That once fresh colour on the wall looking tired and stale? Squeaky floor and noisy doors doing your head in? Sometimes, big changes just happen in our lives and home no longer feels like home.
Now, change is healthy,
But it’s tough to give your house a proper make-over when one small unit from the store for the corner is about the most a month’s salary can get you.
1. Set a realistic budget & keep a back-up fund
Before making purchases, save up some money for emergencies. Otherwise, one accident can put all your progress to a halt and disrupt your rhythm. Second most important tip to keep in mind: It’s easy for your costs to balloon if you do not set limiters.
Drive anywhere around Malta, whether you end up in Sliema, Hamrun, Zebbug, or Zejtun, you’ll find at least 2 bathroom showrooms and just as many décor stores, all with tall glass window panes to entice you in.
Budgets are an excellent way to help us avoid rationalising an expensive purchase. When it’s too expensive, get creative instead. How? Read the next tips!
2. Be clear about what you want
Cut out pictures from design magazines, create a board on Pinterest and pin images that inspire you, or just write down any ideas you have – put them all together on one surface and take a good look at them. It’ll help you figure out what your house acually needs changed, and more importantly, it’ll help you communicate your idea to the people you’re going to work with.
3. Look for smaller, local suppliers and makers
If you’re looking to seriously make-over your home, your first goal is to remember that brand name doesn’t always mean best. Working with smaller suppliers can give you the chance to create a truly tailored piece of furniture. Yes, costs might be higher than working with a big company, but if you work with a designer, chances are you’ll get access to exclusive bargains and deals from local suppliers they’re connected with.
4. Apply a fresh coat of paint
Painting is like magic. It’s a quick, relatively non-intrusive method to really ‘bring the old look’ down. Better yet, it (in most cases) doesn’t need lots of coin. Once you figure out the colour palatte you should go for, a lick of paint can totally change the face of a room.
Remember that picking colours is not just about preference. Lighting, access to apertures, volume of items and dimensions of a room are all important factors when deciding on a colour. Ask for a consultation with a designer to really make your space pop to life!
If you want to really make a place pop with colour and creativity, you can also hire a local artist to do a mural on your wall. It’ll cost less than any fancy furniture piece and raise twice as many questions.
5. Restore and fine-tune what you have
If laminate on kitchen counter is warped, change it to likewise affordable materials that can last a bit longer. Think wood, a butcher’s block, concrete or tiles. A new splashback with second-hand tiles is also a great way to update the look of the kitchen while reintroducing Maltese character. Also, it’s surprisingly affordable and easy to do by yourself.
If the doors are still in good condition and neutral in colour, why not just replace the handles? Sleek new handles will modernise the look.
The sofa in the photo above belongs to DIY and upcycling fan Thomas Camilleri! Thomas reupholstered and touched up a sofa that belonged to his grandparents. To find out more about his approach to interior design, take a look at this article.
6. Get new window curtains
Especially when complemented with fresh paint on the walls, new window treatments can really define a room’s style. You can find reasonably priced and easy-to-install shades, curtains, and rods at stores such as IKEA, Etsy, and Amazon, but don’t be afraid to check out garage sales and local second-hand shops.