Get their look: Pied-à-terre kitchen on a budget

Pied-à-terre kitchencredit

This pied-à-terre kitchen in Lyon has been redesigned on a tight budget. However, despite this restriction, the results are functional, attractive and interesting. This requires real skill to execute well. The most obvious feature is the use of OSB or orientated strand board. Sometimes this material is used to construct the fabric of a building and then covered with other finishes. It’s left in its ‘raw’ state much more commonly these days. In this space, it’s used for cupboard doors & drawers, drop-leaf tabletop and bench seat. It’s hard-wearing with natural wood shades and real texture.

The supporting table legs & chairs were sourced from Ikea. The minimalist slimline pedal bin fits in neatly and unobtrusively. The colour palette is light and bright with acid green highlight around the window – picked up cleverly on the map of Beaujolais – the wine making region local to the area. We also like the paint detail where the green graduates into the white along a rather unexpected line.

Behind the bench is a shallow, 3-tier cupboard that reaches all the way up to the double-height ceiling; a fantastic storage solution for a small space. Visit the designer’s website to see lots of before & after photos of the space.

  1. 10 Elgin Marble white wall gloss tiles – 248 x 398mm
  2. Carte des vins du Beaujolais
  3. Farrow & Ball Arsenic No.214 matt estate emulsion paint
  4. simplehuman slim pedal bin, 55 litre – brushed stainless steel
  5. Ikea HILVER cone-shaped legs
  6. Ikea LAVER dining chair
  7. Hairpin bench legs
  8. Oriented strand board (OSB)

Get their look: Pied-à-terre kitchen on a budget | H is for Home

How to decorate your home on a budget

How to decorate your home on a budget | H is for Home

If you’re looking to give your home a new lease of life, but you don’t have the budget to spend a lot on materials or furniture, then there are still many things you can do to brighten up your home. However, if you’re staring at the walls and struggling to think of any ideas, then here are a few that can help get you started.

Paint and paint brushes

Use paint creatively

Using paint to bring some colour back into your house is ideal, whether you are staying in the house or getting ready to sell. It is a popular idea to add a splash of colour to just one wall to create a feature wall. It allows you to use vivid and bright colours without going over the top. If you are feeling particularly daring, you can paint the whole room in a bright colour, though the rest of the furniture of the room should be in neutral colours to avoid clashing. Using paint can work in any area of the house, though it is particularly effective in bedrooms and living rooms. Also, don’t forget about the exterior of your home, either!

Spacious living room

Switch things around

If your budget doesn’t stretch to new furniture, then that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a new look. Think about what you already have and see if you can change things around. Maybe something that has been in the bedroom for years can find a new lease of life in the living room. It doesn’t matter what it has been used for in the past; you can create new and exciting ideas just by using it differently. You should also think about what you no longer need, as a room that is cluttered can feel untidy and cramped. If you can identify some things you no longer want, then send them to the local charity shop or sell them online. You may even raise enough money to buy something else.

Sofa, pot plant, chest of drawers and tall floor lamp

Choose your lighting

You may not think so, but lighting can have as much of an effect on a room as decorating. By adding some side table lights or a standing lamp, you can create a nice comforting mood in the room. It’s perfect for the evening when you want to sit back and relax after a hard day at work. If you already have side lamps, then think about moving them to other areas of the room, or to another room altogether. Why not use some old fabric to recover the lampshade? It will need to be fire resistant, but you can easily create a lamp that will match the décor of the room.

Grey sofa with contrasting cushions

Add some cushions

Your budget probably won’t allow you to afford a new sofa, but you can still give it a new lease on life. Try buying some cushions in a colour that matches the walls; they can be scattered on the sofas to give them a new look. Get some of different sizes and colours so that it doesn’t look too uniform. You can apply the same trick to the bedroom, buy some cushions to go on the bed during the day. It will make the room look better, and it will be great to sit up in bed reading with them around you.

Sewing workspace

Try matching fabrics

If you are handy with a sewing machine, the possibilities are endless with what you can create. Buy yourself some material that matches your colour scheme and make some curtains to go along with some cushion covers. It means you won’t have to buy new cushions and it will be cheaper than buying ready-made curtains. You can even take it a step further and buy towels in matching colours for the bathroom and kitchen. If you can get enough material, you can even make bedspreads or bed linen with one side plain to offer a contrast.

