No matter how careful you are, family life takes its toll on a house and over the years those little odd jobs mount up and become large jobs. If you take a look at your home right now, you’re probably acutely aware of the windows that need replacing, the floorboards that could do with a coat of varnish and the walls that need freshening up.
It might be that you’re saving for the larger jobs, the work that’s going to set you back some money so anything else that needs doing, well that’s going to have to wait or get done very cheaply indeed. That’s where we come in. We’re looking at seven home renovation schemes that you can do for minimal layout. The kind of little jobs that make an impact and make you feel like you’ve achieved something without costing the earth.
Let’s start by talking about the basics: your walls. Perhaps they’re just looking a bit faded and could do with a paint refresh but if you need to carry out a little bit more in terms of TLC, start with giving them a good clean. You’ll need to make sure your paint is the kind that can stand a little washing, so carry out a test on a small area.
You don’t need to splash out on expensive detergents either. Remove scuff marks with a simple solution of washing up detergent, some warm water and white wine vinegar. Gently dab off mud and dirt off walls and you’ll be surprised at how much brighter and cleaner your interior is going to look.
If you need to, get a hold of some instant wall putty, smooth it into any holes or cracks and sand off when dry. Paint over using your leftover wall paint and you’ll have walls that looks as good as new.
Bringing your floorboards back to life is almost as easy, though may require a little bit more physical exertion on your part. Again, look for any problem areas such as roughed up, splintery surfaces (common if you have pets) and sand them down. Watch out for any nails that may have come loose or are sticking up. Remove and replace these if necessary. Then you’re set to stain or even paint your boards if you feel like it.
If you do opt to paint, look for a product that is hard wearing and chip resistant to prevent too much wear and tear.
If your boards have seen better days but you don’t want to go to the expense of buying and fitting a new carpet then laminate flooring is generally a cheaper option. It’s relatively easy to lay yourself and is much easier to clean than natural wood.
This doesn’t sound like a DIY tip, but we guarantee it will transform your space. All the paper, children’s art, dog toys, unread books, old letters and general clutter – it all needs to go.
Be ruthless. Any bills you’ve got lying around can be scanned and stored electronically before heading to the shredder and recycling bin. You might choose to declutter your living room or go for it and sort out your entire home. Take old clothes, shoes and books to your local charity shop or make a bit of money by selling on a market place such as eBay. If you have a lot of things to give away you might even consider holding a sale in your garden or hitting up a car boot sale one Sunday morning.
Curtains and shades
You’ve been meaning to replace those horrible old curtains for a while, so what’s stopping you? If they just need a wash then get that done but if they’re not adding anything to your room then it’s time to lose them completely.
You’ll be able to find well-priced curtains online or, if you’re a dab hand with a sewing machine, create your own and just get a hold of some fabric. Choosing new curtains is a great excuse for thinking about the colour scheme of your room. Could you use a new splash of colour and change up the neutral tones for something a bit more bright and cheerful?
Make this the time to re-think how you use colour and plan to replace curtains and lampshades with some matching colours that change the tone and feel of your living space. You don’t need to spend a fortune either with second hand furniture and online bargains to be found everywhere.
You could splash out on a new three-piece suite and, if you have the money, then why not? However, if you’re watching the pennies there are a couple of other alternatives you may want to consider before you end up finding home loan information for Australians.
Find some throws that go with or contrast against your new colour scheme and simply tuck them into your existing sofa. You might also consider giving your armchair a makeover by having it reupholstered. If you’re determined to move on, then sell your chairs and sofa or give them away on somewhere like Freecycle. Then hit the charity furniture shops for some new-to-you alternatives that again, may look good with some reupholstering or professional cleaning.
Why not add something quirky to your collection. Head out to your local reclamation yard and you’ll be surprised at what you can pick up, from antique radiators and sinks. Old church pews for the garden or a one-off table that will look great in your living room.
You’ve had those same old photos and pictures up for years now, it might be time to shake things up a bit. Update the photos or at the very least change up the frames and find some that will make your walls look a little bit more interesting. Now’s the time to scroll through all those hundreds of photos on your phone or computer to see if there any recent ones that could be a good fit.
You’ll find hundreds of cheaper frames in places like IKEA, so head down to pick up a new selection.
If you’re looking to replace some wall art then head online. Find vintage posters or art that grabs you. You might be a dab hand with a paintbrush or have children just waiting to have some of their better pieces framed and up on display.
Freshen up any room with some plants and flowers. Whether you choose plants to match your colour scheme of just love a riot of colour and smells, you can never have too many fresh flowers.
Green plants too add to the general feeling of tranquillity and brighten up darker corners. Find houseplants that are best suited to how light or dark your room is and that require minimal maintenance.
If you’re a dab hand with a can of paint then your walls, window sills and skirting are going to appreciate your DIY efforts, but even if you’re just looking to liven your living space up, a good cleaning of the walls and skirting are going to go a long way.
Get some of the basics done, including a good declutter, and you’ll be halfway there to transforming your interiors. Combine that with some new or second hand furniture, some clever use of colour and maybe even some new art and you won’t recognise the place.
You don’t need to spend out big on those small jobs just put in place some of our top tips for little changes that make a big difference.
This is a collaborative post.