Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Decor and furniture on a budget...

spruce up your home without splashing the cash!

Following on from my last post on redecorating your home on a budget, today I want to share my top tips on how to freshen up your home.... I am talking little tricks and tips, but also how to find furniture and accessories on the cheap!!

If you are not in the market for redecorating your home, but want to give it a spruce up and refresh your space, there are lots of ways to do this without getting the paintbrushes out....or spending lots of money!!
Or maybe you have done your decorating, but now find yourself with little or no money left to purchase new furniture or home accessories to finish off your new look home!

I know this sounds obvious, but giving your home a proper clean, and purging your belongings can be the start of a new love affair with your home!
Move things around, so that you can get to every nook and cranny, and give your home a good de-cluttering and clean! Clear out your cupboards and dust down your shelves, then gradually reintroduce your belongings into the room...Be critical: Only bring back items you truly love or use!!
You will probably find that you've gotten so used to the items you surround yourself with, they've become part of your décor....but honestly: Do you need that pile of old magazines? That figurine you got from your MIL....do you even like it??
Set up an outbox , where you can place items that you are no longer sure you want to keep (I talked about the outbox in my previous post here) The items in your outbox can become a source of income (Sell on e-bay or local car boot sales) should you need some cash towards say: that new sofa!!
Clean the windows and wash your curtains and any other soft furnishings!! Letting the light flow in to your rooms will let you see them, ahem, well...in a different light!! And everything looks better when it is clean!!

Look at your lighting: Do they bring out the best of your room?
Introducing "Level lighting" is one of the best ways to improve the look and feel of a room!
Instead of just using your ceiling light, consider having multiple light sources around the room: A floor lamp, table lamps as well as a dimmable overhead light would make a world of difference to the feel of the room! Try to aim for no dark corners!
It is also important to add a task light for an area where you work, such as a desk or table...and a spot light on a painting or artwork, will make it make it really stand out!!
Look at your light fittings: Maybe you should "invest" in a new lamp holder, change out your lampshades or makeover an old one that you've already got .....you could even DIY one!!

I have a few tutorials on DIY lighting in my tutorials gallery, why not try making this Concrete lampshade?
New soft furnishings are one of the quickest ways to update your décor: New curtains, cushions and throws is also an inexpensive way to refresh your home! Here's a few of my favourite places to get cheap soft furnishings: IKEA , H&M home and TK maxx
Why not buy some inexpensive and plain cushion covers and curtains  and jazz them up to fit in with your décor! I have a few tutorials on how to do this in my tutorials gallery, but you can find loads of DIY inspiration on Pinterest.
A new area rug is also one of those things that will instantly change the look of a room...however, good rugs are rarely cheap, and I would recommend that this is one of those things you splurge on!! Save up or use some of that money you've earned from selling off stuff from your outbox!!

See my tutorials gallery to see how to DIY or jazz up your soft furnishings, like this  DIY monochrome graphic print cushion and more!

Adding some potted plants or even treating yourself to a weekly bouquet of supermarket flowers will have a positive effect on your home!!
Not only do they look fresh and add a bit of colour, but they will remove toxins in the air and help keep your home healthy!!

Adding some new prints or art to your walls is a great pick-me-up for any room!!
Fresh  art is more accessible than ever these days, with instant downloadable prints and the internet being a great place to find artwork to suit any budget and taste!! See my post on finding new art for the home here!
Or why not DIY your very own artwork! You can make your own art completely to suit your taste and décor...Matching patterns and colours to suit your home!! Even if you are not very creative, there are plenty of inspiration and tutorials out there to get you going!!
Pinterest is a great resource for inspiration and tutorials for making some DIY art.
Frame your art in inexpensive frames found at flea-markets or use what you've got...give them a quick makeover with some spray paint to change the look to fit with your décor!!

See my DIY tutorials gallery for loads of DIY's you can do for your home, including making this easy abstract artwork!

