Your home is the most important place in the world to you and your family, somewhere where you should feel safe and comfortable; so it can be quite depressing to look around you and see your home looking careworn and in need of some attention. It’s even worse when you look at the opulence and grandeur of celebrity homes and compare it with what you have!
The problem for many people is that they don’t have the spare cash to embark on a major facelift project, and feel that there’s nothing they can do unless they have a decent budget. However, if you’re clever, you can make a vast difference to the way your home looks without having to spend the money you might have imagined.
The amount you need to spend will depend, of course, on how much needs doing and what the worst aspects are. For example, if your oven is faulty or your toilet doesn’t flush properly, and they aren’t worth repairing, then they should be a priority when it comes to the budget. Something that could be considered urgent may warrant a small loan, but before deciding to borrow money, check with a reputable financial broker like Bonsai Finance to make sure you get a good deal and know what you’re taking on.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good clean. You might think you need to paint a grimy looking door or wall, but try giving it a good scrub, and you may be pleasantly surprised. It’s significantly cheaper to clean than to redecorate, so if you can uncover some pristine woodwork, it could save you both time and money.
If a good clean doesn’t reveal the bright surface you hope for; you won’t have wasted your time because it’s always good practice to clean a surface before painting. Cleaning sinks, taps, ovens, floors, and windows can have a similar result. If a sink or tap is coated with limescale, it’s going to look like it’s past it, but in fact, just using a limescale remover can spruce up sinks and taps and put back the sparkle.
If you’re considering buying cheap paint, don’t! It’s far more likely to streak, show brush strokes, and need a second coat, so it takes a lot longer to complete the job, plus the finish won’t be that great. If you have to buy two cans of paint for $40 when you could have done the job with one good quality can for $30, that’s not a cheap option.
If you’re going to struggle to afford paint, you do have other options. People often discard perfectly good half or three quarter filled cans of paint at the dump, and you might be able to take them home for free or a small donation if you ask the custodian. People who know about services like Freecycle may post adverts offering free cans of paint they’ve finished with, and it’s always worth looking at ends of lines and discount offers. If you’re buying new, white paint is cheaper than colored paint, and never goes out of style.
Kitchens and bathrooms
You might be wishing you could rip out your old kitchen or bathroom and start again, but even a bargain suite or set of units is going to be a fair few hundred dollars. Most kitchens have pretty standard carcasses, which is what units are called without their doors. That means that you can usually just take off the old, tatty doors and replace them with shiny new ones.
If you can’t afford a new bathroom suite, how about replacing the toilet seat, or the shower curtain? These are far more affordable options, and won’t take much work either, but can easily breathe new life into a tired bathroom.
There are several different ways you can revitalize your furniture. One option is to take what you have and repurpose it. Decorate dull old cheap wood and plastic furniture with paint, varnish, even decoupage if you wish, or strip it back if it’s good quality wood hidden by old paint or varnish. If your furniture’s looking quite damaged and tatty, go with the distressed look rather than trying to hide the flaws.
If you need new furniture, then try Freecycle again, as furniture of all kinds is one of the most frequently advertised items. Second-hand stores, junkyards, garage sales, and auctions are also great places to find furniture and other useful items that you can use as they are or decorate when you get them home.
If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you might feel inspired to make your own curtains and cushions, but if not then you can find soft furnishings at a reasonable price on the online auction sites and at thrift stores and local bargain stores. Second-hand items aren’t something you should feel awkward about – after all, the priceless antiques adorning some celebrity houses are just older or more unusual second-hand goods!
Look at all the artworks and decorative items you have and see how you could use them in new places. Clutter is the enemy of good design, so be selective with your choices and discard anything that isn’t worth keeping. You can make your own framed artworks for the walls, using pictures you or your kids have created. You don’t need to be Frederic Remington to produce art worthy of hanging on the wall. A simple splatter painting can look very classy in a nice frame; or you could use photographs, downloaded images, or even prints from magazines.
Giving your home a facelift on a budget is a great chance for you and your family to get creative and come up with ingenious ways to spend a little and make a big difference. You’ll find plenty of websites and forums that offer some brilliant money-saving tips and ideas for your redecoration project, from both professionals and amateurs. You may not be living in a celeb home, but with a bit of ingenuity, you can make your home look pretty fine.