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Reducing built-in furniture and rethinking having that feature wall are some of the thing that could make a big difference in your reno costs. IMAGE: UNSPLASH

Dollar-Savvy Décor: Revamp Your Space Without Breaking The Bank

You’ve collected the keys to your new abode and given yourself a congratulatory pat on the shoulder as you tick off yet another box on the #adulting checklist. What next? Oh right, it’s time to part with your money again to get renovation work done before moving in. 🥲

Looking at interior design sites and sense-checking with friends on reno costs can really make our vision for a forever home sound daunting. It doesn’t help that inflation keeps creeping in, and making our dream home seem more and more unattainable.

If you want to spruce up your home without spending a fortune on it, read on as we lay out some tips on how to zhng your place on a budget.

Reduce built-in furniture or carpentry

Carpentry can account for more than 50% of your reno costs, so don’t just go with what your ID suggests or try and replicate that modern Scandi look on Pinterest with unnecessary built-ins. Limit your carpentry work to strictly functional pieces, such as your kitchen cabinets or your master bedroom floor-to-ceiling wardrobe. Any carpentry that is done for aesthetic appeal should be substituted with something else, stat, if you’re tight on budget.

Buying loose furniture gives you the flexibility in terms of time and money to source pieces that match the vibe of your home and reduce upfront costs. Plus, you can always wait for a sale.

Rethink your feature wall

It may be tempting to pivot to wallpaper or laminate when we think about feature walls, but there is a much more economical alternative – paint! Paint can work wonders as a feature wall in many forms, like this wall of geometric shapes:

Or this floral mural:

Or with textured paint:

Commissioning a wall mural will likely still be cheaper than covering a large blank wall with carpentry. And with paint, the creativity is boundless!

Add greenery to the space

Nothing screams rustic or boho more than adding some green potted friends to the area. If this is your first foray into plant parenthood, start with some low-maintenance indoor plants such as philodendrons, monstera, or calathea that will not only add a pop of colour to your interior but also improve your mood.

Experiment with lighting

Placing the correct type of lighting in the appropriate spot in a room can really accentuate the space and set the mood. It can also act as a statement piece in the area, such as having a chandelier or pendant light in the dining area.

The colour of the lighting also plays a huge influence on the ambience and ultimately, your mood. For a space to unwind after a day at work, you might want to go for warm lighting as this induces calm and relaxation. On the other hand, for a home office, opt for cool white lights as this tend to be more energizing and will boost productivity.

Accent lighting is used to draw attention towards certain elements of your home, such as having a wall sconce above a piece of art or hanging fixture lightings along a narrow hallway to add character to an otherwise monotonous stretch. When used correctly, it can do a lot of heavy-lifting for the interior sans a hefty price tag.

Decorate with personal mementos

Whether it’s your wedding photos (advice: best not to emulate the ’80s or ’90s by hanging one above your bed 😂), an artwork you completed together as a couple or a souvenir you brought back from a trip to your favourite destination, personalise your home with treasured keepsakes so that it feels like your own unique space.

It can also be an idea for a feature wall, especially in between spaces (e.g. living room and dining area). Create a gallery wall displaying your heartfelt keepsakes by using photo frames, or exhibit them on a shelf.

Go second-hand

Save the planet and reduce the amount of trash in our landfills by purchasing pre-loved furniture or décor pieces, plus salvage your bank balance in the process. Win-win! All you’ll need are a few pieces of quality furniture for functionality (and perhaps a little aesthetic), and pair these with décor items that can be sourced from anywhere.

Tbh, no one’s gonna know where all these items came from. You could buy the same piece from a high-end brand or a thrift store, and it would probably escape most undiscerning eyes. The important part is knowing how to style these items together to create a harmonious look.

There are also always eager sellers looking to offload their lightly used furniture (read: still in good condition) on platforms such as Carousell at a fraction of the retail price. All it takes is some time and effort to do a thorough search to get yourself a good bargain.

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