Four Unconventional Ways To Renovate Your Home Without Breaking The Bank

Monday, February 03, 2014

Whether you want to squeeze more functionality out of limited space or you're on the hunt for ways to elevate the style of your home, there are plenty of clever strategies that you can employ to improve your property on various budgets from those on budget to those looking to re mortgage their property. Forget major renovations that require compliance with building regulations. Check out these four unconventional ideas for some instant inspiration.

1. Trompe l'Oeil Backsplash

Covering the space between your kitchen's upper and lower cupboards with high-end tiles can be expensive. Get the look of an artfully designed tile backsplash for less with some paint, painter's tape and a healthy dose of creativity. Start by painting the entire backsplash area with white paint. This base coat will serve as the tiling grout when your trompe l'oeil project is completed. After the paint has thoroughly dried, use thin painter's tape to define the tile design.

Using affordable paint samples, colour in the defined tile areas to create your own unique backsplash pattern. Small foam paint brushes make it easy to keep within the boundaries of the painter's tape. Wait until the paint is completely dry, and then carefully pull of the tape. For around £10, you can have a faux-tile backsplash that looks like the real thing.

2. Lighting Makeover

No design element in your home has a more powerful effect on mood and atmosphere than lighting. Whilst lighting may not be the first thing that you think of when contemplating home improvements, new lighting fixtures can dramatically change the look of your home. Although all new electrical work requires regulation compliance, you can replace existing fittings, switches and sockets without running into red tape.

Instead of living with a generic lighting fixture mounted on the centre of your ceiling, consider using directional lights on a track. You'll find affordable and attractive track lighting that's designed to attach to the wiring in your existing fixture. Directional spotlights or floodlights can be added to the track to meet your specific lighting needs. Connect the track to a dimmer switch to enjoy a range of lighting effects.

3. Under-Stairs Solutions

If the area under your stairs is wasted space, why not transform it to add needed storage and functionality to your home? Opening up the space can give you room for a small home office. To create a space that doesn't look cramped and cluttered, choose a colour scheme that blends in with the surrounding living areas. For a contemporary, streamlined look, consider using a broad shelf as a desk.

If you have a narrow staircase or the under-stairs space isn't large enough for home office or walk-in closet, bespoke slide-out drawers may be a worthwhile investment. If you have carpentry skills, you may be able to fit the space with roll-out drawers yourself.

4. Build a Garden Shed

Renovation projects needn't be limited to indoor improvements. Building a garden shed can provide you with the extra space you need for storage or for a private area where you can snatch some quiet time alone. You won't be required to comply with building regulations for building a garden shed if it doesn't exceed 15 square metres and is located at least one metre from your property's boundary.

If you enjoy DIY projects, you can build a shed to meet your exact specifications with the right set of shed plans. Many are available free online. Shed kits are affordable options for DIY applications as well. Look for plans or kits that can be customised to accommodate your individual needs. Choose a design that complements your home's architectural style, and chances are that you'll raise the market value of your property too.

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