So I am currently in the process of renovating my home. It doesn’t need too much work but I do have plans for a new bathroom and kitchen. I don’t have a full time job at the moment so it’s time for a few tips to smarten up my house without blowing the budget.
These are definitely things I have learned the hard way and some I have always done.
1. Know your limits
Doing it yourself is the cheapest way of saving money, however, you should know what you are good at and what you need help with.
So you can pick up a paint brush, you may try your hands at tiling and those shelves look easy to diy but know your limits. This doesn’t mean getting some one in to do it for you. If you have a friend who is good at DIY. Get them over and get them to show you or watch a thousand YouTube videos and figure it out for yourself.
When it come to technical like plumbing, gas and electrical then get the experts in. There is a reason they have well paid jobs. Electrical and Gas is no joke so don’t mess around with it. I am not talking about a few lights or plugs.
Also knowing your limits also talks about time, of you don’t have a lot of time. If you have the money to pay someone and don’t have a lot of time on your hands then you need to way up the costs. Your time is a cost!
2. Paint is your best friend
Now you can spend all your budget on super expensive Instagram friendly paint. Just make sure you can afford it. I really wanted Farrow and Ball. I used to visit the show rooms in Edinburgh and fell in love with Pigeon again and again. But it’s not in my budget. When I went to my local store they had a vast range of paints. I went with Dulux because of value for money and we had used the paint before.
Paint is your best friend because it’s cheap, only takes a few coats and can completely transform a room. I am currently in the process of brightening up my house with white paint on my beige walls. In the sitting room I am using a slightly darker shade that this to add depth.
There are also many effects you can create with paint, stencils you can use for a cheap but effective change.
3. Measure twice cut once
It’s an oldy but a goody and nothing is worse than ordering new carpet and when it arrives it too short. This gives for vinyls, tiles, shelves, counter tops, sinks, you name it. You don’t want to waste money by having to buy it again.
If you are starting from scratch it’s a great idea to carry around your room dimensions with you. If your home is older and has awkward walls and corners like mine, then measurements from baseboard, the height of picturerails etc will all help you when buying furniture and larger item.
4. Invest in the classics
Now this sound like lots of money but it’s not. Investing doesn’t mean spending a lot. You can invest you time into searching for the perfect piece at the right price for you.
EBay and Facebook market place are a an Aladdins cave of amazing unwanted items. You can find things in your local charity shops. I bought two antique mirrors for £20 each and they are both carved wood and really well made.
My favourite print, pictured was already framed in a charity shop for £15 and I love it. Things in your home you should love or have a purpose.
5. If you follow trends buy accessories
If you love glitter everything ( not my cup of tea) or animal print ( yes please) then buy them as accessories rather than larger items. A rug rather than carpet, a picture rather than wall paper, cushions rather than a sofa. You can creat trend looks without investing thousands that you rip out few years later.
Accessories are the best cheap upgrade to any home. Homsense has a range of high end pieces at a better price. I picked up this Le Crueset jug for 40% off. I use this jug for everything it’s not a fad for me. When I started my kitchen I chose red as I have always wanted a red kitchen.
If you have a mood board or always wanted a larger item that is now on trend then there is nothing wrong with investing in it but remember paint is cheaper to update than wallpaper!
6. Don’t get stuck on a plan be flexible
I am not getting the kitchen of my dreams anytime soon. I want to invest as little as I can into it until we can afford a new kitchen. It’s hard to get stuck on a plan but you need to be flexible. The longer I wait the more issues I see in my own kitchen. It’s too dark, there is little counter tops etc.
I am not saying you have to completely change your plans but it may be cost effective to wait. Get advice.
Being flexible with your time scale, and budget is really important. You can achieve a look without spending thousands.
7. Just be you
I have a an eclectic cluttered home but if you don’t like that look then you shouldn’t entertain it. You should just do what you love.
People always recommend that you live in a space before you make changes and I would agree with this.
It’s good to be honest with yourself, your budget and your dreams. You can achieve it planning will help.
There is no point filling someone else’s brief. If you want a completely grey home then go for it. You can always add some colour with accessories.
Your home is not an Instagram account. It’s where you lay your head everyday. So make it your own. Don’t exceed your budget you don’t need to. Pinterest is a great place for inspiration just don’t let it become an obsession.
Living in your home and finding it’s flaws and what you live about it. My house is cool in summer and warm in the winter so it’s a pretty perfect little house. It’s a bit dark which is why I am brightening it up and making it fresh.
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