Many interior design magazines have recognised that these austere times necessitate what they refer to as ‘don’t move, improve’ strategies. Home improvement does not have to be too expensive and the homeowner will end up with a totally revitalised décor.
The first step toward perfect home refurbishment is to draw up a plan. Decide which rooms need the most work and which can get away with a lick of paint. Once this assessment has been made try to arrive at a budget for each room. Use online references from some of the DIY stores to get an idea of costs and if any local high street stores are having a price-slashing bonanza, make sure that these prices are also noted. When sales are advertised at shops it is often essential to get down there quickly, haggle to see if the price can be reduced still further and then cross the item off the list. Always stick to the budget, it is no use setting one if it is not going to be followed; buying goods on a whim could be fatal for the rest of the home refurbishment.
In the case of tired looking rooms one of the first tasks to implement is that of getting rid of clutter; it is quite amazing how this simple act can improve a space. If you really are not sure whether an item may be needed in the long-term then invest in some practical plastic covered boxes, label them and then store them in the loft. If the room has been repainted a simple way of changing the rest of the décor is to invest in some new lampshades, curtains or blinds. Charity shops have a wonderful selection of curtains, as do local auctions. Most contemporary blinds can be supplied in kit form, which will help to cut down costs. Sometimes, just lifting a tatty carpet and stripping the wooden floor underneath can look really smart. If the budget allows, find a rug to put on the floor.
Change of use
Many families take a long hard look at their homes once the children have flown the nest. This is the time to think about adapting rooms for a more varied use. For example, if the study was previously used for the kids to do their homework in or there is another room that could be put to dual use, leather sofa beds offer the opportunity to create space for both visitors and the family.
It is quite amazing how a simple modification to the lighting system can change the entire feel of a room. A refurbishment will give the family the chance to reassess lighting needs and even if they cannot afford to change every light fitting in every room a trip to the local DYY store will offer a broad choice of affordable light fittings and lamp shades. Some might enjoy the challenge of making new lampshades at home, but this will not apply to everyone.
The key is to ensure that all ambitions are affordable; otherwise the project will never be completed. Remember, to always call in a professional electrician if lighting systems are to be changed; safety is paramount.