After purging your home of junk and unwantables, you may feel the urge to acquire some new accessories for your home! Don't be tempted to fill every void you've cleared straight away...try living with bare surfaces for a while and be critical to what new items you introduce to your home décor!!
Try to live by the "one in-one out" rule when it comes to decorative accessories...You don't want to end up re-cluttering your space!! Put something away in a box for keeping every time you introduce a new piece, so that you can circulate your decorative home accessories, this way keeping your home décor fresh all year round! OR.... If you make a habit of selling your old stuff every time you get something new, you can also justify those little splurges when you see something you really love!!

But before you go splurging: shop your outbox...or other parts of your home first! Maybe that old vase from the living room would look great as a utensil holder in the kitchen? Maybe if you spray paint that figurine from the MIL, it would look great on the mantel?
try to look at what you already have with a creative eye: Can you use that old tray on top of a basket for an instant side table in your living room....with added storage??

Or why not DIY something new for your home. I have lots of little and large projects for your home in my tutorials gallery, like these concrete planters, below...


Re-arranging your furniture is a great way to refresh the look of your home....and it doesn't cost a thing!
But if you find you are in need of some new furniture, or what you've got is looking tired and old...there are so many ways to get what you want for cheap!!

First: Shop your home!! Will that dresser look better in the hallway? Can that old IKEA book-shelf be used as shoe storage?? Simply by moving your existing furniture around from room to room, you can change up the look of your home!! Maybe that old table would look nice painted up?

If you haven't got the furniture you need, you could always try to find a freebee at websites such as snaffleupfreecycle or gumtree
Or you could try picking up a bargain at local auction houses or second hand shops, like Emmaus
Try your luck at car boot sales  or recycling centres!
Or try ebay: with larger furniture, sellers often prefer the "pick-up only" option....limiting the competition in the bidding war....which means you can get yourself a great deal and a bargain!!

Again try to use your imagination: could that pine bookshelf be a diamond in the rough? Would a lick of paint make that coffee table a beautiful centrepiece?? Look at the shape and lines of things, check for damage, but try to look beyond its currents state! Some sandpaper, primer and paint can really transform an old piece of furniture, and there is loads of advice on furniture upcycling to be found online! Check out my pinterest board on painting and finishing for links to loads of good tips and great tutorials on painting furniture.
Found a beautiful old sofa, but the upholstering is dated?  You can get it reupholstered for less than the cost of a cheap, new settee, at Bemz. They also do a great range of sofa covers and curtains to match! Not only will you get to chose a fabric that you love, but you will also have saved the local landfill + created something unique to your taste!!

Upcycling your excisting furniture, or cheap second hand finds is a great way to liven up your home décor on a budget. See how I transformed a rickety and battered old side-table into the unique piece you see above here

If old, upcycled furniture is not your thing (it is not for everyone) and you really have your heart set on something new, try searching price comparison websites like kelkoo or pricerunner for the best deals! Or try deal directories like home bargains or good deal directory!
It is also worth signing up for voucher codes or to get the best deals newsletter from money saving expert.
Look out for promotional codes in newspapers and magazines, and of course sales in your favourite furniture shops!
Also consider looking at the home section of the supermarkets websites: AsdaSainsbury's and Tesco all do a great range of furniture and home ware online!!
IKEA is of course THE place to go to furnish any home on a budget, but if you are looking for something a bit more special, try Homesense, or sign up to Achica for heavily discounted luxury furniture and home ware !
If you already Know what you want (Style, brand and colour) A quick google search search (under shopping) should bring up the best deals on what you want!!

I hope you will find this guide useful, no matter what home improvements you have in mind!
I would like to sign off this post with two more pieces of advice:

#1. The more research and prep you do before you buy anything for your home, the more successful the transformation is likely to be.
Even if you have no intentions of re-decorating (Painting etc..) you might find my guide to redecorating on a budget useful as it contains some great advise on how to prep your home for any improvement!!
#2. Always measure the room,( and your front door) and draw up a rough dimensional layout before you commit to a new big piece of furniture!!
It doesn't matter how beautiful or how much of a bargain something is if it is not going to work in your space....or fit through the door!! Especially with sofa's and beds!

Good luck with your home improvements, and please tell me if you have any comments or questions below!!
 I love to hear from you all!!


Note: I just came across This post from apartment therapy, that you all may find useful if you are planning on redecorating a part of your home....Read the comment section as well...there are some really good advise there!! 

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