10 easy DIY home renovations that won't break the bank

LIFESTYLE | September 2019

Here are some quick and easy ways to refresh the look of your home, whether you’re getting ready to sell or simply looking for an uplifting makeover. If you’re prepared to put in a little time and effort, these low-cost home decorating tips can help you transform your home without breaking the bank.

Refresh your exterior highlights

Improving the street appeal of your home will add to its perceived value and create a more welcoming look. Sometimes the simplest things can make a huge difference.

One of the easiest is repainting your front door. Choosing a bold modern accent colour, which tones in with the rest of your colour scheme, will create the boost you’re looking for. If you’re selling your home, remember to choose a contemporary neutral colour with wide appeal, not your favourite bright pink or purple.

If your street number or letterbox has seen better days, replacing it with a new one is another quick and easy way to add appeal. The same applies to your front door light.

Clean your paintwork

Washing your house to remove mould, dirt and grime can make a huge difference to its appeal. With most homes, you don’t need to hire a water blaster or house wash company to get the job done. In fact, using a water blaster can damage your paint if you’re not careful.

Products like 30 Seconds and Wet & Forget offer applicators that clip onto your hose. They can reach up to two storeys, so there’s no need to risk using ladders. Best of all; you simply spray it on and leave it to do its thing. Job done.

If you’d prefer an even cheaper option and you’re up for a bit of hard work, many people swear by a splash of detergent and bleach in a bucket of water. Applying the solution with a soft broom or a telescopic house brush usually works well. You may need to hand scrub the more stubborn dirt and mould afterwards. It’s a good idea to try your mixture on small area first, to make sure it doesn’t cause any discolouration. You’ll also need to be careful of plants and give your house a good rinse at the end.

Use removable wallpaper

Updating one or more walls in a room can greatly improve the entire space, but the thought of applying traditional wallpaper can be off-putting. Problem solved! You can now get removable wallpapers that come with an adhesive backing. After preparing your wall surface, so it’s smooth, dry and dust-free, you simply peel a little of the backing paper off, use your hand to stick the top of the wallpaper strip to your wall, then continue peeling and smoothing to the bottom. If you get a bubble or it’s not straight, you can just peel it back and try again. Easy.

Paint interior walls

If wallpaper’s not your thing, you may prefer to paint interior walls to give each room a lift. You can either paint all four walls or turn one into a feature wall by choosing a complementary colour, or a lighter or darker shade of the existing paint.

Painting a room is easier than most people think. The key to success lies in the preparation. You’ll need to put some time and effort into filling and sanding any dents or defects to create a nice smooth base for the paint. Your local paint shop will help you choose the right type of paint. Try to buy good quality paint; you’ll find it much easier to work with. There are heaps of online videos to help you paint your room like a pro.

Refresh tired looking floors

Because of their large area, floors tend to dominate the look of any room. Re-carpeting or re-varnishing worn out floors can be a major task, but there are easier ways. In less than a weekend you can easily refresh your floors with peel-and-stick tiles or a couple of coats of hardwearing floor paint. Simply measure up your rooms and head to a major hardware store for ideas and advice.

Install a new splashback

A fresh, clean and stylish splashback creates an attractive feature that draws the eye away from less desirable features of your kitchen. You can get any colour or image printed on the back of toughened glass these days, including a mirror finish. But if you’re on a tight budget, self-adhesive tiles provide an easy and affordable DIY option. You simply peel and stick the tile sheets in place. The only skill required is to cut a straight line with a pair of scissors or, in some cases, tin snips. If you’re placing peel and stick tiles near a cooktop, be sure to select tiles that can withstand the heat.

Update your kitchen cupboards

One of the easiest ways to give your kitchen a new look is to refresh the cabinetry. There’s no need to replace the doors because you can simply give them a fresh coat of paint in a modern colour. Updating the handles is another easy trick, particularly if you can find some that fit the existing holes. Another tip is to put a glass door on one of the cupboards to showcase your best plates, tableware and glasses.

Spruce up your bathroom

If a complete bathroom renovation is beyond your budget, don’t despair. There are several small and affordable things you can do that transform the look of any bathroom. Upgrading the tapware and choosing a modern handheld shower with variable stream settings can quickly make a world of difference. Replacing your shower door with a modern frosted one is a quick and easy way to hide a dated shower interior. And, like your kitchen, you can repaint cupboard doors or add frosted glass doors, and update cupboard and drawer handles.

Switch out blinds and curtains

Treating your windows to a fresh new look is a great way to improve a room without a lot of effort. There are plenty of options for ready-made blinds, curtain rods and curtains that are well-priced and easy to install. Browse a few interior design websites and magazines for ideas, then hit your local home decorating stores (i.e. Spotlight, The Warehouse, Briscoes or Kmart) or order blinds online.

Add some art to your walls

Adding or changing out the artwork in a room is another simple and affordable way to completely update its look and feel. You don’t have to spend a fortune, just choose a colour and theme, then have some fun visiting second hand stores, antique shops and local markets. A tip for getting the placement right is to make some cardboard cut-outs the same size as your artworks and temporarily hang them using blue tack. Or you can lay your artwork out on the floor in a space the same dimensions as your wall. Canvas prints created from your holiday pics is another way to create original art works for your home.

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