Small, circular mirror above a side table

Add size and light with mirrors

One of the quickest and easiest ways to add another dimension to your room is using mirrors. They don’t have to be new; you can find interesting ones in charity shops. By placing them on the wall, they can make the room look a lot bigger. They can also reflect any light in the room to offer a brighter look. To add a little style, you can experiment with multiple mirrors in a room; go for different sizes and designs, which will make it look special.

Using a staple gun to reupholster furniture

Recover and reuse

Apart from just moving your furniture into other rooms, you can also redesign them to make them more contemporary. An old chair might look as though it needs to go, but with some fabric to cover the chair and some paint, you can give it a whole new look. You will need to sand down the wood and remove the old coverings before you start, but it isn’t as hard as it sounds, there are guides out there that can walk you through the process. Once you have mastered the idea, you can tackle any furniture in the house in the same way.

Monochrome framed poster above two white metal trolleys

Add some artwork

To add something a little different to your room, why not think about adding some artwork? It can be something you create yourself, or perhaps some pre-framed prints that you buy from the store. You can also find some nice examples in charity shops; there are often hand painted examples that have been donated. Another idea is to find a poster that you like and buy a frame for it. It can be a new or used frame, and you can then paint it to match the décor of the room. You can create a nice feature wall by assembling pictures of various sizes and placing them all on one wall or a room. It’s also effective to have family members on the wall of the hallway as you enter the house. With a little imagination and some reworking of old furniture, you can redesign your home within even the smallest of budgets.

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How to make your room look classier without throwing anything away

Bright, modern living room

You may have recently been looking at the glossy home decorating magazines and finding the recommended room makeovers to be hugely expensive. Without breaking the budget, you’d probably prefer to find a way to make your existing room look classier and perhaps include the odd addition to jazz things up for that finishing touch.

Here are a few suggestions for improvements and upgrades that look upmarket without being exorbitantly expensive.

Plant on a bedside table

Go natural

Adding some plants or freshly cut flowers to a bedroom brings new colour, vibrancy and air purification into the room. Look for a vase that you haven’t used in ages. Maybe it’s in storage or tucked away at the back of a cupboard. If you’re unable to find an attractive one, look at a local charity shop to see if there’s something affordable that someone decided they didn’t like any longer.

Watch a YouTube video on flower arranging to get an idea how to put fresh plants together in an attractive arrangement for your bedside table. And there you have it; a fresher looking bedside table that brings a little nature into the bedroom.

Grey buttoned sofa with collection of throw cushions

Rethink the throw cushions

Older cushions, and particularly their covers, tend to look a bit weathered over time. The colours fade a little with each washing cycle and the fabric isn’t as interesting any longer. Changing cushion covers for new ones with an interesting pattern is inexpensive to do. Anyone who is a dab hand with a sewing machine can take some fancy fabric and turn it into a usable cushion cover. If you’re not this handy, then consider buying separate covers but keeping the existing fillings.

With cushions that don’t feel plush, consider adding a second foam or fill to the inside of the cushion to double its size. There are many new, inexpensive fills for cushions delivering refreshing comfort even to an older sofa. And when your sofa’s fabric or leather has seen better days, consider a long throw to cover the length of the sofa adding that touch of luxury and increased comfort without needing a complete replacement sofa.

Grey buttoned ottoman bed

Knowing when it’s time to replace the bed

Older beds lack suitable under-bed storage options and don’t necessarily provide the simple luxury and elegance that’s much needed. Wooden Ottoman beds provide new options for home-owners who feel it’s time to replace their tired bed frame with a more complete, modern one. Made from wood and covered in attractive fabrics or leather, these Ottoman beds offer something different than the typical brass bed frame we’ve all seen before.

Minimalist whitewashed room

Reduce clutter

Reducing the amount of clutter is often the last thing that anyone thinks to do; however, it’s effective in making every room look larger while giving the existing decorations and furniture a better chance to get noticed. Many of us collect too much of everything over the years. By cutting back on what we actually need to keep hold of and finding places to discretely store items out of sight, it transforms a living space and opens it up for further refinements to entirely change how it feels.

Adding a touch of class to every room doesn’t have to cost the earth. In many cases, it takes some re-imagining of each living area to determine how to get the most out of it along with a few small additions to bring something new.

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5 ways to (almost) instantly perk up your décor

Vintage décor in a sitting roomcredit

Ever feel like you’d like to give your home a jump-start in the style stakes but think it would take too long or be too costly? Here are five cheap, quick and easy ways to (almost) instantly perk up your décor.

