Redecorate on a Budget

With a quarter of Brits planning to improve their homes this year, and the economy still struggling along, thrift is the name of the game when it comes to redecorating. While a full-on home makeover might seem like a pipe dream to those of us on a tight budget, it really is possible to spruce things up without breaking the bank. With a little creative thinking, you can have fun while staying frugal.

Up-cycling is all the rage right now, and with a bit of imagination you can bring this trend into your home. By taking old items that you think are past their best and looking at them in a different way you could bring new life to your interiors. Old lamps that look tatty and tired can be brought back to life with changed trimmings and a bit of refashioning, so get out your arts and crafts tools and play around. Old doors can become interesting new table tops, and a bit of sanding can transform a cheap charity shop furniture find into an eye-catching piece for your sitting room. Online tutorials in up-cycling can help you find your way if these sort of projects appeal to you.

Use paint to instantly refresh a room. Paint isn’t an expensive purchase but can make a huge difference to your walls or furniture, so experiment with colours and add a bit of primer for gloss and you could find that your home looks instantly reinvigorated. For a striking statement look, try painting just one wall in a new colour to create an interesting new feature for your home. If the walls seem like an overwhelming task, even repainting just one item in a room like shelves or your bedside table can add a splash of colour. If your floors are looking dull and colourless, consider painting them with floorboard paint instead of going for the more expensive carpeting job. A change in the colour palette of your home could make all the difference.

Get bargain hunting. Expensive interior stores may look glamorous, but you can often find pieces that are more interesting and far less expensive in cheaper shops. Charity shops are great places to hunt for antique and bargain furniture while doing a bit of good, and remember, anything you buy can be restored or repainted if it isn’t perfect; it’ll still cost you less than buying it new. Many supermarkets now feature home departments that have some stylish products: Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda all have great ranges that will surprise you, with cool, contemporary designs at tiny prices. Flea markets and the internet also serve as good hunting grounds for interior design bargain hunters; you can find almost anything on eBay, just be sure you get the measurements right before you order online so you know that your purchase will fit your space. Home improvement is one of the most common reason people take out loans, according to research by Koala Payday Loans,  as the value added to your home can easily outweight the costs.

Add mirrors to your rooms to create the illusion of more space and to increase the light in a room. You can also find interesting shapes and sizes to create a stylish feature on your walls. Mirrors are easily found on the cheap; try Ikea and inexpensive shops on the high street for low cost options. Other accessories can also brighten up a space without breaking the bank; new cushions, vases with bright flowers and quirky lamps all bring new life to your home without requiring expensive and drastic renovations, so experiment with the little extras.

Curtains can make a major impact on the look and feel of a room. Shop around in markets and online to find offcuts of high quality fabrics at discounted prices. The right pattern and colour can transform your home, and there really is no need to go running to the nearest department store for an overpriced pair. If you don’t want to buy new fabric, consider dying the curtains that have been hanging in your windows for years in a brand new colour to bring brightness to a dull, neutral room. Once you get started with these projects, you’ll find you never need to waste money on overpriced interior design ever again.

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