How to carry out home improvements on a budget

words Andrew Wayland

We are currently going through a turbulent financial time. Rental prices have increased by 1.8% in the UK, with England exclusively rising by 2.0%, inflation rose recently by 2.3% and other living costs such as council tax, car tax and electricity also going up, the sad truth is our budgets for other areas have all been slashed.

Realistically, if your 2017 spending account is looking a little worse for wear, then the chances are holidays and recreation time might be off the table. However, this year ‘staycations’ are big news, and to make your home a haven and somewhere you want to spend more time relaxing, we have put together some of the ways that you can do home improvements on a budget.

Shop Online

You are probably looking at this and thinking – yes, of course, it’s 2017?

But the money saving trick here is to not buy anything. Move around the site, put things in your basket, even fill out the form – but do not click ‘buy’.

Once the site has your email address, the chances are they will send you a reminder that you didn’t check out, along with a discount code.

Disguise Items That Can’t Be Replaced

Large items of furniture that get stained or scratched easily (armchairs, sofas, sideboards etc) are usually the most expensive items to replace. So, in the name of decorating on a budget, we do the next best thing – we disguise them.

Reupholstering is always an option, but a fresh new throw or cushion, a candle, runner or potted plant can do wonders. Whatever can be used to cover up the offending mark, use it. Because the chances are, the item still serves a purpose – it’s just the aesthetics that are letting it down.

What the eyes don’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve.

Keep It Simple

If your budget is really tight, choose to stick to two or three items only. And if this is the vase, the items that are going to make the most impact are paint (magnolia can be bought for as little as £10 for 10 litres), curtains and lighting.

Floor length curtains add a real statement and drama to a room. Plus, there are always sales or discount stores to be found online, or if you are feeling extra frugal, you could find fabric and make them yourself.

Adding some statement lighting can alter the mood of a home as well as creating a focal point and opting for bright lightbulbs make a room appear brighter and fresher.


You will be surprised at the dramatic impact that well-placed greenery can have in your home. The plants and pots themselves are always eye catching and aesthetically pleasing, but they will also impact your mood.

Around half of the population admit to suffering from stress and anxiety, with 33% stating that money is the direct cause of stress, and studies have shown that indoor plants lower stress levels and relieve tension.

They also purify the air, in fact NASA use plants on the International Space Station to rid the air of toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde, which often used in everyday household products like plug in air fresheners.

You can buy houseplants for very little, even large statement plants too, often for under £20 or £30, and while you may pay a tad more for the pots, you can tailor them to each room to make a statement.

Reduce Starting Costs

There are a lot of things that play a role when it comes to improving your life and boosting your home improvement options. This is something that you need to make the most of, and there are a lot of elements that you have to make the most of right now. Being able to assess the work that needs to be done on the home is important, and you are going to need to focus on some of the best ways of being able to be successful with this. One of the best ways of being able to improve your home improvements and carry them out on a budget is to make sure you reduce your starting costs. This is something that you are going to need to focus on making the best decisions that will improve your home right now.

You need to try to make sure you come up with some of the best ways of being able to achieve the right levels of success when it comes to making the right choices. One of the best ways of reducing initial costs is to make sure you sort out things like termite treatment so that you can ensure you have no underlying issues that are going to need to focus on that will help you to make your home improvements better on a budget. This is important for preparing your home before choosing to carry out work.

White Paint Rules (and so does spray paint)

Minimalism is on-trend right now and everyone seems to want to grab a slice of the sleek, often monochromatic designs. Adding accessories to rooms decorated in this way can often come with a hefty price tag, unless you cheat.

You can often find quirky items in charity shops and thrift stores, and can update these items by painting them white (or any colour your heart desires). Painting has always been one of the best home decorating ideas on a budget.

You can purchase spray paint in a vast range of colours and effects and it can be used to update any item from bed frames, to tables, mirrors and even plants pots, meaning that in theory, you don’t need to replace anything that can be sprayed.

Keep the Shells

With the average kitchen costing around £10,000 to replace, the alternative option has long been to paint the cupboard doors, BUT – often the finished effect doesn’t quite make the cut.

Although compared to painting, this suggestion is a more expensive option, you can save a lot of money by replacing cupboard doors, or worktops rather than a whole kitchen and/or changing the tiles.


Do you even Pinterest? It’s great for simple upcycle ideas.

As mentioned previously, painting old items of furniture to give them a new lease of life is often all that’s needed. But if this won’t cut it, other options include changing the handles, removing ornate details that date furniture, adding tiles to table tops or getting creative with elements such as foreign currency notes, sheet music and wallpaper could leave you with some very desirable items.

Quote prints are very popular now, with some items on notonthehighstreet fetching up to £40 per print; however, you can buy a font for a couple of pounds (or find one you like on Word!) along with a couple of sheets of high quality paper and plain monochrome frames and do this yourself for next to nothing.

And there you have it, a couple of home improvements to make your space more relaxing and welcoming on a budget. The important thing to remember about budgets is that many people look to see how they can raise their income in order to increase their budgets; yet,most of the time this is out of your control. A better tactic is better to focus on reducing your outgoings, where can you save money on everyday areas such as utilities, food spend, telecom services, memberships and phone bills. A main priority should be also be on paying off all debt before spending or saving elsewhere – not only will this benefit your bank balance, but also your stress levels!


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