Having lived through a massive renovation and now being on the cusp of a new build project, I totally understand the frustration that comes with living with decor that isn’t your tasse de the! My advice would always be to prettify one area at least, so you have a lovely shrine to look at and keep your inner interior peace!
So, if you’re in the midst of a renovation or just don’t have the budget to create the home interior you’re dreaming of, then here are some simple tips on making the best of what you have and tarting them up on a shoestring.
Improve the Front of your Home
First impressions count right? Small features that can help to make your home look more tasteful and expensive include adding exterior lights and smart topiary in pots – these can immediately help to make your home feel more elegant and inviting. A simple trick that speaks volumes about your standards!
Add a new splash of paint
Next up, get your painting shirt out and give your home a lick of fresh paint. A new splash of paint could make your home feel brighter and newer in hours, which will immediately make it feel more luxurious, and, well, home. This is a cheap renovation project that you can carry out in an afternoon. Explore pops of bright colour or go classic with pared back neutrals. Choosing light reflecting colours can transform any room and give your home instant elegance.
You don’t have to shell out on crystalware to make your home sparkle. Improving the lighting in your home can make each room feel less dull and dingy in an instant. You could do this by adding artificial light or simple by sharing light.
When it comes to letting in more natural light, adding a mirror opposite a window could help to create the illusion of an extra window and make the room feel brighter and bigger. Placing mirrors on opposite walls creates an amazing sense of space, try it!
As for adding artificial lighting, this can be made affordable depending on how you go about it. Track lighting is usually much cheaper than installing spot lighting as it requires less electrical work. You may also be able to use lamps to light up dark areas – not only are these cheaper to buy than installing lights, they’re also often cheaper to run. We often have our lamps on if it’s a grey day, don’t you?
Give the Floor a Facelift
We love our carpeted living room for comfort but, it’s a new carpet and we take very good care of it. If you have old carpets that dominate your current interior, replacing them with more en vogue wooden or ceramic flooring can make a huge difference. But, beware of creating new drafts in an old house before you rip them up!
In many old homes, you’re likely to be able to get away with simply exposing the original floorboards beneath – providing they’re in good condition they could serve as a rustic and historic feature. In newer homes, this may not have the same aesthetic appeal. A cheap alternative to replacing the floorboards or indeed laminating them could be to buy drop-fit wooden flooring or tiles. This can be made to measure and installing it is a simple case of dropping it down so that it sits over the existing floor. It will look stylish without you spending lots of money on it.
Use Faux Materials
A little trompe d’oeil? You might long for luxury but feel disheartened by the price tag. In fact, many expensive materials can be emulated by using cheaper versions with the same look and feel. When it comes to kitchen countertops, marble and granite are the two materials that can add the most value to your kitchen, but these are very expensive to buy as a result. There are however cheaper alternatives that look the part such as culture marble and even faux-granite sprays that you can spray over the top of a cheap plastic countertop in the meantime.
When it comes to wood, if you like the luxury of a dark mahogany for example, can be substituted with woods that are almost identical in tone but much cheaper such as Sapele and Iroko. You may also be able to save money with a mahogany veneer – this involves using a cheap wood like chipboard or MDF and adding a thin layer of mahogany over the top. You can find plenty of these veneered materials online, whether you’re looking for a countertop or furniture.
Re-shape the Mould!
Many period properties have some beautiful moulding from ceiling roses to cornicing and intricate doorways. So much of what we love about Bouregois properties comes from the romance of the decorative moulding on the walls.
Adding new moulding to a more recent property isn’t expensive or difficult and it could give your home an immediate sense of finesse.
Take Care when Borrowing Money
Finally, if you’re borrowing money to renovate your home, think carefully about the type of loan you take out. Personal loans can often have high interest rates, particularly if you’ve got a low credit score. Shop around for specialist home improvement loans with lower interest rates so that you’re no paying more in the long run. Remortgaging by taking out another housing loan could be another less expensive means of borrowing money for home improvements – you can then pay the loan back along with your mortgage all as one debt. You can also pay for home improvements on credit card, but this is generally only advisable with smaller amounts as interest rates on cards can vary widely.