Tips to improve your home on a budget

Giving your home a makeover doesn’t have to be a costly exercise – especially if you follow these handy hints and tips to improve your home on a budget.


Art attack
A great way to spruce up a room without forking out for an entire interior overhaul is to invest in some affordable artwork. Gina Cross, owner of the art agency Gas Art, says: “With pennies being pinched left, right and centre, we’re seeing more and more customers looking to acquire a few pieces of beautiful artwork to personalise their homes, rather than undertaking the expense of reduction.” Interior designer Kate Kingston of Kingston Shaw agrees: “A great way to add instant grandeur to a space is through artwork. If you have an eye for colour and design why not create it yourself, or visit local areas and degree shows where you can pick up unique works by new artists at great prices, it may even become a great investment over time.”

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Mirror mirror
Renovator Sarah Maidment and her husband Steve have spent years making over properties on a budget. She believes in using mirrors. “Hang mirrors in dark or dull spots in your home. The light reflected from the mirrors lightens the area and creates a feeling of space. If you have room, hang several mirrors on the same wall. The mirrors do not have to be the same, try hanging different shapes and sizes together. Lay them out on the floor first to avoid lots of unwanted holes in the wall.” Kingston agrees: “Try a piece of mirrored furniture or even mirrored accessories to help achieve this effect.”

Luxe for less
Introduce a little of the midas touch to successfully create luxury on a budget. Kingston says: “This could be done through a wallpaper with a metallic detail, oversized gilt mirror or metal detailing on a table lamp. Charity shops and flea markets can be great sources for unique treasures. Be patient and dig deep!” Symmetry can also be used to create luxury on a budget. “This can be achieved through the placement of furniture, through the arrangement of wall-mounted picture frames or by placing accessories in pairs,” advises Kingston.

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A lick of paint
It may seem an obvious one, but a new paint job can really breathe fresh life into your home, at a fraction of the cost. Maidment says: “Paint can transform your existing furniture for a fraction of the price of purchasing new. Change the handles or knobs, and perhaps even try your hand at a paint effect like distressing or antiquing. Mirror and picture frames can also go under the paintbrush. Painting walls is the quickest and cheapest way to make over a room.”

Kitchen worktops
New worktops can completely transform your entire kitchen, without costing the earth. Stuart White, managing director at Bushboard advises: “Replace your worktop with a stone design in a high gloss texture for some instant luxury. Go for a matching worktop and upstand as they look just like polished granite but are far more purse-friendly at around £200 per 4m worktop and £16 per linear metre for an upstand. The laminate surface is also very easy to maintain on a day-to-day basis. A competent DIYer with joinery and plumbing skills should be able to remove the existing work surface, do the cut-outs for the sink and hob and fit new worktops in a couple of days.”

Read more about the kitchen trends 2013

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