It’s far easier than you may think. Having a strict budget doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to modernize your home in an affordable manner. In fact, it’s an amazing exercise in setting your real-estate priorities straight. It also trains your eye and gives you the opportunity to observe your home from the eyes of your visitors, which endorses critical thinking. You will temporarily get skills that every interior designer possesses, and it’s also really fun once you get to the nitty-gritty of it.
Words: Chloe Smith
Do the research first:
Before any kind of actual refurbishing takes place, you need to see what kind of budget is at your disposal. Sit down and decide which rooms require the most work, and which ones can be modernized with a few hours of DIY effort. This is bound to save both time and money, while providing a solid “battle plan” you’ll stick with until the entire project is over. It beats the alternative of deciding on things room by room, on a whim, or by “feel”.
Decide right away where to splurge and where to save:
Along with the first point, you will want to immediately separate your priorities into two columns: items that you’ll splurge on, and items where you’ll maximize saving. Don’t be afraid to even leave out some rooms or corners for a future redecorating project. It’s better to do several things wonderfully, than to do plenty of them halfway through. For example, re-laminating or retiling the complete kitchen floor, while the living room walls don’t get repainted, but instead gets decorated with framed artwork of your children, favorite movie posters or book covers.
Refurbish your furniture:
If you can, turn this into a DIY project. Almost all of your furniture is salvageable with some lacquer and woodworking tools. Watch a few tutorials on YouTube or read some instructions on how to sand down and repaint a chair, table or cupboard. There are plenty of websites that offer amazingly creative ideas that you may not have considered. The bonus lies in how easy to implement a lot of those ideas are. And if you manage to include your family in the handiwork, the job will be done much faster.
Upgrade the lighting design:
Depending on your stylistic choices (and what kind of modern look you’re going for), the best way is to look for affordable, but stylish fixtures and lampshades. Matte glass never goes out of style, for example. High ceilings tempt to be decorated with a low-hanging light that draws the eye. But if you want a more contemporary approach, you can always install a light dimmer, and eliminate the need to buy several light fixtures for a larger room.
Resolve the issue of kitchen clutter:
The epitome of a 21st century kitchen is the extensive use of hidden compartments and wall mounts. We personally prefer them, as they not only save space, but give you that ultra-modern look many A-list mansion kitchens sport. Such examples are: installing a flat chopping board drawer just underneath the counter, or having a thin vertical spice rack in that small space between the counters. A minimalist kitchen will give your home that organized, dreamy look with a few bucks to spare. Cluttered cooking spaces make your head spin and remind of the huge number of dishes to be done, don’t they?
Decide on a color and shape scheme:
A neat little way to cheat the system in making your house look more modern, is to focus on color and shapes, rather than individual items. See if you can rearrange your furniture in such a way that a specific shape or color combination dominates the room. A lot of modern homes decide on one type of furniture, like short, geometrically shaped one, and find a color combination for the rest of the décor to complement it. The whole room will give off a sense of a more rounded, complete design than if you simply bought a few new pieces that don’t fit well with the overall room design.
Clear out your garden:
Before you start redecorating your garden, consider what can be cleared out first. Do you have the bushes trimmed? IS the lawn cut regularly? What needs to be done from the ground up and what CAN be done by your own hands, to give you a clean new canvas to work with? The best idea might be to invest in upgrading your gardening tools when redesigning the outdoor space. You can grab a brand-new lawnmower and get that grass cut properly once and for all, or get a high pressure washer and clear out your porch, and patio too. Why? Because:
You can recycle indoor objects for outdoor space:
Patch up old cushions, refurbish that old chair, get the armchair to dry cleaning and kick them out! In a good way, of course. This works really well for several reasons:
- You’ll match your interior design with the exterior;
- The garden will appear more personal than if you got expensive new items;
- It’s a fun DIY project for the whole family.
The garden should be a place for meditation and spending time with friends and family. Think about reflecting that in your design and financial choices.
In the end:
The biggest amount of work, and the hardest choices to deal with await in the very beginning. Once you know where you stand financially, what your priorities are and where you will invest the most money, you can start putting the plan into motion. The key to a modern home is in its simplicity, economic use of space and smart orientation of objects around a central theme. Employ all of these, and you’ll save a lot of money and headache while actually having fun.