cost?

Colin, Bucks

BUT) This has become an increasingly common problem as hotel prices (and everything else) have risen.

If you were to book a golf package holiday, the travel company would almost certainly have to cover the full cost of the new trip regardless of the price increase.

In this case, it seems to me that the hotel was legally obligated to offer you the rate for the room you paid for. This was not supposed to guarantee you a room at 2020 prices.

If you don’t need a voucher (considering expenses now), you can insist on a full refund instead, which may be your best bet in this case.

Be careful in your correspondence, as hotels are often ready to make a deal in such cases.

Q) I RECENTLY bought a meat grinder and when I unpacked it, I discovered that it was damaged. I made this discovery after the allotted seven day return period while I was in isolation due to Covid.

I contacted the company several times and sent a formal complaint.

To date, all they have done is offer me 30 pounds of goodwill. It cost me £395.98 and I asked for a full refund.

They ignore my request and I have threatened legal action. What is my best move now?

Hilary, Barnsley

BUT) Regardless of what is stated in this company’s return policy, you are legally entitled to a full refund of your money.

Assuming you notify the company of the problem within 30 days of receiving that broken slicer, the law is pretty clear. The seven-day no-return policy may apply to certain items (for example, perishable products), but not to broken equipment.

Again, write to the company with a link to the Consumer Rights Act (which clearly states your right to return defective goods) and invite them to explain how their refund policy complies with the law.

Remind this company that the item was broken when it arrived so it was not used and provide any evidence you have of this.

If you do not receive a full refund, I would make it clear to this company that you intend to go to small claims court.

Mel Hunter, Champion Reader

Mel Hunter Helps The Reader Solve A Problem


Mel Hunter helps the reader solve a problem

Jet2 has no idea about the closed hotel

C) In March 2019 we booked the H10 Andalucia Plaza in Puerto Banus Spain with Jet2 for my son’s wedding to be held nearby in June 2022.

We learned that the hotel is under new ownership and will be closed for renovations until the end of this year. I sent a message to Jet2 last August but was told that the vacation was scheduled for the scheduled period and no refunds are being made.

Other wedding guests who booked the same hotel through different operators were canceled and refunded.

Mrs. J. HAWKINS, Essex

BUT) Weddings are already stressful enough. You have been trying to get answers from Jet2 for six months, even though you received an email from the hotel itself saying it was closed.

I have asked Jet2 to clear this up so you can book elsewhere if needed. It’s still unclear when the hotel will reopen but with me on this case, Jet2 has finally refunded your £500 deposit so you can make new plans and get really excited about the big day.

Jet2 told me: “The hotel originally booked by Mrs. Hawkins is currently closed for renovations and due to open this summer under new ownership.

“We have since contacted Mrs. Hawkins to apologize for the confusion and are pleased to report that the matter has been resolved.”

Mel Was Able To Help The Bride Cope With Her Wedding Nightmare


Mel was able to help the bride cope with her wedding nightmare1 credit

Q) There has been a problem with my Bulb energy account for a long time.

In 2018 Lampa set up my £130 direct debit and I testified regularly. My last report says I have a debit of almost £1,000. It doesn’t make any sense.

I’ve contacted Bulb many times, hoping he’ll say there’s been an error, but I can’t understand his automatic replies.

GLYNEES BARNETT Croydon, South London

Most Read in The Scottish Sun

BUT) Your account was a confusing account of credits, debits and corrections.

The £130 you paid each month should have covered your electricity costs as this was before the recent price increase.

Even if you used more, Bulb should not have allowed £1,000 of debt to accumulate without taking it with you. The firm, which went into special administration in November and was backed by £1.7 billion in public money, has agreed to re-examine your account.

He believes that he did not receive proper evidence between January 2019, when the new meter was installed, and June 2021. Instead, it used estimated data to calculate your bills.

When this was noticed last summer, Bulb sent out updated statements showing you owe more. But agreed that the corrections to your account were confusing.

A rep said, “We didn’t handle it well and we’re sorry.”

He wrote off £803 of debt, gave you £110 in compensation and offered to raise your monthly payments slightly to cover your energy consumption.

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