That much-needed makeover

Budget Makeover

That much-needed makeover

This new year, if wondering how to give your home a new look, here are some tips Vathsala V P has to offer.

Nothing excites home owners more than interiors as tastefully done interiors lift our spirits like nothing else. However, we are a species that gets easily bored with monotony. We long for variety. Though we are tempted to give our interiors a makeover whenever we are bitten by the boredom bug, we stop ourselves thinking of the costs involved. Actually speaking, home decorating on a budget is possible. All that is required is a little amount of creativity and patience, and it’s definitely worth a try, considering the end result and the happiness we can derive from it.

As you know, we can’t think in a vacuum. So, why not hit the pavements selling old magazines on home interiors and buy a few of them? They are a good source of inspirational ideas for interiors. Skim through them in detail and make notes of the changes you want to bring about in your interiors. If you are patient enough to make a scrap book out of magazine clippings, then there’s nothing like it. For, pictures always speak better than words

Choice of interiors

Once you get a vague idea of your choice of interiors, head straight to furniture showrooms. Such visits give an idea of the new trends and styles in the market. If you chance upon a piece of furniture that gladdens your heart and if it suits your budget, then pick it up immediately. On the other hand, if the cost seems prohibitive, then walk into the secondhand furniture market where you can strike a good bargain. Shopping for secondhand furniture can be quite a fun exercise as such markets are full of surprises and ‘wow’ moments. Moreover, in all likelihood, you may even be lucky enough to stumble upon an antique piece of furniture that will otherwise cost you a bomb in antique stores.

While shopping for secondhand furniture, just look for sturdy-looking pieces and don’t bother too much about the finish. For, once you bring them home, you can get your local carpenter to just rub it with sandpaper and apply a nice coat of varnish on it. With a nice coat of varnish, secondhand furniture will acquire a sheen that will make them look as good as they are new. In fact, if you’re adventurous enough, you don’t even have to depend on carpenters to give your secondhand furniture that much needed sheen. Just walk into any hardware shop, buy the varnish of your choice (they come in plenty of colours and finishes) and apply it yourself. A single coat of varnish is just enough to lend the secondhand furniture its glamour quotient. Above all, it’s an exciting exercise for its novel quality. Just pour a small quantity of wood polish on a ball of cotton or a piece of cloth and just dab it on the furniture that needs a facelift. Voila! The sheen it carries is sure to make your heart swell with pride.

While shopping for varnishes, it helps to be informed on the choice of finish desired, as in teak, rosewood or silverwood, as also matte or gloss. It is advisable to opt for the finish the cabinets and the rest of the furniture in the house are in, for the finish that best suits the interiors gives the overall ambience a classy look. All these dramatic transformations at very little or no cost at all!

For that dramatic effect

If, all that you are looking for is a dramatic change but don’t want to work too hard or spend too much on it, then just paint the walls a new colour, very different from the existing one. New colours on the walls work wonders to your home without causing too much of a dent in your budget. When the choice is to get the house painted, why not go in for colours that are renowned mood lifters? Well! The choice is yours, as every colour has its own natural shine and individual property. While red is known for its bold and energetic quality, yellow is believed to be intellectually stimulating, and white is supposed to be elegant and refreshing. Ignore colour trends and pick colours that make your family happiest.

Another great route to take while giving our homes a makeover on a shoestring budget is to just go in for new furnishings – curtains, cushion casings, upholstery, durrees, diwan covers… The brighter the better. Cotton furnishings definitely do not cost much. Buying plain fabric and embellishing them with mirrors, sequins, beads, paints or threads add to the beauty of the fabric and, of course, cost you almost nothing.

If you have an eye for art, then raid discounted stores that sell accessories. They are perfect places to find candle holders, candles, potpourri and knick knacks that can brighten up your living room.

While giving your home a makeover, can bathrooms be left behind? Definitely not. Tile them all over again or just give them a thorough acid wash to scrub away hard water stains. Ditto for sinks and fittings. A brand new floral shower curtain also does the trick, as also new hardware for old bathroom cabinets.

However, just before embarking on your ‘makeover project,’ it is very important to declutter the place. Remove old items that have been there because they have always been there and retain only those items that can do with a fresh coat of paint or fabric. At the end of the ‘makeover’ exercise, you will realise how creative thinking and clever shopping can transform your home with style and charm without burning any holes in your pockets.

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