Pudding Sofa:   by Loaf

​10 foolproof ways to save money when updating your house

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan

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Opting for a fresh new living room or a gleaming new bathroom does not mean you have to delve into your kids’ university funds. Or sell a kidney. Sprucing up that room (or entire house) can be done effortlessly, painlessly and, most important of all, cheaply. And best of all – the ends results won’t look cheap at all.

Just a few subtle changes here and there can take your home from “okay” to “oh, wow”. 

Here’s how…

1. Give your windows some detail

Cafe Style Shutters for Bay Windows:  Windows & doors  by Plantation Shutters Ltd
Plantation Shutters Ltd

Cafe Style Shutters for Bay Windows

Plantation Shutters Ltd

Did you know that interior shutters are still commonly used in Southern homes in the United States? They remain a terrific way to add architectural and historical detail, regardless of which country you live in. But they are also great options for keeping out winter’s chilly winds and summer’s oppressive heat. 

Best of all? They are relatively easy to install, as they simply attach to a thin frame that either sits inside the window opening, or around the outside of the casting.

2. Balance out the big elements

If you aren’t ready to invest in a slimmer version of a sofa or couch, balance that big one out with other select pieces. A coffee table in the same scale, plus a few sleek and modern pieces (a side table here, maybe a floor lamp there) can really freshen up your living room look. 

Remember that lots of little accessories will only make that big couch seem bigger, resulting in a visually cluttered space.

3. Enhance the entry

Upper Park, Loughton:  Windows & doors  by Boscolo

Upper Park, Loughton


First impressions are everything, which is why your front door needs to flaunt a gorgeous look. If you can’t invest in a new door, then paint the old one for a dramatic fix up. This can also enhance your kerb appeal.

Other easy DIY fixes include repainting the exterior trim, maintaining that front garden, replacing your house number, or installing new outdoor lighting.

4. Let your walls do the wowing

Linocork (Cork & Linoleum):  Walls & flooring by Granorte

Linocork (Cork & Linoleum)


Painting is the most popular DIY home improvement upgrade – and with good reason, for few things enhance a room as successfully as new wall colours. 

Give those sad and drab walls a burst of brilliance, or tone down those colourful walls with a sleek and glamorous neutral tone. Which one will it be for your home? 

Check out these great: Tips For Colourful Walls.

5. Be careful with those scatter cushions

Dagat Collection:  Living room by bococo

Dagat Collection


Don’t overwhelm your sofa with a bunch of throw pillows all in the same size. Style it the right way with only three (yes, three) cushions:  

• 50 x 50cm,  

• 40 x 40cm

• And a 30 x 40cm one. 

These three sizes look good together regardless of how you arrange them.

6. Be clever with colours

Pudding Sofa:  Living room by Loaf

Pudding Sofa


Whether you are drawn to cool or warm tones, a spot of contrast is what you need to enhance your favourite colours. For example, a few coral accents in a blue and white room can definitely boost those cool tones.

7. Edit the rustic look

Just because you’re tired of a country style room doesn’t mean you have to opt for a complete do over. The fastest way to update that rustic farm table you picked up at the flea market is to even it out with two chairs at each end.

Replace them with lighter and sleeker models, or reupholster them in a more modern fabric, like thick stripes or chevron pattern.

8. Out with the colourful candles

We all agree that variety makes a room more interesting, yet when it comes to candles, white is the prime option that most stylists opt for. This mother-of-all-neutral-tones fits in with any background colour, so you know it will make a splash regardless of your interior palette.

Our advice is to mix it up a bit by using different heights and widths.

9. Rethink that backsplash

Thames Quay:  Kitchen by JHR Interiors
JHR Interiors

Thames Quay

JHR Interiors

You don’t need to go for a really expensive tile backsplash or glass surfaces to show your kitchen that you care. Try something simple and cost-effective, such as tin ceiling tiles, wooden beadboard, wallpaper, stainless steel, or chalkboard paint.

homify hint: Putting up a backsplash made from a single sheet of solid surface material is much easier than attempting a traditional tile one. Shaping, cutting, and gluing up this cost-effective stock material can be a fun DIY project that can be completed during the weekend.

10. Switch up those taps

Drummond's Case Study: London Townhouse, Notting Hill:  Bathroom by Drummonds Bathrooms
Drummonds Bathrooms

Drummond's Case Study: London Townhouse, Notting Hill

Drummonds Bathrooms

Looking to add new shine to your kitchen or bathroom? New taps have a lot more functionality, which means this upgrade can be more than just aesthetic. 

Just make sure you shut off the water valves before attempting this as a DIY project. Or better yet, ask a professional for help.

Do you have any other tricks to share?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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