Economical Home Updates
Houses are expensive. They are expensive to buy, maintain and renovate. Items for your home are usually pretty costly too; if you have ever embarked on a renovation project you will know how easily costs can spiral out of control. For the average family, not much is left over after every paycheck for non-essential items such as new furniture, finishes or decorative items.
Yet how many of us are stopped in our tracks when we walk by a gorgeous house on the street or we see a beautiful home in a magazine or online? Even just a new floor will make a huge difference, or better windows will make it warmer, or something as simple as a pretty desk or window seat just makes us drool or dream. Having a highly efficient, clean, healthy, inspiring and well functioning home adds value to your day and creates a wonderful backdrop to live out your life.
Having a large budget to purchase homewares or to renovate your property is one way to get your dream home, but there really are creative ways to get the look you want to achieve, even if you are on a miniscule budget. Saving for your dream sofa isn’t always practical, as high quality furniture can be exceptionally expensive and fashions change with seasons, so by the time you can afford the sofa of your dreams, it may not always be there waiting for you to dish out the cash (unless you snap it up at a sale).
Another way to have the gorgeous home of your dreams is to get creative with the budget you do have (even if that budget is zero). Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Creative Renovating Ideas
If you have your heart set on a particular renovation, such as a kitchen or bathroom, there are a number of ways to achieve your desired look without having it cost you the earth. For example, if you’re looking to remodel, leaving appliances where they are and trying to re-use as much of the existing as possible are always a good start. If the main items aren’t in great condition and can’t be re-used, you might be able to find a replacement second hand. Solid wood carcasses are easy to repair and re-use, although harder to come across (not impossible). Patience, persistence and usually a bit of elbow grease will give you a surprisingly excellent result.
TIP: Always look for good quality second hand materials that are easily up cycled.
Creative Furniture Ideas
Furniture can easily be up cycled into something different. If you are stuck for ideas, ask some children to use a piece of furniture in a different way. For example, could you turn a bookshelf into a window bench or a door into a mirror or a ladder into a towel holder? Designers are constantly looking for unique ideas that make their designs stand out. By using your own creativity, your home could look more “designed” than someone’s home who can afford the latest trends.
TIP: Your new best friends are: Craigslist, Gumtree and Freecycle.
Creative Extension Ideas
If you need extra room at home but cannot afford an actual extension, consider additional spaces such as garden rooms, garages, storage areas, basements and sheds. A high quality renovation will have a basic cost associated with it, but if your “building” isn’t permanent (ie has wheels or doesn’t have foundations) or is below a certain height and size, it might have different rules which means that you can build something yourself or with the help of some handy friends. Not having to apply for authority approvals will lower costs considerably and give you more flexibility with design.
TIP: Every country and suburb can vary, for example, in the UK many “garden rooms” won’t need approval and can be a great way of gaining some “space”.
For more decorating tips, download my guide here!