Nothing beats a bargain. I absolutely finding things that look stylish but are affordable & am a firm believer in the fact that everybody can have a beautiful home on a budget. I get so much satisfaction from finding things that are beautiful, but for a fraction of the price.
Believe it or not, I am a massive cheapskate. I do appreciate the finer things in life, but I would much rather buy something for £5 than spend £50 on something pretty much identical.
I pride myself on finding things in high street shops at an affordable price which I think is why my followers on Instagram appreciate my home that tiny bit more as i’m not spending thousands on a sideboard that realistically, the average person simply couldn’t afford. My home is achievable, but it’s all about style!
A crucial part in having a beautiful home is how you style thing. Usually you either have ‘the eye’, or you don’t, but then again it all depends on personal taste. I get asked if i’d ever get into interior design as a profession, but would worry that my own tastes would override what the homeowner wants (plus painting a wall any shade other than a neutral or pastel shade might actually kill me).
So, i’m going to let you in to a few little bargain secrets on how I decorate my home to look & feel ‘high-end’, but for a fraction of the price.
Firstly, paint. I do agree that the more expensive brands have a better coverage/texture & use Farrow & Ball regularly (one of the most expensive paint manufacturers out there) but, that is purely down to knowing the colour chart quite well & also as it’s such a popular brand you can find images online of the paint in action to see what colour you are actually getting. However, I’m actually quite a big fan of Wilko’s own brand paint with 3 rooms in my house (& 3 in my old house) being painted in ‘Coastline’ (dining room, bedroom & the panelling in our new en-suite bathroom). It has brilliant consistency, covers well & is an absolute bargain at £10 for 2.5L – available here. This means you could completely transform a room for £20 (size dependant). I usually stick to quite neutral colours as it is much easier to change the look of a room with accessories than by having to completely redecorate & seeing as I am a serial-redecorator it saves a lot of time by changing a few cushions than repainting (although this does happen frequently).
With decorating materials such as rollers/brushes & so on I often go to discount shops such as Home Bargains/B&M etc. A pack of 12 paint brushes of varying sizes is £1.99. I am a lazy decorator & can’t ever be bothered to wash anything but for that price it is easier to just chuck them in the bin after use. I also use old bedding/curtains to cover the flooring which are then stored in the shed.
Upcycling is a big favourite of mine. It’s amazing how a piece of furniture can go from a complete eye-sore to absolutely beautiful in a few hours. I use Annie Sloan chalk paint which is SO easy to use as it requires no prep work, sticks to pretty much any surface & is so thick it rarely needs more than a couple of coats no matter how dark the wood beneath. It is also the paint to use for the lovely ‘shabby chic’ affect with a light sand followed by wax.
Do you have an unloved orange pine chest of drawers that has seen better days? Give it a couple of hours & some elbow grease & you’ll completely transform it for next to nothing compared to the price of buying brand new furniture.
Check out my Annie Sloan ‘how to’ blog post here.
I find the best place to pick up bargain ‘in need of TLC’ furniture is Gumtree or the Facebook buy&sell groups rather than Ebay. I bought the below dresser for £10 & sold it for £120 after painting & replacing the handles.
It’s absolutely amazing what people no longer want. The amount of bargains i’ve found on sites like Gumtree (the local Facebook buy & sell sites are equally as brilliant) is crazy. Last week I bought a brand new ‘The White Company’ luxury gift set which included a signature candle, soap, bath/shower gel plus body lotion in ‘Verveine’ for £7!! Usually this set would be £45. I rarely pay the asking price on sites like this as well as it’s so easy to ‘barter’. Even if something is a complete steal, it’s worth putting in a cheeky offer to save a couple of £££.
Accessorising a house is probably the most important part of styling. From clocks to cushions, they all play an absolutely huge part & without it a room can feel lacking in character. I love shops like The Range, Matalan, Dunelm Mill as well as supermarket home wear sections (Asda/Sainsburys/Tesco) & bargain shops such as Home Bargains & B&M. I very rarely shop anywhere expensive. Most of the time you can find near enough identical products for less than half of the price online so get googling.
Sometimes even simple things can give a room a completely different look or feel. Even when I was a child I loved nothing more than rearranging furniture. Sometimes it works out that the original way was actually more functional, but it’s all about experimenting & you can always move it back. Plus, its absolutely free. It’s amazing what a simple shift can do to change things up without spending a penny.
My top tip is to save & budget for one room at a time then give it a complete overhall. Focus on the areas you feel need work the most & that you spend the most time in as they’ll give you the most satisfaction. I always complete one room at a time as otherwise if I had 20 projects going on all over the house, i’d never end up getting them done.
Have you had to decorate on a shoestring? I’d love to hear about your experiences!
Love, Charlotte x