Do you dream of chic, stylish décor, but your purse strings are tied a little too tightly to achieve the look you’d love? Bags of cash can certainly help in creating a gorgeous house, but believe it or not, there are lots of ways to make your home look beautiful without breaking the bank…
A Little Preparation…
Before you go on any shopping sprees, it’s wise to do a little preparation so every penny is spent prudently – and so you know where you can get away with not spending any money at all!
Figure out your priorities
Would your home currently benefit from an ergonomic office chair for the study, or a new modular sofa to cater for your growing family? Decide which areas or items need an overhaul immediately, and work on those first.
Know when to splash out, and when to save
Items like desks, lighting and rugs can all be bought inexpensively whilst still looking great, whereas it can be wise to spend a little more on frequently-used items like seating. Also worth forking out for are items that retain their value, such as great quality artwork. As always, before making any purchase do some research and decide whether it’s really worth shelling out the extra cash for.
Make a list
If you’re doing a large scale makeover on your home, total up how much it will cost before you buy anything. That way you can look for cheaper alternatives if necessary and save up for certain items if needs be.
Have a good old clear out
It’s best to focus on ‘out with the old’, before ‘in with the new’. Before spending any money, do a little spring cleaning so you can start with a clean slate. You may also rediscover items that can be displayed in your home, or be repurposed in a chic way. Wouldn’t you kick yourself if you bought a new lamp, only to find that antique one you’d forgotten about in the loft?
Inexpensive Home Lighting Can Make a Big Difference
Clever lighting can transform the look of any room. Think about the sort of mood you want to create in any given space, and then consider which lighting solutions will work best:
Candles & Oil Burners
A few inexpensive candles can create a romantic, calming environment. You can get big bags of tea lights without spending too much at all, and if you also invest in a couple of oil burners, you can make your home smell as gorgeous as it looks.
Dress Up Those Windows
Want a bright and airy feel? Opening up your windows – not literally, but by changing the dressing – can transform a room. Swap curtains for a clean white blind, and team this with a set of tulle or voile curtains to let in the maximum amount of light, while still dressing your windows beautifully.
A dimmer light switch can allow you to change the lighting to suit your mood or the occasion, and it doesn’t have to be a nightmare to install – if you fancy a little DIY, try this tutorial that breaks it all down into basic steps.
The Best Websites for Redecorating on a Budget
As they say, the best things in life are free – or at the very least, frugal! Luckily, there are plenty of online resources to help you bag yourself a bargain, or even find freebies.
Though the website can be a bit tedious to navigate, it can all be so worth it if you find that perfect coffee table for literally nothing. Join up to your local group and see what treasures you can find.
Not only can you bid for bargains on this Aladdin’s cave of a website, but you can also use it to sell unwanted items, and make some money to spend on things you do want!
Another website that can take a little while to search through, but with such a varied range of weird and wonderful items for sale, it’s well worth a look.
In addition to looking for bargains online, it’s also worth bargain hunting at your local car boot sales or markets. Even craft and antique fairs can be worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for a focus piece for a particular room that’s worth spending a little extra on.
Thrifty Finishing Touches for Any Room
Whether you’ve spent thousands of pounds or just a few quid on making over your room, it’s the finishing touches that make all the difference. In fact, just adding a few of these can lift a room all by themselves – and they don’t have to cost the Earth.
Keep a Handle on Things
Replacing dull doorknobs and drawer handles with colourful, interesting ones can totally change the appearance of a door or piece of furniture. Look for ones in a similar colour scheme, or mix and match for a quirky look.
Flowers & Vases
Charity shops are fantastic for finding these and you’ll be surprised at what you can find for next to nothing. While you should fill your vases with fresh flowers when you can, consider getting some good quality artificial ones too, so your home has some floral beauty all year round.
If flowers aren’t really your thing, consider investing in a few leafy house plants. Not only will these make your room look beautiful, they’ll help to clear the air, too!
Tablecloths & Throws
A beautiful tablecloth or knitted throw can not only hide a cheap dining table or scratched settee, but can cost much less than replacing these large items, and look simply stunning, too.
Pretty in Pairs
With décor, you can instantly make a room look more glamorous and ‘designed’ by arranging items in matching pairs, or in threes. A couple of matching lamps at each end of a coffee table, or a set of three candles arranged along a mantelpiece looks much classier than a single item.
If you can, follow this rule with some pieces of furniture too for a really gorgeous look. A couple of matching bookcases on opposite sides of a fireplace, or two matching bedside tables flanking a bed will look fabulous!
Do you have any frugal decorating tips of your own? Be sure to let me know on Twitter!
This article was contributed by Josh Nicholas of SofaSofa.