8 budget-friendly updates for your home
If your budget won’t stretch to a complete renovation of your home, there’s still plenty you can do to refresh your surroundings. Here’s eight inexpensive updates you can undertake that won’t break the bank.
1. Bust out the blackboard paint
Have you discovered the wonders of blackboard paint yet? It’s a brilliant way to make a statement with minimal effort and can be done on a budget. First, clear the area and cover the floor with dust sheets. Then clean the wall thoroughly and let it dry. Always check the instructions on the tin to see if you need to prime the wall first. Next, apply your first coat of blackboard paint and leave it to dry for around three to four hours before applying the next coat. Check the label for an indication of how many coats you’ll need. Make sure the wall is dry completely before cracking open the chalk!
The writing is literally on the wall of this kitchen belonging to Turid of @treskoheimen. A chalkboard isn’t just a fun way for kids to channel their creativity, it’s also great for scribbling your shopping list on.
2. Buy a butcher’s block
Hands up if you’ve always dreamt of a kitchen island, but simply haven’t got the space? Why not invest in a butcher’s block. It’s a simple way to create extra storage. Some even come on wheels, so you can move it to wherever you need it most. Plus, you can take your butcher’s block with you when you move, which is ideal for renters. If you’re working to a tight budget, shop around for an affordable flat-pack butcher’s block and put your self-assembly skills to the test!
As perfect for preparation as it is for storage, this trolley in the home of @theonlygirlinthegaff is a handy addition to kitchens big and small. Two drawers are perfect for stashing iteams she’d prefer to hide away, while a basket provides ample storage space for fruit and vegetables.
3. Wow with wallpaper
One of my favourite DIY ways to update a room is to change the wallpaper, and it can definitely can be done on a budget. Wallpaper has the power to transform any space – even the kitchen. But don’t take my word for it, take a leaf out of Lucinda’s (@peacockfinds) book and choose a bold print to bring your kitchen walls to life. Design note: don’t put wallpaper behind your hob without protecting it with glass – the heat could damage the paper and cause safety issues. Lucinda went for pretty pink tiles instead, which she’s laid in a herringbone pattern. Steal Lucinda’s style with wallpaper from Cole & Son and tiles from Bert & May.
4. Beautify your bathroom
Wallpaper can be a winner in the bathroom as it’s generally more affordable than tiling. Shop for hard-wearing vinyl wallpaper with a washable finish if your bathroom is particularly humid. You may find fewer options, but this choice will save you time and hassle in the long run.
However, in well-ventilated bathrooms, the general consensus is that standard wallpaper should do the trick. For obvious reasons, you should keep wallpaper out of direct contact with water unless you have a specialist paper designed for wet areas such as around the bath and shower – try Wall&decò. If you want to offer your wallpaper a little extra protection, try using a clear decorator’s varnish. Remember to do a patch test first.
If you’re thinking of applying wallpaper behind the basin, protect it with a splashback. Melissa Asante-Crook of @efuaathome has used antiqued mirrored tiles that look the business!
5. Create privacy with window film
Window films are brilliant for creating privacy without sacrificing the flow of natural light. Plus, they’re easy to install. OK, you can’t twitch them like nets but they’re a stylish alternative! And, as you’ll see, they both look fantastic and won’t blow your budget. When it came to selecting window films for her front-facing windows, Amy of @at_home_at_170 went for Blossom & Brush. Its founder Rhiannon Southwell is a professional textile designer, as you can probably tell from her window film designs.
6. Add interest with accessories
One of the easiest ways to zhoozh up your bathroom is accessories. They don’t have to cost the earth – so great if you’re on a budget – and a few well-chosen pieces can bring your whole scheme together.
Aside from the usual suspects (soap dispenser, toothbrush holder and candles), Charlotte of @the_handymama has thrown a few unexpected additions into the accessory mix – including a leopard figurine. Design note: it would be remiss not to mention Charlotte’s ‘living’ wall, which is actually artificial and made from panels that simply click together from Ikea.
7. Apply a new finish
I’m not a big fan of the towel rail in my bathroom, which is why this DIY tip from Lucinda Mitra of @nest_twenty_eight piqued my interest. Lucinda liked her towel rail but not the finish. Rather than scrap it, her budget-friendly solution was to give it a new lease of life with Matt Black Universal all-surface paint from Rust-Oleum. The result? A serene scheme that won’t date.
8. Use up your leftovers
Got some leftover paint kicking around? Why not use it to buck up your staircase’s style or upcycle an old piece of furniture. You’ll not only help the environment and your bank balance, but you’ll also bring some imaginative flair to your home. Here’s a couple of great examples.
Ola Zwolenok of @thistimeincolour took a couple of tins of chalk paint to this chest of drawers and the result is a striking geometric paint effect. Design note: painter’s tape will help you achieve Ola’s clean lines. She used paint from Annie Sloane. Meanwhile, Georgina of @_itstartedwithacushion is the social media manager for Dulux, so it’s no surprise that she has plenty of tester pots of paint kicking around. Her bathroom is a bit of a break from the norm though: instead of the traditional white, she’s created a rainbow to look at while enjoying a leisurely soak.
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