Interior and exterior design tips on a budget



Life goes on


Interior and exterior design tips on a budget are always interesting as we all love to project our style. There is a lot of doom and gloom in real estate lately as interest rates rise, affordability declines and the cost of living soars. However, life goes on regardless and people still need to buy or rent a place to live. In fact, we all need a sanctuary that nourishes us where we can close the door and escape life’s irritations.


From an entire look to individual spaces, we all need places that are safe and comfortable.  It is helpful to have a central theme like modern, vintage, bo ho, eclectic, industrial, country etc, as that creates cohesion. However, some rooms reflect the occupant like children’s bedrooms and creative spaces. So, let’s look at the rooms that generally need an uplift and consider how we can make them our own on a budget.


The entry hall


Walking into a home is where you take off shoes, jackets and bags, put down keys and dump the paperwork from the letterbox. You also need a mirror so you can have a quick look at yourself before you go out – or maybe when you get home.


It is also the first place where guests will see your style – it is also the place that says you are home. There are a few staple pieces that every hall should have and they can reflect your personality and be uber functional. A hall table, coat hooks, seat with shoe storage and a mirror.


No matter how small the space a coat stand can fit and coat hooks can be placed on a wall. Having a hall table or even a shelf for keys and mail is really useful and ensures you never lose your keys. Small seats with shoe space are also super useful and will stop everyone from tramping dirt through the home. Mirrors in the hall are an easy and personal choice that adds a feeling of light and size to the space. The other bonus of a functional entry hall is it creates a great habit that all stuff is in the same place every time.


For as little as a few hundred dollars, you can have an entry that is practical and inviting.






The lounge


Some homes have more than one lounge space but many homes have only one. This room is the grab something to eat or drink and plonk down on a comfy lounge or favorite chair. Plenty of scopes to showcase your style using fabrics, textures and shapes.


Self-reflection and comfort are must-haves in the lounge room. The use of colour can be on the walls, curtains, furniture, or accessories. You will also need tables for lamps, photos and maybe plants. Tables don’t have to be traditional or expensive and you can find ‘vintage’ or second-hand furniture online super easily. If you really want your own stamp then paint and fabric can bring new life to old pieces.


The lounge is a long-term investment like a bed as you will be using it every day. It is worth spending the money on this one piece if you love watching movies and hanging out with friends in this space. However, the other items do not need to be expensive and for about $300 you could get all the other bits and pieces. Then you can slowly add pieces that complete your look.                      



The kitchen


Well, if you have just moved in and you don’t have much left to spend there are cost-saving ways to spruce up the kitchen. Kitchen carcasses hardly ever need to be ripped out so painting or replacing doors is much cheaper than replacing a kitchen.


Often the cupboards are standard sizes too – 400, 600, 800 and 900mm wide. You can replace lower doors with drawers and utilise the space better. You can buy flat pack replacements very cheaply and are generally easy to assemble. You can paint old wood kitchens and create drama by using a bold colour on the whole kitchen or just a section.


Changing benchtops and splashbacks are also very cost-effective and produce a completely new look. Timber bench tops are a lot cheaper than stone and can make the kitchen feel warm and inviting. If you are handy, you can do some of this your self but there are companies that will do this for you at a fraction of the cost of a new kitchen.


There are fabulous stick-on products too that can temporarily create a fresh look for the floors and splashbacks whilst you build up your kitty for later renovations. The cost for a revamp could be less than $4,000 to have a kitchen that you will love.




The bathrooms


The bathroom can easily be transformed on a budget. People don’t realise that painting the bathroom tiles ad bath is a real cost saving. Replacing a bathroom from scratch ranges from $5,000 to $20,000 and often is not necessary. Change the tape ware and towel rails and you have essentially a new bathroom. Repainting is generally between $1,500 and $3,000 and no one can tell. This is of course the sellers but there are tips and tricks for tenants too.


A non-fixture renovation for a bathroom includes humble plants. They are stars in a bathroom and they love moisture. Ten simply add your colour pallet for the towels and bath mats and you can make the dreariest bathroom a haven. Add some shelving or a revamped cabinet and the utility is further enhanced.


A total revamp cost for the average bathroom – including painting the bath and tiles – would be around $3,000 to $4,000.                                                                                                              


The patio or balcony


If you are lucky to have some outdoor space it can always be a place to sit and enjoy. Patios and balconies are gathering places or alone spaces. With a few hundred dollars you can make a restful harbor from a chaotic world.


Obviously, plants are central but for those that don’t want to worry about maintenance, there are some really hardy plants that don’t need you so much. Cacti and succulents are lovely, and so many are colourful and lush. There are also many types of grass that don’t need constant tending as well as Australian natives that love pots and are super hardy Adding hardy herbs and or potted fruit trees can also make your patio/balcony a place to forage.


You can buy second-hand pots online and if you buy terracotta or cement pots you can paint them for a colourful backdrop theme. You can also buy cheap outdoor furniture or make a simple seat/bench from Besser blocks and timber.


Retractable foliage screens, floor matting and fun string lighting can personalize a small space and make it private. This beautiful retreat could cost as little as $200 and you can grow most of these plants from clippings – cost nothing.



Impact of good design on selling and renting a property


Interior and exterior design tips on a budget are doable and fun. When you ignite a tenant’s or buyer’s imagination they can envisage living there. Presenting your home for sale does not have to cost the earth and it is very rare you will not recoup your money. Indeed, no buyer or tenant has not been pleased with a fresh-smelling beautifully presented property. Often they don’t care about the actual style they love that demonstrates functionality, space and comfort.


Showing your audience what can be done with a touch of imagination is always beneficial.