My First Property

Home Improvement Ideas On A Budget

There’s no better feeling than sprucing up your home to make it feel truly yours, but only when it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. If you’re looking for some quick and easy home improvement ideas that can be done on a budget, you’ve come to the right place. Instead of shelling out for expensive renovations, here is a list of little things you can do to transform the feel of your home. Let’s get to it.

1) Fresh paint on the walls

There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to rejuvenate a room. As one of the easiest changes you can make, painting your walls will give a room a whole new feel. Not keen on how small and dingy a room feels? Not a problem, throw some lighter, neutral tones on the walls. Looking to make a room feel fresher? How does sea-green or duck-egg blue sound? The fact is that new paint can make a room feel totally new. Choose colours that reflect your personalities, or stick to one contemporary colour scheme throughout the whole house. There really is no limit. 

2) New door handles

As one of the most overlooked parts of a property, door handles often go unreplaced for far too long. Door handles help you form an impression of a room before you even enter it, so you want to make sure they fit your taste. The same applies for cabinets and wardrobes. Replacing the old fashioned door handle with a nice new one can completely refresh the look of the door, and therefore the room. 

3) Polish wooden floors

While real wood is perhaps the most expensive and sought after type of flooring, there’s no denying it loses its attractiveness with age. Especially in older properties, wood can gather dirt just as easily as carpet. Rather than replacing the floor, give it a polish instead. Having your floor professionally polished will bring back the sheen of newly fitted wood, and will bring a sense of new life to a room. 

4) New electric fittings

Throughout the latter years of the 20th century, most homes were built with white plastic electric fittings. Light switches and plug sockets were all made from the same cheap feeling plastic, and can subconsciously bring a feeling of datedness to a room. Replace these old fashioned fittings with brand new ones, more in keeping with your chosen interior design style. Popular options include chrome or black fittings, due to how well they fit in with many popular modern designs. 

5) Houseplants

Houseplants are perhaps one of the best ways to breathe new life into a home. No matter the size, style or structure of a property, houseplants will always make it better. Get some cacti for your windowsill, or a fern for the bedroom. Place pockets of green across your home, and reap the many benefits that houseplants bring. Not only are plants a timeless, versatile way to improve the look of a home, they also help to oxygenate your rooms and refresh the air. 

6) New curtains

Curtains are one of the most important aspects of a room’s design, yet they are often overlooked. Naturally, the main feature of a room is usually the window, due to this being where light predominantly comes from. Curtains frame the windows, and therefore they are central to the design of a room. Alongside this, light also passes through the curtains when they are closed, which makes their design much more prominent in the room. Choose curtains that suit your design style, and benefit from the fresh feel they give. 

7) Crown molding

Crown molding adds charm to a home, acting almost like a skirting board for the ceiling. They frame the room nicely, and form a separation between the walls and the ceiling. This added barrier helps to expand a room and adds a feeling of elegance. While crown molding can be expensive when made from hardwood, there are alternative options available. Choose faux wood or a lightweight compound, and you’ll get the same look for a fraction of the cost.

8) Paint your doors

You’d be surprised how often doors are overlooked when thinking about home improvement ideas. New doors can freshen up your home, and make walking through it feel like you’re doing it for the first time. However, adding new doors can be quite pricey, so we recommend giving them a fresh coat of paint. Whether they’re plain white or patterned, sometimes a fresh sheen is just what they need. If your doors don’t quite fit into your desired theme, simply paint them to match. Many new homebuyers don’t even think about painting their doors, instead focusing all their energy into the rooms and scratching their head when it still doesn’t feel right. Don’t be one of those people.

9) Repurpose old cabinets

Do you have a set of old cabinets or drawers that just don’t cut it anymore? Do they look dated or worn? Not an issue. Instead of paying to replace them, simply repurpose them. Paint an old chest of drawers and use it as a kitchen island. Pieces of furniture that look worn and bedraggled in one room, may look chic and bohemian in another. Does the old wood grain wardrobe look faded? Give it a quick once over in light grey, and give the piece a modern vintage aesthetic.

10) New lights

Traditional style lampshades may be a safe option, but you’d be surprised at the amount of better options available. Cone-shaped lamp shades used as major light fittings are not always a great idea, as they actually centralise the light and stop it spreading around the room. Get yourself some new light fittings that allow for an even distribution of light. Look for something sleek and minimal, or quirky and flamboyant. There are so many other options when it comes to light fittings, and few of them are even considered by many.

11) Wall stencils and murals

One way to add a sense of spectacle to a room is with an accent wall. This can be done in a number of ways, but perhaps none so fun as with a wall stencil or mural. Dedicating an entire wall to a piece of art is quite a big commitment, but one that will always pay off if done right. The sky’s the limit with what you could create, but so long as it reflects your preferred aesthetic you won’t go far wrong. Whether it be a full art piece or an elegant and subtle pattern, this is one we really recommend you try. 

12) Paint the ceiling

While the walls and the floor are often the focal point of a room, the ceiling is often neglected. The ceiling actually contributes a lot to the atmosphere of a room, and is not something you should ignore. Paint your ceiling white or light grey for a fresh and open feel, or darker green or blue for a slightly baroque look. No matter what you pick, making sure your ceilings create the desired atmosphere is a great budget home improvement.

13) Pallet walls and internal cladding

Fancy making one wall in your room stand out above the rest? Here’s your answer. Pallet walls are created by fitting additional pieces of wood to a wall, giving the illusion of a wooden wall. Try creating a pallet wall as a feature wall in your living room, or utilise other forms of internal cladding to really make your interior pop. Cladding comes in all forms, from wood beams to stone, and really helps if you’re looking for a rustic or natural design. While cladding can sometimes come at premium prices, the DIY involved is not that hard. Buy the wood yourself, stain it or paint it in the way you want, and fit it to the wall. 

14) Paint the floor

Nope, we’re not done talking about paint yet. If you have a wooden or stone floor, painting it can really help to renew the look. While this can be quite a big job, you’ll find yourself saving money you would have spent on a new floor. By now you will have noticed that a fresh coat of paint can be applied to almost any part of your new home, and will help to breathe new life into whatever you paint. This is perhaps even more true with your floors, as you’ll be able to hide scars, stains and patches with a colour that matches your design. 

15) External decorations 

Now that you’ve spruced up your interior, now it’s time to do the same to the part of the house other people see. While totally revitalising the exterior of your home can appear like a massive task, there are plenty of little tweaks you can make to gain some headway. For example, cleaning your windows and window frames is a good start. Perhaps your walls have accumulated dirt over time, or your gutters could do with a clean. Aside from cleaning, think about adding external fixtures like a new house number or wall lights. Buy some window boxes, and fill them with bright flowers to give your home a picturesque look. 

All of these home improvement ideas can be applied to properties of any time. So whether you’re decorating a terraced house, an apartment or a mansion, these tips will help make decorating your first home worth the effort.

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. Securing Your House Purchase
  2. Where To Buy a House: Choosing a Location
  3. Why Buying in London is Different to Elsewhere
  4. Viewing a Property in London
  5. How Does Interest on a Mortgage Work?

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