Before viewing a property for the first time, buyers dream of opening the door to a picture perfect showhome. But, as any seller knows, getting the glossy magazine look doesn’t come cheap. Well, it doesn’t always come cheap. Take a read of our favourite makeover secrets- they’re inexpensive, and they’ll transform your entire home too. Because creating an elegant finish is achievable, even on a modest budget!
To gain a little inspiration, take a look through online ‘lookbooks’; Next and Ideal Home feature beautiful collections and pieces, and their home staging photography show complementary textures, colours and accessories. Don’t be tempted to splurge though- you don’t have to break the bank to replicate these looks.
So, you’re full of inspiration and ideas- but where do you start?
Clear each room of anything unused or unloved, and regain some space. Or, in short, get cleaning. Decluttering isn’t the most appealing start, but it’ll help you to uncover all the unique features that made you fall in love with your home the first time you viewed it. And after a few trips to the local charity shop, you’ll feel happier and it’ll breathe life back into your home too.
Before you begin, it’s a good idea to make a rule and stick to it. The one year rule works well; if you haven’t used an item in the past 12 months you’re unlikely to need it in the future, so be ruthless and let it go. If your home has become a collection of old furniture, you’re not alone. So if you have any bulky items that won’t look right in your new home, get ahead, and take a trip to your local tip now.
On that note, why not take this opportunity to begin the packing process for your new home? Anything you want to keep, but isn’t used daily, can be kept safe in storage until it’s time to be unpacked in your new home.
Feeling a little more spacious? Great!
Now that each room has been stripped back to the essentials, it’s time to get creative. Take another flick through the inspiration guides and online lookbooks above, and look carefully at the room arrangements.
Look at each room of your home, and pick out the key feature. This might be a fireplace or bay window, or an interesting architectural feature. Try arranging the furniture around this focal point, because, with a little shuffling, furniture can be used to frame interesting and unique aspects of a room. Make sure that nothing sits too close to the focal point, though, and keep checking that the feature is in eye-shot as you walk into the room.
If you’re struggling to find any obvious character in a room, don’t worry, there are other ways to create a focal point. Try hanging an oversized mirror centrally on a blank wall; it’ll create a sense of light and space, as well as act as a focal point for your furniture arrangement. Awkward, small rooms can appear spacious and inviting too. All you need to do is remove large pieces of furniture, and delicately position key pieces. Try to keep furniture away from windows and French doors, because obstructing any source of natural light will darken the room.
So, now it’s time to accessorise!
Now that each room is arranged beautifully, it’s easy to add the finishing touches. Let’s start with the walls. If they are a montage of your favourite family snaps, consider storing them ready to unpack in your new home. Potential buyers want to picture their family in your home, and that’s a little difficult to do with another family’s holiday snaps all over the walls. After a spot of depersonalising, your walls should be clean, neutral canvases. But blank walls can also feel a little clinical and unfinished too.
Whilst a feature wall is an option, paint and wallpaper can be pricey; a cheaper alternative, and a quick way to add life to a room, is to invest in some wall art instead. Take a look on Etsy and Art.com for inspiration; they offer a huge selection of affordable art, so with just a few clicks, you’ll have beautiful prints on your walls, and they’ll bring warmth and colour to your home. Remember to keep checking your inspiration guides, and choose prints with subtle colours and patterns. Minimal and clean is key, so steer clear of anything too fussy, dated or loud.
Now that the walls have a little colour, it’s time to add warmth with textiles. Choose colours that work well with the wall art, and if you can’t decide between two styles, plump for the more neutral option. Matalan offers style and affordability, and choosing cushions and throws for the living room is even more enjoyable when you know it won’t cost the earth. Remember, once your home is sold, the accessories can be taken to your new home too- so nothing is lost!
A sprinkling of greenery in each room is uplifting too. Fresh herbs smell beautiful, and they are cheap and delicious too. Dot a few pots around your kitchen, and they’ll instantly breathe life into the room.
To complete the makeover, open the curtains, straighten the bed linen, and switch on any low-level lighting; burn candles, and relax in peaceful tranquility.
Where to buy
Ready to start your makeover? Here’s our top five homeware shops that will transform your home on a budget:
The Little House Shop
Enjoy your project!