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Home improvement sometimes seems like a mammoth task involving months of disturbance, lots of dustsheets and spiralling budgets. However, it doesn’t have to be this way as there are lots of home improvements that are simple to do. If you want to give your interiors a lift without committing to months of disruption then here are a few cheap home improvements ideas that you can do in a day.
Paint is probably the cheapest way to make a home improvement that will have a significant impact on your interiors – it’s simple to get hold of and relatively easy to do a great job without much experience. If you’re fed up with minimalism then opt for a bold summer shade such as juicy orange or a pastel yellow and if you want to make a serious statement then try a petrol blue or sea green. If you don’t fancy painting an entire room then start with one wall – the ‘accent wall’ is a bona fide interiors trend where one wall in a room is colourful while the rest are a contrasting neutral.
If the entrance to your home is currently just a dumping ground, take a day to turn it into something much more functional and attractive. Cheap shelving can provide accessible storage for keys, a mirror, makeup and a phone charger while attaching hooks to the wall provides somewhere to hang coats, bags, hats and dog leashes, getting everything up off the floor. You could add a mirror to your hallways – for that last-minute check before leaving the house – or make a shoe rack to make sure the outdoors doesn’t come indoors. If you want to create an impressive entryway then consider a new carpet or statement wallpaper – as this part of the house is so small it’s a quick project to do and won’t cost much in terms of materials.
You see your front door every day and if it’s in a pretty poor state of repair this can really bring you down but painting it in a nice bright new shade will give you a lift every time you walk through it. Choose a colour that suits the rest of the house’s exterior or opt for something completely different and go for a wild shade such as orange or green instead.
We don’t tend to give much thought to the curtains in a room but the effect that they can have on a space is quite significant. As we’re approaching summer, try replacing dark winter curtains with light, gauzy fabrics. Not only will these bring a cool and lightweight feel to the room but they are far cheaper to buy than curtains made in heavy winter fabrics.
Changing taps on the bath and the sink might seem like a small and insignificant task but it’s amazing the difference it can make. Replacing old, scuffed and limescaled metals with new, gleaming fixtures will make your bathroom feel brand new. If you’re looking to bring a new aesthetic to your bathroom then choose a new style of tap – switch from classic to geometric and contemporary or basic to elegant and modern.
If you’re desperate to upgrade the furniture you have but new pieces just aren’t an option then consider painting as an upgrade instead. ‘Shabby chic’ is an enduring interiors trend and works on everything from old rattan chairs to wooden tables that have seen better days. The classic shabby chic look is white paint but you can also opt for pastels such as blue or pink for something a little different. Make sure you sand the wood first to ensure a smooth finish and give the furniture time to dry before using it.
You can make your bathroom experience feel much more luxurious by chucking out an old, limescaled showerhead and replacing it with something new and fancy. Whether you opt for a design that is simple and effective or the ultimate luxury of a rainforest shower, your morning bathe will feel totally different after this home improvement. Plus, if you choose an energy-saving showerhead you can help to cut down on your bills too.
From the splashback in the kitchen to tiled walls or floors in the bathroom, changing tiles and grouting can breathe new life into tired old interiors in no time at all. If you want to make a big change with your home improvements then go for a bright shade – mint green in the kitchen and bold yellow in the bathroom, for example, or experiment with patterns. Do the fitting and grouting yourself and you can keep costs low.
Most of the ideas we’ve talked about won’t cost the earth so hopefully you could cover the cost of this from your savings or within your monthly budget. But if you can’t then you could consider a small cash loan or a larger unsecured home improvement loan. But, as with any borrowing, don’t borrow more than you need and ensure you repay it as quickly as you can to minimise the interest costs.
Alex Hartley is a keen advocate of improving personal finance skills. She's worked at Solution Loans since 2014 and written hundreds of articles about how people can manage their money better. Her interest in personal finance goes way back to...Read about Alex Hartley
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