Most of us would like to make some improvements to our home. This is the place where we live and we like to relax after a hard day’s work. It is also somewhere we like to be able to invite our friends. Entertaining at home is more likely to play a large part in your social life if you need to keep an eye on how much money you’re spending. However, when you invite friends over, you want to have a nice home that reflects your personality and aspirations. This, like everything else, also costs money.

The good news is that it might not cost as much as you think. It all depends on how much work you need to have done and how grandiose your vision is. In fact, successfully remodelling your home has more to do with imagination, flair and careful planning than it does with how much money you have to spend.

Plan ahead

It pays to work out exactly what you want to do before you commit a single penny. Walk around your home and imagine how it could look. You must have some idea of the changes you would like to make or you wouldn’t have gotten this far in the process. Nevertheless, you should make an effort to visualise what needs to be done. You can get ideas from magazines, books and even films, but your own imagination is just as important of a guide. Daydream a few hours away, but make notes and sketches while you’re at it. Bring something solid back from your fantasies that you can turn into reality.

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Set your budget

Next, you should work out exactly how much money you can afford to spend. Some of your initial ideas might be completely impractical, but don’t write off everything that seems unaffordable at first. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and you never know what might turn up or what unexpected favours friends and colleagues may be able to do for you. Clearly imagining your dream home is the first step to making it a reality. The next step is cataloguing your resources and planning the steps that need to be taken to make full use of them.

Find your look

Consistency is the key to making your home look amazing without having to throw a lot of money at it. People who only have vague ideas of what they’re after tend to splash out on the newest top-of-the-range items or follow the latest fashions, and they often end up with confused results at a great expense. Instead of doing this, think about the style that best suits you and the essential nature of your home.

For example, you might be considering a very modern, minimalist look, but if you’re living in an old rustic cottage, you’ll be working against the natural features of your home when it would make much more sense to work with them. Exaggerate and emphasise what is already there; make a note of the best features of your home as it is, and remodel the rest around them. Clashes and mismatches can also work, but these should be deliberate and considered, not accidental and slapdash.

Make the most of natural light

Clean up those windows and let the light in to brighten up a room. You will be amazed by the difference the sunshine can make, but you also need to control how much light gets in and when. Too much bright light can cause other fittings to fade, and sometimes you just want a bit of privacy. Affordable Basswood shutters can give you full access to daylight when you want it and shut it out when you don’t. Stylish shutters also make a great room feature as opposed to boring old curtains or blinds, and they are easier to clean and keep in top condition.

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Upcycle!

There are all kinds of ways that you can give overlooked items that are already in your home a new lease of life. A bit of repair work and a new coat of paint can turn that old chest of drawers into an attractive feature again. You can also repurpose items to great effect. A dowdy footstool and a torn sweater can combine for a whole new item of furniture that is certain to be a talking point, for example. Once again, it is just a question of imagination. Look around your home and try to see unwanted items in a whole new way.

Go second-hand

Even in this age of eBay, there are still some great bargains to be found by walking out your front door and scouring the flea markets, charity shops and second-hand stores. It is also a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon. Remember to check the condition of anything you are tempted to buy. Fixing up and repainting is one thing, but serious structural damage or woodworm might make a project not worth the effort. Of course, a vintage piece of kit in good condition will give any room character, charm and originality.

Colour your world

A few bright splashes of colour can go a long way. Repainting the walls or doors is an easy and affordable way to transform a room, but you can achieve a similar effect with a new rug or a bright new duvet and pillow cover set in the bedroom. A bright stair runner can also be extremely eye-catching. Just make sure that it is tacked down safely!

Mix and match

Finally, remember that not everything has to be a talking point or a top-of-the-range item. A few standout pieces can be utilised alongside basic replacements from high street stores. Just remember that the cheapest items do not always provide the best value if you end up having to buy the items again. Similarly, doing it yourself is a great way to save money, but you also need to know when to pay an expert to come in and do the jobs you can’t, especially when it comes to skilled tasks like plastering or electrical work. Fixing up a bodge job will cost you far more in time and money than getting it done properly in the first place.

Remodelling your home does not need to cost a fortune. Let your imagination be your guide, and go with the natural flow of your home. You will be amazed how a few well-chosen changes can utterly transform your living space for the better.