With the crunch continuing its grip, many of us have had to cut costs in the home just to make ends meet. Fortunately, in the world of interior design, it’s easy to create a stylish look for minimal outlay. Not only are there several low-cost retailers where you can find a bargain, but second hand and antique shops can also reveal hidden gems.
There’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint to update a room. A new colour can dramatically transform a room with little financial outlay. A bright colour or wallpaper can make an impact on a feature wall. Although your budget might not stretch to designer wallpaper, imitations can easily be found at the local DIY store.
Furnishing and fittings
Sofas can easily be given a face lift by changing upholstery covers. An even cheaper alternative is to add a colourful throw and some funky cushions. Kitchens can be spruced up by adding new cupboard and drawer fronts or by painting them in a different colour. Even something simple, such as replacing old handles with brass door knobs can instantly transform your kitchen units.
It seems everyone has forgotten about the humble carpet in the rush to install wooden floors. While there’s no denying, real wood looks great, it will also make a large dent in your budget. Carpet never goes out of fashion and will dramatically change the look of a room. It is also perfect for cooler climates. Vinyl flooring has also had something of a revival, with retro designs taking centre stage. Vinyl is inexpensive, long lasting and makes a great alternative to carpet, particularly in heavy-traffic areas of your home.
Rather than giving your whole bathroom an expensive design overhaul, think about the smaller things that could be changed. Instead of splashing out on a new bath or sink, why not add some new taps and a shower curtain for a fraction of the cost. White tiles can be purchased cheaply and make a neutral scheme for a bathroom. Splashes of colour can be made with towels, rugs and other accessories.
Making your own accessories means you really will have something unique. Glass jars can be painted and used as vases which can then be filled with dried flowers. Shells, stones and pine cones can all be used to make eye-catching displays. Photos and children’s drawings can be framed and hung on the wall for an instant piece of modern art. Or create your own wall art with stencils and a black canvas. To transform your bed, consider making a headboard from plywood and covering with fabric. You could even tile the wall around the headboard for a dramatic look.
Splashing out on some good quality finishing touches will ensure your budget home looks expensive. You might be surprised what you can pick up second hand or at a car boot sale; maybe a beautiful antique mirror, a stylish lamp or a piece of unusual art.
However tight your budget, making home improvements can be fun. There is a huge array of products available to buy or, better still, have fun making your own. A lack of funds need not restrict your imagination.