Cheap but cheerful decorating?(23 Posts)
Just after some advice please?
After a crappy two years and changes of circumstances, I've been offered a council house and accepted. I'm currently on benefits and the house is in need of serious TLC!
The housing association have given me a "paint pack" so I can basically go in and magnolia everywhere before the furniture goes in, which is good. Trying to source carpets next.
Slowly but surely I would like to make it homely for me and my girls. Even if this just means having something like a feature wall in each room for now (saves on wallpaper etc!)
I'm on a really tight budget so I'm just wondering if anyone has any ideas of how I could redecorate as cheaply as possible? Where to look for bargains etc?
The house is a fresh start for us so, whilst not wanting to take on too much, I'd like it to feel like "mine" asap, for my own peace of mind. Obviously grateful for the house but I don't want to be reminded of how I got to this point, every time I open the door IYSWIM. Sorry to harp on!
Id go magnolia paint everywhere, then let the DC put up their own stuff. Oh, and id make those 'feature' walls with white board paint, so they can scribble on it to their hearts content. Growing up, i understand our homes were decorated, but all i remember about it was that i could not touch it or have anything to my own taste. All the best.
Pictures on walls are your best option. If you are near an Ikea, they do very cheap frames, so buy as many as you can afford in different sizes then group pictures/photos together on walls. They also do some really big frames with posters in - if you have a large picture you would like to frame, get one of these and get rid of the print already inside it. Keep an eye out in charity shops for cheap pictures in nice frames and just replace the picture with something you like - I have put Christmas decorations, postcards, LP covers, adverts, magazine covers, maps and lots more in a frame and they look super, it doesn't have to be "great art".
Other than that, build stuff up gradually and really think about whether a particular purchase will work with the other stuff you have no matter how much you like it.
if you're going to emulsion the walls and ceilings, have a good look at the plaster first. If there are blemishes to fill or drips to rub down, now is the time to do it.
You will also see the doors every day. Again, if they need rubbing down (places like Aldi sell cheap sanders) now is the time to do it.
btw, the "own-Brand" paints by big chains are usually not bad, but avoid their budget, value or esentials paints, which IME are just coloured water and need numerous coats.
Compare the user reviews between the cheap, and the very cheap, range from this supplier.
Larger tubs are usually better value. Plastic tubs can be resealed for future use, but metal tins never reseal perfectly so are often skinned, solid or rust-stained when you dig them out of the shed.
Look at the websites for DIY sheds and supermarkets near you. They may have clearance or special offers, especially around bank holiday weekends.
Avoid the very cheapest brushes and rollers. For water paints like emulsion, synthetic are better than hog-bristle. Often white.
Congratulations on your new home How old are your DC? If they are teenagers, spend minimal amounts on their room as they'll want to change it all the time <bitter voice here> Frames for posters that change all the time are the Best Buy here!
The best tip I have for making it feel like your home on a budget is photos. If you can download an app like freeprints (this is the one I use, there's more available ) you can get 45 photos a month for £2.99 P and P. If you buy multipacks of frames or even cardboard mounts (I pay about £15 for 30 and have them all up in the hall) you can personalise the house quickly and cheaply.
Lighting also makes a huge difference. Lamps rather than using the "big light", and fairy lights are nice for adding atmosphere, especially in the winter.
For carpets I would spend money on hard wearing stuff for stairs/hall/landing and perhaps get cheaper vinyl type stuff for kitchen and bathroom. If you get a few places out for quotes you'll get better advice, lots of places do free fitting but I found small independents better than large well known ones.
Lastly, if you are near an IKEA they are absolutely brilliant for cheap rugs, frames, cushions, etc (I'm sure you know this already!)
Our house was terrible when we moved in, really really awful. We didn't have much money or time so we stripped it and "blank canvas-sed" it with white paint and the best carpets we could stretch to, and then made it look like home with cosmetic stuff like photos, nice rugs, fairy lights and coloured light bulbs, and lots of baskets for storage so it looks tidier than it is.
They're only young but they've never had a nicely decorated bedroom so far so would be exciting for my eldest at least.
Never thought of photos, what a good starting point! Thank you for all your suggestions!
- photo frames
- picture rails for teenagers (they can display books, photos, hang posters from them)
- cheap rugs, throws and cushions
- potted plant
You can do an amazing amount with just paint. Freshen up the walls, get cheap charity shop furniture to match by painting it all the same colour etc. do you have a scrap store near you? They often have really cheap paint like a £1 or so a tin. And if you can get to a Johnsons Decorating Centre they often have a shelf of paint that came out slightly wrong when mixed to order. V v cheap
Home bargains / wilko / the rang etc if you can't get to an ikea for rugs / cushions / curtains
Carpet can be £££ but if your rooms are small you can get ends of rolls or offcuts. Ask on your local Facebook group for recommendations for fitters, a local handyman type will be cheaper than the carpet shop
Likewise bits of furniture if you need them, local FB selling groups are fab.