Jug of flowers on a table

Buy some flowers

Plants and flowers are an inexpensive and easy way to change the look and feel of a space. Fresh flowers add colour and fragrance to a room. Check out the large range of bouquets you could display. They can also be used to soften hard surfaces such as concrete and stone – and bring nature indoors which is a useful tool in uniting interior and exterior living – a strong current trend in home design. The containers that you put your flowers in also offer opportunity, whether it be traditional vases or jugs, or perhaps experimenting with colourful vintage tins and bottles.

Grey and white feature wall decorated with triangles

Make a feature wall

Wallpaper, paint, stencils and decals are all possible ways to create a feature wall. All of these options can be completed in a couple of hours and offer dramatic results. A feature wall allows the introduction of bold colours and strong patterns without over-powering a space.

Fairy lights inside a fireplace | H is for Home

Update the lighting

A string of fairy lights gives a magical feel to the room; drape them over a mantlepiece, hang them from the ceiling or bundle them inside a fireplace. Set them to twinkle mode to imitate the flickering of a real fire.
Installing up and down-lighters can quickly change the focus of a room. They can be used to avert the eyes from less attractive corners onto strong features.
Old fashioned filament light bulbs are really popular at the moment. They radiate a soft, warm glow or candle-like flicker; a quick and easy way to enhance the mood of a room.

Handmade woollen throw over a leather sofa | H is for Home

Add soft furnishings

Soft furnishings such as cushions, rugs and throws can bring an instant shot of colour to a room – and can be very successful in adding highlight tones to neutral colour schemes. They introduce softness, texture and warmth too – perfect for that comfortable, cosy retreat.

Oil painting above a fireplace | H is for Home

Hang some art

Display prints, posters or paintings easily – it just takes a hammer, nail and a bit of string or wire. There’s no end of possible sources – inherited pieces, vintage market finds or online bargains! You could frame your children’s artwork – you never know, they may become a world famous artist when they grown up!
You don’t even have to go to all the effort of hanging it on the wall – art can often look great propped against a wall – or sitting on on a shelf or an easel.

If you’ve done any of these – or have any other ideas about adding a burst of freshness to your home – tell us all about it below.

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Tips for transforming your home on a tight budget

'Tips for transforming your home on a tight budget' blog post banner

Eclectic loft apartmentcredit

Renovating a home is a lot cheaper than moving to a new one. You can spend as much or as little as you like to refresh old rooms or even add new ones, but if you don’t have a lot of spare cash, you need to look at strategies to achieve the maximum effect for as little as possible. Luckily there are lots of cool ways to do this.

Budget renovation projects can include this desk and shelves made from wooden cratescredit

How much can you afford to spend?

Before you begin, do an honest appraisal of your budget. It is pointless starting a project and then running out of cash halfway through. Work out what you can afford to spend and then do some cost calculations. After all, there is no point looking at expensive materials and furniture if you can’t afford to buy them. That would be torture!

Little girl painting a wall redcredit

Cheap labour

Labour is often a significant part of any renovation or building project. Say, for example, you’re intending to fit a new kitchen. Kitchen cupboards are not always terribly expensive. Indeed, it’s possible to pick up relatively cheap ones if you have the time and energy to shop around. However, the cost of fitting a kitchen can be very expensive, so there’s plenty of money to be saved by using cheap labour.

Cheap labour isn’t always to be recommended, but if you have friends or family who can do the job and are willing to help you out, enlist their services. Offer to cook them a meal or organise a BBQ to feed everyone at the end of the job. You can hire specialist tools such as Lincoln plasma welders from local hire shops, so no long-term investment in equipment is necessary.

Chair and table made from upcycled palletscredit

Inexpensive materials

Some materials will need to be bought new: timber, plaster, electrical components, etc. Other items can be picked up cheaply second-hand. Furniture is a good example of this. Why buy new when you can find good quality vintage pieces?

Look online for cheap or free materials for your project. Old pallets are a good source of wood for furniture projects, so ask local businesses if they have any going spare. If you need a bag of plaster or cement, see if a local builder has any half-used bags he no longer needs, or check Gumtree or eBay for unwanted extras left over from other people’s renovation projects. It’s amazing what you can find if you go out of your way to look!

Chest of drawers decoupaged with mapscredit

Make do & mend

Don’t buy new when you can give something old a makeover. We are all too quick to throw away items of unwanted furniture in favour of new pieces from high street shops. New is nice, but if you don’t have much money it makes sense to restore an older piece of furniture and give it a shabby chic makeover instead.

Budget renovation projects can be fun, but always adhere to health and safety guidelines. And if you need to hire tools to get your renovation project up and running, check out what’s available at Welding Outfitter.

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