Four years ago this March we received the news that a plot of land we were planning to buy had fallen through. Our plans of building our dream home were temporarily on hold.
Although disappointed we didn’t have time to dwell. With a baby on the way we needed a home. In the meantime the house we were renting as if by magic came onto the market. It seemed like a sensible alternative, so we placed an offer and were delighted when it was accepted.
With a background in architecture and design, the dream was always to build. I already had every square inch designed in my head. The ideal scenario was to buy an old period property in need of TLC and extend onto the rear. This wasn’t to be, so it meant I needed to turn a property that I never saw as a long term house into a home.
The reality is, any renovation is dictated to by budget and it can be difficult to justify ripping up a perfectly good solid timber floor, just because you don’t like the colour. Or tearing down brand new bathroom tiles because they are just not your style. And trust me, I wanted to do all of the above! This was the constant debate in my house between my husband and I. He had a point but I still didn’t want certain elements of the house to stay.
Eventually we compromised and slowly began work, every few months allocating a budget to a part of the house. The yellow tinged timber floors stayed in a view to be dyed and we waved goodbye to the the kitchen floor tiles in place of a large format modern tile. The traditional oak kitchen was sold online and replaced with minimalist units and a white granite work top. Slowly the house was beginning to reflect us.
After renting for so long, we were starting from scratch buying furniture and found the big ticket items such as the sofa, dining table, chairs etc ate substatially into the budget. So the more decorative items had to wait.
The truth is we are still very slowly making what was a rental house into our home and it isn’t something that can happen over night. There will always be elements such as the window frame colour (golden oak pvc) (drives me insane!), bathrooms and those timber floors that will never be exactly what we would have chosen, but we are slowly adjusting to what is a very practical family home.
The property listings will remain open in the background, just incase that dream house comes onto the market, but in the meantime the house will grow with us and I will continue to drive my husband crazy with regular DIY requests!
Below are some of my tips for renovating your home on a budget:
1. Embracing Paint: There is no better transformative (and affordable) tool than paint. Possibly the best sure fire way of transforming your home, giving ample opportunity to add personality. Embrace smaller spaces by using darker hues like deep charcoal greys, opulent dark navy and moody greens. You will find the darker hues will add depth and create more intimate spaces.
2. Decide on what you can live with (for now) It’s easy to get carried away on impulse and begin ripping up floors, tearing down tiles etc. But if you are renovating on a budget you need to decide what you can live with and what has to go now. Is the floor still in good shape? Can the floor be sanded and stained to a colour that you prefer? These are the kind of questions you need to ask before any demolition begins.
3. Big Ticket Items: The golden rule before you blow the budget on a new sofa or dining table is to take your time. Have you measured out your space, does it fit in with the context and lastly but more importantly do you love it? It will be with you for a long time, so you need to love it.
4. Personal touches: It can be easy to forget the small things that make your house feel like a home. With any of our clients we always emphasise the importance of finishing a space with nicely framed personal photos, scented candles, flowers & books. Throws over the arm of the sofa and scatter cushions are all affordable ways of turning your house into a home.
If you have any questions about renovating your home, get in touch via our social channels.
Big Ticket Items
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