I would often browse interior magazines and think, “If only I had the budget to achieve that look…” and then I soon discovered that through a bit of creative thinking and artistic licence so much can be achieved even on the most limited of budgets, that will transform your home.
I’ve been working on various interior projects for the past five years and I’ve learnt a lot along the way. One of the biggest things I had to learn was to how to create the look I wanted on a very limited budget. Whilst it does require patience and a lot creative thinking it can be done, and actually you can end up creating something even better than you had initially anticipated!
Here’s some of my tips below, which I hope are useful, for those who may have the challenge of a very restricted budget to renovate/decorate their home:
1.Buy second hand – ask the question, can I buy this item second hand?
Everything in the room above was bought second hand part from the footstool and sheepskin rug. The mirror was something we bought in France, it was battered and bruised and I made my partner drag it home from France. Buying second hand does not mean you have to compromise on quality, in fact, often, you end up with much nicer pieces of furniture through buying second hand. Some people seem to have fear of buying second hand. I completely understand why someone may not want to to buy a second hand, well used mattress, for example, but second hand chairs, tables, sofas, lamps can be wonderful and have a real story to tell, injecting real character into a home. Think twice before buying new folks – it’s far more sustainable too!
2.Get clever with sourcing pieces for your home
In order to find great pieces you need to know where to look, and you need to be prepared to put the work in to find those pieces. So, this does not mean picking up a catalogue and ordering your dream sofa at full retail price, blowing all your budget on one item… If you are on a limited budget, you need to look around. Check that you are getting the most competitive price. By looking around you might easily find that same sofa for significantly less. It just requires some clever detective work.
To help find what you are looking for, check out:
- Ebay, Preloved, Gumtree
- Facebook Market Place
- Carboot sales
- Charity shops
- Shops which sell seconds (i.e furniture that is slightly damaged that really wouldn’t matter to you, but which stops the retailer selling it). I recently bought a brand new Loaf sofa from a seconds outlet. It was brand new and had a small tear on the back on it, which really didn’t matter to me. It meant that I got it at half the price of a new one!
- Antique dealers – Instagram is a great place to find dealers and to do a bit of shopping!
First, you must accept that building a great interior, especially when there are budget restrictions, does takes time. Don’t rush and buy things you that don’t excite you. It’s better to wait until you find that special something. By rushing and compromising you will just end up with a mediorche interior that doesn’t excite you, and ultimately will probably end up frustrating you
Get handy at doing things yourself. If you want to paint a room for example, do it yourself as opposed to employing a painter/decorator. If you are nervous about doing things yourself there are plenty of great YouTube tutorials on painting, etc so learn from those and get clever at doing things yourself. You’ll surprise yourself at how much you can achieve. If you need a piece of artwork for the wall, why not have a go at creating it yourself?
5.Compromising on brands, doesn’t mean compromising on quality
I’m mainly talking about things such as paint here. Most of us love brands such as Farrow & Ball and Little Greene, but if you are painting a whole room/house in these colours it can prove very expensive. I’d recommend using these brands to paint things like staircases, windows, doors, furniture, but to cover large areas, think about potentially finding a good and cheaper alternative. Many affordable paint brands offer good colour matching services.
6.Work out what your big ticket items are – this will help influence your budget
There are some things you really notice in a room and other things you really do not. For example in a lounge/sitting room, it is wise to allocate a good budget to a sofa, since this forms a centre piece of such a room, however, other items such as cushions, lamps etc don’t require you to spend a fortune. I really rate TK Maxx and HM Home for cushions. H&M have some great linen curtains too for a very good price. Think about where your money is best spent
Remember, often budget restrictions can be a good thing as it forces you to be creative and think outside the box, so don’t let it scare you. Crack on and you’ll be amazed what you can achieve.
I hope the above tips are useful. Do message me if you have any specific questions. Happy decorating and please do share your interior projects, I’d love to see them!
*Photo credit: Lizzie Churchill