If your home décor is looking a little meh, it could be time for a revamp – and it doesn’t have to cost a bundle. Check out our 10 ways to add ‘wow’ to your home without bringing a ‘whoa there’ to your bank account.
Transforming your home doesn’t need to involve extensive renovations or hiring professional decorators. Low cost home hacks are all about clever design and adding one-of-a-kind touches that reflect your personality. Best of all, even the tightest budget needn’t be a stumbling block if you think outside the square.
1. Know where to shop
High style doesn’t have to mean high price. Budget-priced building materials, pre-loved furniture and ornaments, and even one-off pieces for the garden can be found in a variety of places – it’s just a matter of exploring new options.
Check out your local op shop, keep an eye out for farm sales advertised by rural real estate agents, head online for liquidators sales like GraysOnline, or pick up freebies and low cost treasures through Freecycle and outlets like Reverse Garbage (which operates in a number of states).
2. Frame the kids’ artworks
Here’s a super cheap way to bring colour, texture and special memories to your home. Simply pick up a plain large photo frame at a budget store, slide in your child’s artwork and hang somewhere special. Cluster artworks for extra impact.
No kids? No problem. Unleash your inner Picasso and have a go at painting your own abstract artworks.
3. Create a faux fireplace
Sure, not every home can have a working fire. But you can add a faux fireplace to any home. Pick up a second hand mantelpiece or build one yourself from plain timber and/or decorative cuts of gyprock. It adds a romantic focal point to a room.
4. Go bold with a new front door
Your front door is your home’s face to the world and can boost street appeal, so let it shine. Be bold with colours and accessorise with pots of brightly coloured flowers, a brass number plate, a door knocker or carriage lamps that frame your front door.
5. Don’t polish. Paint the floorboards
Laminate flooring is relatively easy to lay, giving your home’s interior a quick pick-me-up for a budget-friendly outlay. But if your home has older floorboards in place, bringing them up to scratch can be a challenging DIY project, and a high gloss polyurethane surface may be best achieved by the professionals.
A simpler, low cost and more individual alternative is to paint the boards. Go for a geometric pattern or just add a border. If you’re not confident about your artistic flair, a simple lime wash can lighten and brighten a room with darker boards.
6. Turn a deck into a bar for al fresco dining
Don’t wait until friends visit for a barbecue to make the most of a deck. Transforming a deck rail into a dining bar can see you and your family enjoy more of the great outdoors – for breakfast, coffee…anytime.
7. Let there be light from a stained glass window
Few things are more wonderful than sunlight streaming through a stained glass window, and it’s not a pleasure that has to be reserved for castles and cathedrals.
You may find an antique stained glass window to replace a more modern plain window, but it could be a lucky strike to score an exact match on dimensions. An easier option can be to transform an existing window using lead strips and specialist glass paint. Geometric shapes are easier to start with or pick up a leadlight kit with a template pattern from hobby shops or online craft supplies.
8. Build a wine rack into unused wall space
Add storage, style and maybe a Shiraz or two to a bare wall in the kitchen or dining room by creating a recessed wine rack. Aim for a space that doesn’t attract natural sunlight – UV rays can degrade your wine, which is why coloured glass is normally used for wine bottles.
9. Add a beachside fire pit to the backyard
Grab a shovel and start digging. A backyard fire pit can be cosy in winter and a natural gathering place in summer. Add sand to the base of your fire pit and be transported to the seaside no matter where you call home. The best part? Sand is a lot cheaper than pavers or concrete.
10. Spruce up an archway
Bring an archway to life with prefabricated gyprock arches. They can be very affordable, costing upwards of around $125 with a variety of styles available. Contact your local gyprock supplier for price information.
Transforming your home with low cost home hacks can be done. But if your plans extend to major renovations, speak to your Aussie Broker about managing the cost. Plenty of options are available, and your Aussie Broker can help you find the solution that’s right for your needs – and budget.
This article was originally published in July 2016 and has been updated.