Renovating a house thrift ideas…

Thinking of renovating a house? I say go for it. We have had so much fun putting our own stamp on our home and have so many fond memories of getting some things wrong, mostly right but only after a great deal of planning on Mr H’s behalf. Renovating a house is a bit like a marriage, you have to work at it – you learn something new from each room you decorate. Little tweaks along the way make all the difference to the longevity of the room. There is nothing more satisfying than sitting down after a day, week or month of renovating a room with of a cup of tea and looking at the space you have created.

Don’t let a tight budget hold back your home improvements. We took on a renovation project in our Victorian Town House almost ten years ago now and have almost remodelled it from top to bottom. It feels amazing to look at the difference we have made. We have reorganised rooms, uncovered laminate flooring to find the original wooden flooring in beautiful condition and restored fireplaces which we found in the garden shed! We have taken our time, lived in the property and really learned to love the space and understand the lighting etc before choosing the wrong colour scheme or look and feel.

There is nothing wrong with being frugal these days. Indeed, ‘thrift’, as it’s known in fashionable circles, is to be encouraged – particularly when it comes to sprucing up your home. We have really enjoyed the challenge of seeking out items on a budget and up-cycling – there is something quite satisfying about turning a tired old piece of furniture you might usually throw out into beautiful pieces for the home.

Renovating a home can be as simple as changing rooms, sanding floors and painting furniture which can add and instant impact. One of our greatest achievements was transforming our formal dining room into a snug, otherwise known as our living room and quite literally this revolutionised our evenings, sounds dramatic but really it did. We needed an adult space when we became parents – away from our little boys toys and arts and crafts.

And so, here are my top tips for renovating a house on a budget…

Urgent vs Important…

Remember it’s your home, a place you want to feel a sense of calm in, comfort at the end of a long day and so one of my top tips would be to attack your renovation project room by room. And whilst this is difficult when the creative ideas start to flow, it really helps to keep to a budget – write down your ideas, create a mood budget and keep looking back on that spreadsheet to reassess where you are. Firstly I would recommend targeting the rooms where you spend most of your time, for us this was the living room, bedroom and kitchen.

Furniture makeovers…

Take old, dingy cabinets in the kitchen or cupboards in the bedroom and repaint them with paint. Whether you are adding a pop of colour or a hint of shabby chic they will instantly add life and vibrancy to a room. Alternatively, there are some home improvement companies which allow you to keep the shell of your original cupboards but have doors and work tops replaced. For a more vintage feel in a bedroom or living space you could buy furniture on eBay (see above photo), and transform it with Annie Sloan Chalk paint which gives the furniture a new lease of life.

Ruthlessness with sales…

Shop often – in order to find the bargains you need to keep a close eye on your favourite bargain basements or even some of the bigger brands like Laura Ashley & Next who often have offers where you can save up to 50%. Capitalising on these sales will keep you on track with your budget and allow you to buy more for your money.

Other thrifty ideas…

The main one for me is shop local, using local suppliers as much as possible allows you to negotiate and of course supports your community. Look at sites like Pinterest – you can find lots of great, inexpensive home decor ideas from hundreds of home owners looking to add that little something without breaking the bank. Don’t overlook anything – if it isn’t quite right for now, with a little chalk paint makeover it will look completely different and quite possibly add that wow factor to a room once you get round to it. And lastly, instead of wallpapering an entire room (reeks of Laura Ashley from the 1980’s), try papering just the one wall to add interest, a focal point and all that is left to do is build the room around it. It will immediately transform the space.

I would love to hear your thrift ideas for renovating a house. We still have a garden to complete this year so any help on sprucing up a garden on a budget would be very much appreciated.

This is a collaborative post.


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