No Demo Reno
For any number of reasons, you might find yourself needing to make a change in your home – Maybe it’s a new home to you but FARRR from a NEW home. Maybe the home is decorated in builder-beige, and your style is more vibrant. Maybe you are going through a big life change and you want your home to reflect that. Maybe you are putting your home on the market and want to appeal to more buyers. Or maybe you’ve been watching too much HGTV.
Whatever your reason, you’ve decided it’s time for a change. This is exciting and I’m sure you have some big ideas! Then the reality of cost creeps in (the devil).
Renovations can be expensive, but the return is often there on the backend. That’s all fine and good but if you don’t have the money, you simply don’t have the money [reality]. Don’t get defeated! There are still some ways to update or personalize (de-personalize) your home without spending a lot of money. I’ll let you in on some designer secrets (shhh).
Paint is your best friend when renovating on a budget. To be honest, it’s your best friend when it comes to design period but when you’re on a tight budget, paint has your back.
Changing the colour of your walls can change the mood in a room. There has been a lot of research done on colour theory and how a colour can influence a mood or feeling. For example, greens and blues have a calming effect. Colour can also make a room feel bigger or smaller (AKA cozier). For example, lighter colours will make a room feel bigger and brighter while darker colours will make the room feel cozier. It’s all psychology.
Paint colour doesn’t only apply to walls. Repainting your kitchen cabinets (for example) can also have the same effect. Going from a dark cabinet to light will brighten up the kitchen and make it feel bigger and newer – all without replacing the cabinets (big $$). Same can be said for bathroom vanities or coffee tables, even kitchen tables and chairs.
Now, you don’t always have to change the colour to have paint make a difference in your home. Sometimes, a room just needs a fresh coat of paint to bring life back into it – cleaning up the dings, scratches or old picture frame holes. It will look better, cleaner, even if it’s the same colour.
Find the Cohesiveness in Finishes
Keeping with the paint topic, selecting the right colour can also make a big difference in your renovation. We touched on colour influencing mood and making a room feel bigger (smaller) but how do you pick the right colour? Well, it depends on your design style.
If you love vibrant colours; if you feel at home surrounded by pinks or greens; if you just have to have a colour, you do you! When you are renovating for yourself, it has to speak to you and only you can critique that.
TIP: If you want a space to feel bigger, choose a shade at the top of the paint swatch. If you want the space to feel cozier, pick a colour at the bottom of the paint swatch.
If that isn’t you or you are renovating (on a budget) to sell, then you want to pull colours from finishes that are too expensive to replace. These would be things like countertops and flooring (specifically tile). You might not have the budget to replace the tile floor but finding a colour that completements even the ugliest of tiles will make a world of difference in the feel of a room. The right colour will make it feel fresh and (most importantly) intentional.
When we are dealing with a situation like this, we are often dealing with a finish that has a lot of different colours in it. When this is the case, you’ll want to pull a paint colour that is close to one of the colours in the finish. For walls, my go to is to choose the lightest colour in the finish. Too bold of a colour on the walls can highlight the finish in a bad way, usually showcasing how old it is. When it comes to cabinets or other millwork or accents, go darker.
If the finish you are stuck working with is a solid colour, look for the undertones in it – blue, green, red…and choose a colour in that family. How do you find the undertone? When you put paint chips down beside it, you’ll start to see an undertone colour emerge. Unless you have a good eye for colour, this could be a bit of trial and error before the undertone shows itself to you.
This method can also be applied to other big-ticket items that aren’t easily changeable like couches, furniture or even a favorite painting.
Another great and inexpensive way to give new life to something is by changing the hardware. Think door handles, drawer pulls, cabinet hinges etc.
When you change the hardware on a piece, it gives it a whole new look – like when you get a fresh new haircut. It could be as little as changing the colour of the metal or as drastic as changing the style.
There are lots of fun options out there now. You can go antique or modern. Masculine or feminine. Simple or funky, mature or childish. Even mix and match. Have fun with it!
My last design secrete that I’ll share with you (for now) is adding accents. This can be done in the form of nick-nacks, personal photos or throw pillows (refer to colour cohesiveness above when choosing these). But a more dramatic and fun design accent in a renovation is a wall finish. A big impact but, again, this can be done relatively inexpensively.
Inexpensive option #1 is (surprise) paint. Choosing a different or bold colour for one wall (or part of a wall) is an inexpensive way to add an element of elevated design into a space.
Inexpensive option #2 is wallpaper. Adding a wallpaper finish adds interest to the space and can make a it feel more complete (or finished). You can do a full wall, one of 4 walls, but don’t be afraid to try other ways. For example, the top of a wall that has wainscoting or a little knock. You can also enhance open bookcases with doing a wallpaper finish behind the shelves. When choosing a pattern, again, refer back to colour cohesiveness above. This can also be a rental-friendly option if you are renting. Just be sure to get a peel-and-stick wallpaper.
Inexpensive option #3 is wood accent. If you’re an HGTV addict, you’ve probably seen lots of these examples – MDF molding adhered to the wall in a pattern of some sorts and painted one colour. This is another great way to add interest to a space and it adds a level of coziness to the overall feel of the space. One suggestion, from experience, push yourself out of your comfort zone when it comes to doing a design. You’ll thank me later!
There is a lot of inspiration out there in the home design and renovation world. Unfortunately, there can also be a big price tag for some of these looks. This can be defeating and frustrating for any homeowner – whether you just bought your first home, are trying to sell one or just simply looking for a change. But with a little creativity and some knowledge of design principles (AKA tricks), you’d be surprised what you can do on a budget. If you are working on (or maybe wishing you could work on) your home and are stuck, send us your questions to email@example.com or through Reddit.