Decorating your home can be a costly business. You start out with the best of intentions, but you get overwhelmed by the number of options. You don’t know what you need, or how much, or which choice is best. Perhaps you start throwing money at it because you don’t have time – after all, there are some great mortgages for professionals but there’s no special leave you can take to put your house in order.
But with a few top tips you can save money on decorating your house without becoming overwhelmed.
An inventory of dreams
It’s easy to impulse shop and regretting it later, so start out by getting those impulses under control.
Make a list of the furniture and decorations that you really want in the house, and put it in order of priority. Which things will make the biggest difference to your life, or have the best impact on the look of the rooms?
Now hang on to that list. Wait until you see one of those items going cheap, rather than buying it at the first chance you have. And if you find you have money to spare then start with the items at the top of the list – that way you’ll get the most satisfaction from the money you’ve spent.
Pick a pot of paint
The upside of professional decorators is that they really know what they’re doing – what colour to pick and how much to use. The downside is that they can be expensive.
Fortunately it doesn’t take much information to turn you into a paint-picking whizz.
Think about the light in the room you’ll be painting. If the room is well lit then you can go with a bold or dark colour, though be careful it’s not so overwhelming that you’ll feel closed in. If there isn’t much natural light then go for something pale or bright to add light and a sense of space to the room.
Make sure to buy a few tester pots first and try them out in the room, painting both a well-lit spot and a patch that’s in shadow. For a few extra pounds at the start you can save yourself time and money re-painting over the wrong choice later.
Be careful not to buy too little paint so that you have to head back to the store, or too much so that it goes to waste. You can cover 10-13 square meters of wall with a litre of emulsion, so work out how big an area you’re painting and buy for that.
The three year test
When buying expensive decorations or pieces of furniture – anything that costs three figures or above – use the three year test. Think about your tastes and your house. Think about how often you like to redecorate and revive your space. Ask yourself ‘will I still want this in three years’ time?’ If the answer’s yes then it may be worth buying. If not then walk on buy and leave it in the shop.
Spend a little bit more on carpets for areas where they’ll take lots of wear, such as halls and landings. It’s a small extra cost now that will save you money down the line, as an expensive carpet will last longer.
Put a colourful rug down in the entrance to the hall. That way dirt won’t show so much and you’ll save wear on the carpet itself.
Save now, save later
A little extra thought can help you save money when you first decorate your house and for years down the line. Stop, think, plan, and you’ll have money spare for other things.
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