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Paging through a magazine or watching the latest episode of Extreme Makeover is enough to start imagining what your home can look like if the decorating pros are given a chance to transform it. Unfortunately, you probably don’t know Ty Pennington and your bank account is telling you to wait until next year before doing any renovations.
Don’t lose heart! With some upcycling, smart purchases of items like motorised blinds and something as simple as a mirror, you can have the living room everyone in the neighbourhood is talking about.
Here are our top tips for upgrading a home on a budget.
Have a Goal
Of course, your one goal is to do your decorating and renovations while staying within your budget. Having an idea of how much to spend is a good start, because it will keep you from buying random items you don’t really need or that don’t match with anything. Your cashflow forces you to consider every purchase in depth before committing.
Another way to keep from making purchases you may regret is to envision the end result. What exactly do you want to achieve?
- Do you need more or less light for the particular space?
- Is it the lack of colour you’re trying to solve?
- Does the room need a more modern feel?
- Would you like to manage privacy better?
- Do you need to soundproof a space, because the noise from traffic is driving you crazy?
Answers to questions like these will give you a good idea which items and plans are priority to fit into your budget.
IF there’s money left over, you can splurge on that rug you love or the painting that speaks to your soul.
Minor Changes, Big Impact
Now, based on your list of goals, consider how you can achieve some of it with minor changes. Initiating many small changes may require a lot of workmanship and role players, which means you’ll pay more. But often, just one adjustment can give you a major result, and you’ll spend less on materials and labour.
This is especially possible when you transform a large part of the space at once. For example, a big couch that sets the tone means you don’t have to do much more to communicate a certain theme. Or, add new blinds and curtains Melbourne residents often use to help manage the influx of light. At the same time, the right curtains can give you more privacy and reduce the sound of traffic, which is great if you live near the highway or your home is close to the street.
What Can You Repurpose?
What you need for your home transformation could be staring you in the face! Especially if your goal is to change the theme of a room or upgrade it to a more modern feel, you may simply need to repurpose the existing features.
You can try your hand at some DIY projects (you’ll find loads of tutorials online), or outsource it to someone locally. It often still works out more economically than buying brand new items.
- Reupholster the couch or chairs with fabric that gives the perfect look you’re going for.
- Give art pieces different, modern frames.
- Paint furniture to suit your preferred colour palette.
- Switch furniture between rooms, to give spaces a new look.
The Power of Decluttering
In many homes, attempts to create trendy looks result in buying random items that don’t really go together. Or, over the past few years your home has accumulated a lot of clutter thanks to souvenirs from travel adventures or different hobbies you’ve tried.
Time for it to go!
Removing excess items from counters, tables, bookcases and side tables can give a room an entirely new feel. These days, a more minimalistic approach is all the rage, so you’re making your rooms seem more fashionable by simply removing excess.
As a bonus you can sell off some of the clutter and add the money to your budget.
Smart Second-hand Shopping
Of course, you may not yet own everything you need to create the look you’re dreaming of. For the sake of sustainability as well as your pocket, first browse around for second-hand items. Chances are, someone is selling off what you wish to own. It may exactly be what you want, or may simply require a minor change, paint or repair.
Thanks to technology your second-hand resources are vast. Start with local pawnshops but also use online marketplaces, as many people rather share images of their unwanted wares than carting them to the second-hand retailers.
Make it Happen with Mirrors
If you want an easy fix to get you going, we suggest you go for mirrors. It’s the winning ingredient in many decorating projects:
- If a room needs more light, mirrors (and glass) will help reflect it across the room, giving the illusion there’s more light than there really is. It instantly makes a space seem bigger too.
- Basic mirrors are timeless, so it will work for modern or classic themed rooms.
- You can incorporate it on walls, on coffee tables or on a bookcase. Therefore, no matter your plans, it’s possible to add a mirror during execution.
Apart from your budget, there are good reasons to have a different take on home decorating. Upcycling and only investing in ‘new’ when it’s long-term investments like curtains or blinds, means you’re creating a more sustainable environment and reducing your carbon footprint. So, your money-wise choices are good for the environment as well.
Now that’s a lifestyle worth writing an article about and hopefully it will inspire your neighbours too!