We love decorating our homes and wish we could walk into a picture from a design magazine when we get back from work, but those dreams take a lot of time, knowledge and it can get very expensive. I was also discouraged at first, but by learning some tricks I managed to make my home look like straight off a cover of a magazine. In the end, it all came down to being nifty, seeing the potential in things and knowing where to invest – because working on a budget doesn’t mean being cheap, it means knowing where and when to invest.
Knowing what should be thrown away and what you can reuse is an important skill, and luckily it’s not hard to learn. There are a few main things you should look out for: in furniture, look at structural stability. The best-looking chair in the world isn’t worth anything if it will break within a month. Whereas if you buy something that is good quality, sturdy and seems like it will last for a long time, you can easily change the appearance of it. Look through second-hand shops, yard sales, and most importantly – ask around! Your family and friends might be throwing away a perfectly good piece of furniture right now, and if you adopt it, you’re not only doing a good thing for the planet by not letting it end up in a landfill, you are also getting some furniture for free.
Have a workshop with tools
The main thing you will want to invest in is a good set of tools. With quality tools, you can literally do any improvements you need to get your furniture and décor in perfect shape. You don’t need to have a professional workshop, of course, a garage, shed or simply a portable toolkit and a surface in your kitchen will do just fine. You should also learn how to actually use those tools for the repairs you need. Whether you want to invest in some classes or learn everything on your own is your choice, but make sure you stay safe and never do any repairs on electrical appliances unless if you’re an expert. A good addition is a selection of quality paints, lacquers and some textile.
Know when to invest
The key to a good home that will serve you for many years is finding good pieces and investing in them. Those should be pieces that are used every day and that have a timeless style. For me, that was a couch in my living room where the family gathers every single night. For our bathroom, I looked through the entire city to find the best shower screens in Brisbane, because it minimizes the cleanup in the bathroom and helps preserve the wooden floor we have in there. I have put in the same amount of effort in picking my kitchen appliances, the mattresses on all of our beds and the windows. You can choose pieces that are stylish and useful, but for everything else that has a strictly decorative purpose – you should stick to DIYing.
Having a beautiful home is not a simple task, but it is far from impossible. Get inspired by everything you see around you and after a very short while you will notice that you can recreate most of it for a fraction of the price. After all, making something yourself means that you will have a completely unique piece, which makes it absolutely priceless. Put your head and your heart into decorating it and you will have a front-page-worthy view every time you walk into your home.