Frugal Living

Freshening Your Home Without Spending A Fortune

Few of our homes could be described as perfect. They’re usually an ongoing project, full of wishlists and ‘one days’ when we get the cash together to invest in a big ticket project – knocking walls down to make an open-plan family room say, or installing a new kitchen. These large scale investments are necessarily few and far between. Having a family is expensive and with the cost of living spiralling while wages stagnate, often we have to make the choice to do without the home improvements we’d love to make. Something about the ending of one year and the dawning of another makes us see our homes with fresh eyes. As we reevaluate our lives for the year passed, and look into the next one, we think about our goals, and a few of those are probably to do with the homes we live in.

Suddenly, when the Christmas decorations are all cleared away, that tatty old carpet or chipped tiling looks so much worse. It’s natural then, to want a fresh start for your home to ring in 2019. You want to deep clean, sort out that issue with the dripping tap, bin those dusty drapes, call in Pest Control to finally sort that nest under the basement and strip off that faded wallpaper. There are so many positive changes you can make to your home environment without blowing the budget. Freshening up your home can be as simple as a few easy, relatively inexpensive changes which can have a real impact. If you can be a bit handy with a paint brush, follow a YouTube tutorial and have a decent eye for design, you can actually achieve quite amazing things on a very minimal amount.

Read on for some serious inspiration on little projects you can do to improve your house – without spending a fortune.

Add A Pop Of Color

In fashion terms, we often hear of a ‘pop of color’ being used to lift an outfit and add a fresh energy to our look, and the same trick can be used to breathe new life into a tired decor without costing lots of money. While updating an entire room may be beyond your budget, adding an accent colour is simple and inexpensive. Choose one wall to paint or even wallpaper in a bright shade that adds a new dynamic. If you don’t want to do that, simply purchasing some new cushion covers in a brighter shade, a colorful throw or an nicely patterned area rug and a couple of vases can make the whole scene appear vibrant and refreshed. A little accent of colour goes a long way! To choose one that works well, take a look at some basic color theory and add a shade that contrasts. For example, if you have grey interiors currently, a splash of lime green or turquoise blue looks amazing. If things are more beige, bright magenta gives your decor a shot in the arm. Pair opposites on the color wheel for a tasteful clash to add vibrancy. You can also use color to transform a space. Anything too large and bland can be made cozy by introducing rich jewel tones, while darker and smaller spaces can be reinvented by adding some pastel tones to open the feel up and create the impression of airiness.

Make Your Bed and Lie In It

In your bedroom, a large proportion of the surface area is occupied by your bed, and it tends to be the main point of focus in the room. That’s why, when the room is messy, making the bed instantly neatens the whole appearance. Use this trick for a budget bedroom makeover by choosing just to focus on the bed. First up, if you have a wooden bedframe, there is scope to paint it  a new colour to give a fresh look to the room. If you have white walls, try staining in a dark deep brown, or if you have patterned wallpaper, limewashing it white gives a serene appearance. Focus your attentions on the headboard as well. It’s quite easy to find video tutorials on reupholstering a headboard simply using a fabric you like and a heavy-duty staple gun. It’s the work of an afternoon and can transform the feeling of the room. Creating a wall hanging by stretching fabric across a balsa wood frame can have the same effect if you don’t have a headboard. Or if you have a sewing machine or even just some hemming tape or fabric glue you could make a removable slip cover which fits over your current headboard easily. A new set of bed linen can be picked up cheaply and makes a big impact on the room, as well as a comforter or some matching throw pillows. Before you know it, your bedroom will be looking brand new for a small spend.

Fake It With Flowers

Cut flowers are undeniably beautiful and can really make your home look special, but there’s no denying they are an expensive luxury which most families don’t budget for. Cheat the look of decadence by buying some artificial flowers. Fake blooms have come a long way over the past few years and now look more genuine than ever – plus they don’t ever wilt. A faux bouquet in neutral tones is a great investment that will brighten up your living space for a long time to come. You can even choose to scent them by dabbing some of your favourite essential oil onto the stems to keep your home smelling fresh  and giving off that spa vibe.

Try A Budget Bathroom Makeover

You may think that freshening up your family bathroom is beyond your budget – after all with the cost of plumbing works, new tiling, and a whole new suite, it would be a pretty major project. Luckily, there are quite a few ways to cheat a fresh look without undertaking extensive works. The simplest of all is to simply switch up your shower curtain. Shower curtains quickly get old and tired looking, so adding a new one in a vibrant pattern can impact on the space. You can even get shower curtains with storage pockets if your bathroom is small and you’re running out of space for all those shampoos, lotions and body products. If you have plain tiles, consider freshening them up by applying tile paint or adhesive tile stickers to add more of a decorative flourish. A quick touch up with a regrouting pen can also make tired tiling look brand new. If you have a bit more budget, consider changing the hardware – taps, shower head and flush lever. New ones aren’t cheap, but they are a lot less expensive than a whole new suite, and if you have a plain white one that just looks a little tired they can give the appearance of a much more modern set.

Claim Your New Cupboards

In the same way as you can facelift your bathroom with new hardware, so you can also give your kitchen space a new look with similar budget means, by swapping out handles and fixings to give a better impression. Wooden cabinets can also be painted in a new color. If they are dark wood it can really brighten the look of your kitchen and make the space appear far bigger.

Hit The Lights

Another quick – and cheap – fix which you can make to any room in the house is to revisit the lighting scheme. Lighting has the power to completely transform the look and feel of a space. A cluster of dramatic hanging pendant lights can create an intimacy or a focal point of a feature like the dining table or a kitchen island unit. Uplighters or wall sconces can add drama and interest and highlight architectural features that are interesting. Dark and gloomy corners can be made cheery and welcoming with a beautiful floor-standing lamp. LED strip lights can run under skirting and cupboards for a modern, sleek look. You can achieve a host of different effects simply by changing the lighting in a room.

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