Moving is already expensive, here are a few tips to save on decorating…
Whether you are moving this year or not, you might be planning on re-decorating and how much to spend on re-vamping your home or at least a part of it. I recently spoke with interior designer, Manon Leblanc for tips on how to decorate on a budget. In my last post for Scotiabank, I shared my ups and downs of buying a home for the first time, but now I’d like to pass along a few tips to save you money and time when you decide to give your home a new look. After spending a fair portion of our savings on the down payment for our new house, we had to be careful what we spent on new furnishings and décor items. It’s never a bad idea to sit down with your financial advisor for some free advice to help put your interior design projects into perspective and to help you work out your budget accordingly.
With that being said, here are some steps we followed…
(Image : Pinterest)
Thank God for Pinterest!
Before even spending a dime, it’s important to visualize what kind of style you would like to have in your new room, or for multiple rooms in your home. For this, I find the best source is Pinterest. Without even having to buy an interior design magazine for inspiration, you can find almost everything imaginable on Pinterest. Manon Leblanc even suggested to give yourself at least a week of research on décor websites, Pinterest and Instagram and to take screen caps of the ideas that you like. I organized mine in folders on my smart phone, laptop, and on Pinterest. After you’ve amassed a lot of ideas, sit down and edit the styles you’ve selected. This will help you see which style you want to adopt most for each room.
(Our colour is white!)
Show your true colours
Once you know what style of décor you like, it’s important to select a colour scheme for your home. Manon suggests that the easiest way to give your home a facelift is to simply change the paint colour. She and I both agree that pale neutral colours work best because you can always add colour after with furniture or a feature wall of a slightly darker shade or with wallpaper. My guy and I decided to paint everything white, including the ceilings. We will add our personal taste with furniture, drapery, area rugs and artwork – but we’ll add those to a clean, white background. We chose a cool-tone white for our home, but one thing Manon suggested and that I wished we would’ve tried – is to paint the mouldings a glossier white. It would’ve made them stand out more from the walls. A future project!
(Left: Pinterest, Right: Our Louis XV beds that we had restored)
Upgrade your existing furniture
Instead of buying new furniture, I’ve been scouring Kijiji for nice antiques that I had re-upholstered. I enjoyed searching for fabrics (always on sale!) on St-Hubert street and I have found a great upholsterer who has given new life to all my furniture. What I like best about my method, is that no one else has the same furniture as I do! Manon suggests painting your furniture a slightly darker colour than you chose for your walls, so that they fit in the same colour scheme. And if you want to buy new furniture, she would buy online – so you save by cutting out the middle man. Or, better yet, buy washable slipcovers for your sofa and arm chairs for a clean, new look. Invest in throw pillows for added punch.
(Our kitchen had already been completely renovated in good taste before we bought our house – all we did was add a pair of vintage chairs.)
Clean up your kitchen
Our kitchen was already perfectly renovated by the previous owner, but Manon said the easiest way to update a kitchen is to paint the cupboards and if you have the energy, remove the range hood and the two cupboards on either side of it to add a contemporary backsplash and up-to-date range hood. Instant makeover! You can even change the cupboard door handles – something so simple can make a big difference.
(Our bathroom is quite unique – the former owner had painted a fresco on the walls!)
Make your bathroom yours
Manon suggests giving new life to a bathroom by changing the tiles. You can even save money there by heading to a discount ceramic store. Make sure to buy 15-20% more than what you think you’ll need – just in case something happens and you mess up or break some.
Take advantage of FREE help
Manon said that many stores offer free designer services if you’re purchasing their product. They can even help you think outside of the box (they can suggest things you may have never thought of) and calculate your costs. Just last weekend, my boyfriend and I went to a hardware store and they helped us choose and calculate the cost of blinds for our living room windows. They will even send an interior designer to measure our windows and install them when they’re ready.
I hope these tips are helpful and if you have any home makeover projects on-the-go or that you’ve just completed, feel free to share them with me!
This post is sponsored by Scotiabank – opinions are my own.