Trade in that pricey paint!
Be inspired by chi-chi "heritage" paint brands, but save along the way: nip into the store with your "pricey" colour swatch, and have something similar brewed in one of those shaky-shaky paint machines. Spot the difference? Hmm: you'd be hard pushed. Yup, sometimes it's all about clever marketing, with viscosity and coverage similar between posh brands and a lower price point.
Swap it out
Hello, Scrooge! Here's an easy way to change the feel of what you've already got without spending a penny: juggle orientation. Move furniture around, or switch up pieces from one room to another. Shops do it all the time to make you think stock is updated, and call it "rotation" or "merchandising." If selling your home, a good estate agent, often in association with a competent stager, will advise what's best.
All hail the power of the accessory
New cushions, rugs and throws, chosen with an eye on budget, will transform your existing sofa, while a change of linen will instantly alter your bedroom mood. And while you're at it, new towels — and perhaps a jaunty new shower curtain — will quickly and affordably transform your bathroom. The colour in this jauntily toned bedroom comes entirely from accessories.
Free your home and the rest will follow
Lose the clutter and free up valuable space. Do a charity shop run and help others as you help yourself. You'd be amazed what a little clear thinking can do to update proceedings. Whether "staging to stay" or staging to sell, less is more, huh?
Scents and sensibility
Try scented candles and aromatic oils to keep things fresh and inviting. Our latest retro obsession? Incense sticks. They're cheap and scents like sandalwood, white sage or rose do as good a job as more expensive air fresheners.
Mix old and new
"Re-version" things you already own to bring new life. Pop new pictures in old frames — and old pics in new frames — remembering that a card mount will transform basic artwork into gallery-worthy display.
That old chest of drawers could look cool with an alternative colour scheme and new knobs, and those jaded dining chairs could come alive with budget fabric and a staple gun. It's not rocket science!
Here, we reimagined a junk sideboard with a lick of paint, lucite legs and textured wallpaper front panels.
Shop smart. Even supermarkets, these days, carry on-trend stock. Alternatively, online stores such as Ebay and Letgo, and even garage sales, are great hunting ground for budget-friendly artwork and accessories.
Think about trading items with friends. Second-hand, after all, shouldn't mean second-best — and "previously enjoyed" is one of the best forms of recycling: good for the planet and for the pocket.
Ask for deals
We'll happily admit to avoiding full price wherever possible and living by the maxim: "If you don't ask, you don't get." Learn, also, to train the eye; build an appreciation of high-end design pieces and keep them in mind while hunting at discount stores, big-box outlets, flea markets or thrift shops.
Target discount periods and shop accordingly. Black Friday, or post-Christmas sales, are a great starting point to bag those all-important bargains.
Spend high and low
Mix expensive indulgences with budget items to create the illusion that everything is similarly high end. Layer affordable chain-store cushions atop that trusty Elte sofa. Or bolster a basic-buy duvet with sexy Mongolian lambs' wool throws.
God, as we've said before, lies in the details. A second-hand basket chair bought online is a stylish addition to this cottage interior.
Get the look
Employ replicas such as laminate "wood" flooring instead of solid timber, or ceramic tiling instead of marble or granite. You'll save cash without sacrificing aesthetics.
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Whatever you do — and however you do it — follow our counsel and save pots of cash along the way. As Granny always said: "It's not how much money you spend, but where you spend it that makes the biggest difference."
So spend those rands wisely, and stay super-stylish into the bargain.
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