And what PJ said about preparation. Get sone polyfilla and caulk and smooth off all walks and woodwork before painting, a good finish will make the effort worthwhile
You can get cheap wall stickers to brighten up a white wall. Again, you can get them from ikea. If you have a sewing machine it is easy to make some fun bunting for a younger child's room.
Also Wilkos is good for cheap home stuff like cushions and lampshades. I got some fab storage boxes from there. H and m do some nice stuff for kids rooms. And again , ikea is great for textiles for easy craft jobs - making cushions , reupholstering the seats in old dining room chairs etc. I've put wrapping paper inside frames as a cheap picture for a child's room.
I really rate johnstones paint.
You can buy their coloured range from the range or b&m.
For now why dont you just magnolia (or white, which would be my preference) everywhere and see how you feel after you see it all fresh.
New bedding sets and cushions can be a cheap way of changing the look. Try primark, sainsburys, wilko, asda for nice cheap home ranges.
Poundland have started doing cushions now. Or on ebay you can order from the far east posted to you for about 99p for cushion covers.
Lamps can change the look of a room with the lighting.
For furniture try ikea or charity shops/gumtree.
Do you have a b and m near you. They are good for cheap wallpaper.
Check out freecycle,local facebook pages and charity shops.you can get lots of bits and pieces chap or free that would cheer up a room,curtains,small rugs,cushions etc. You can buy rolls of cheap stick on blackboard sheets that could be great fun. Buy used furniture and paint over it . Check out local car boot sales as well. It all depends what exactly you have in mind x
Congratulations on your new house! Could you let the children help to choose what colour their rooms will be (within reason)? Unsure what the HA rules are.
I would focus on making the house look really clean and bright. If all the rooms are freshly painted then that´s a fab start. What are the floors like at the moment? Make sure the windows are freshly washed. If it has horrible curtains and you can´t afford nice replacements then I would get some mid-range IKEA blinds in a neutral colour for now.
After that, you could add personal touches very easily and cheaply. The advantage of adding e.g. framed family photos, pot plants, rugs and so on is that they can be changed in a way that carpets cannot. Lamps shed a very soft, cosy light. And there is no better way to "decorate" than to add bookshelves with all your favourites (adult and child) on them!
For the children´s rooms I would get some pictures, photos, a cork board for their artwork. Buy them little, decorative toys. Our DSs have their own artwork stuck all over their walls and displays of whatever their current interests are (toy soldiers, planes, geometric puzzles, Lego, wizard hats, you name it!) on shelves, interspersed with their books and toys.
Ask friends if they have a tin or two of paint knocking around that they'd give you. I'd put on FB 'anyone got any old tins of paint they don't want and fancy giving to me?'
I would! I have lots of three quarter tins that would do a feature wall.
Congratulations OP! Assuming you are near an Ikea, have a wander around, make a note of items you like and the have a quick search on eBay for 'previously enjoyed' items in your area. Last week I bought an Ektorp 2 seat sofa I needed to dress a flat I'm selling for the princely sum of 1p (no one else bid) yes, I had to go 10 miles and get it, but i bought a new set of covers at Ikea for £30 et voilà a lovely sofa for £30.01
Whilst you are at Ikea, have s look in the bargain corner near the tills, plenty of cheap frames to be found plus lights etc. The only thing I wouldn't buy 'previously enjoyed' for you all are mattresses or anything that can harbour bedbugs.
Happy decorating! It's the best bit.
Wishing you all the best in your new home.
Thank you all. Just want to get in and get on now! Good choice for IKEA. Will go when I can =)
If you have a next clearance shop near you they sometimes have lovely children's bedding and curtains for a fraction of retail price. I bought blackout curtains for my daughter's room for £6 last week so worth a look.
Wilko's is great for paint and DIY , always surprised by their prices.
Wickes Trade Emulsion is excellent value and a very good quality paint. If you're painting over a similar colour, you might only need one coat, as it's very opaque.
Buy it in 10 litre tubs for the best price.
Have you any artistic skill?
I'm not brilliant but I managed to paint mural's on my DDs' bedroom walls. They wanted to have a garden bedroom so they have the very hungry caterpillar, the very busy spider and butterflies and dragonflies all over the walls. Ikea also used to sell a big leaf shaped shade for over a child's bed so they have those too. It was all accomplished with tester sized paint pots with the details added afterwards with a black sharpie so it didn't cost too much. It was more a time thing as I kept having to wait for things to dry before I could do the next layer.
There are some great ideas for home decorations on pinterest website. Look for designs ideas and you can most of them buy in amazon for fair price. Like furniture, small units, storage box , or even styled laundry basket. I bough my laundry basket that matches my room style for under 5 pounds in amazon.
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