5 Secrets to Cutting Costs on Your Next DIY Home  Design Overhaul

With many of us confined to staying at home during the current global pandemic, now could be the ideal time to embark on a DIY home design overhaul. Of course, transforming a tired living space into one that’s timelessly stylish and effortlessly practical comes with a number of cumulative costs, but there are plenty of ways to save money along the way.

1. Refresh areas with a new feature wall

Giving any area of your home a fresh coat of paint is a quick, affordable and satisfying way to make tired spaces feel brand new with minimal effort. However, you can make this transformation even simpler by focusing on just one wall and making it the stand-out feature.

Feature walls are a tried and tested interior design trick to instantly add interest and character to almost any room of the house – and by focusing your efforts on just one wall, you’ll also be keeping the costs down.

Whether you paint one wall in a bright hue, add some funky wallpaper or get creative with artwork and old picture frames to create an eye-catching gallery wall, putting your efforts into updating just one surface will save you time and dollars.

2. Upcycle fittings and furniture rather than replacing 

Upcycling has been a popular interior trend for some time now and for good reason. For one, it helps reduce the amount of discarded furniture and fittings needlessly ending up in landfill. Secondly, it also offers the chance to create truly unique home furnishings while also helping to declutter your home – a win for you and the planet!

With the right mindset and the help of some video tutorials or Pinterest, you can create new pieces from old things you were planning to throw away in no time at all. This could be as simple as fixing that wobbly table leg and repainting it, using silverware to reinvent old light fittings into quirky lampshades or spray-painting a time-worn bike and hanging it on your wall as a piece of art – the possibilities are limitless.

3. Create the illusion of space with mirrors

If you’re looking to make your home feel bigger, but don’t have the budget to extend its physical blueprint, then mirrors are a trusty accessory to have up your sleeve. When hung in the right position, mirrors have the ability to reflect light around the room, add depth, and give the illusion of space when there actually isn’t any.

With the added benefit of being readily available to buy in a vast array of designs, sizes and price points, incorporating mirrors into your interior decor is an effective and budget-friendly tactic for making even the coziest spaces feel grand.

For the best results, hang mirrors opposite or adjacent to windows or an artificial light source to maximize the light bouncing around the room – leaving you with a room that feels spacious and bright. You could even get creative and use multiple mirrors hung on the same wall in different designs and sizes to deliver a striking feature wall that serves to enlarge the area.

4. Opt for multifunctional furniture

Splashing out on new furniture for your home is a sure-fire way to give outdated interiors a much-needed new look, but this can be an expensive undertaking if you’re buying numerous furniture items that each serve a single purpose.

Instead, make your money stretch that little bit further and invest in multifunctional pieces that can double up as extra storage space or additional seating. Think ottoman beds with storage space below for stowing away extra cushions, bed linen and more, blanket boxes that double up as extra seating and storage units, nesting tables that can be split up to give extra surface space when you need it or even floor lamps with built-in shelves.

By making the most of multifunctional furniture in your home you can still achieve your desired aesthetic, while saving on space and money.

5. Get wooden floors for less

If you long for hardwood floors in your home but don’t have the capital to spend on the real deal, you don’t need to abandon that dream. Opting for alternatives like luxury vinyl tile flooring or click-and-lock laminate will give you an authentic, luxury looking wooden floor at a far lower price point.

Choosing wood-look alternatives like LVT flooring also come with a raft of practical benefits. They’re waterproof, easy to clean, durable and low maintenance, meaning they’ll stay looking pristine for years without the need to reapply varnish periodically.

Whatever grand plans you have for giving your home a makeover, we hope the above gives you plenty of ideas on how to make the right changes without breaking the bank.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter


How to Keep a Small Kitchen Organized

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need acres of counter space or dozens of drawers and cupboards to have an organized kitchen that’s a joy to cook in. If anything, a smaller kitchen can encourage you to streamline your stuff and live more simply. Who wants cabinets chock-full of unloved pasta machines and dusty bread makers anyway? Check out these easy ways to restore order to your less-than-enormous kitchen.

1. Start with a utensil rack. Not only will it give you a place to hang slotted spoons and ladles for easy access while cooking, it will also free up precious drawer space.

Even in the tiniest kitchen, you can usually find somewhere to squeeze one in — under a cupboard or shelf or above the stove. Stainless steel models work in most styles of rooms and are easy to wipe down.

2. Get a knife holder. A knife block or magnetic rack is one of those simple items that really do make a difference in how functional your kitchen is. After all, rummaging around in a drawer for a piece of kitchen gear you use frequently is time-consuming and dispiriting.

A wall-mounted rack keeps things orderly without swallowing too much space. Buy decent knives if you can afford it, as they should last a lifetime. One advantage of a magnetic rack is that you can slowly build up your collection of knives, buying one at a time, rather than having to invest in one large block complete with knives, which can be pricey. If you’re starting from scratch, a bread knife, paring knife and chef’s knife are essential.

3. Assign dedicated storage areas. Kitchen clutter can easily accrue, so it makes sense to assign different cupboards a specific purpose and stick to it. And dedicate a few minutes every couple of weeks to returning stray plastic lids or pot covers to their homes and sweeping out spilled spices and coffee grounds — it really will make a difference in how pleasurable (and easy) your kitchen is to use day to day.

4. Reduce your numbers. If your kitchen is really mini, or even if it isn’t, think about doing a good edit of your paraphernalia. Be honest: Do you really need more than a handful of plates, mugs or glasses if there are only one or two of you?

Having less stuff can be immensely freeing — and will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend washing up, which is a big bonus.

5. Gather and display. You can be organized and chic at the same time. A charming crock to hold wooden spoons, a wall-mounted crate or two to provide a home for vintage-style scales and jugs, a small wall-mounted spice rack — they all add a pretty touch as well as having a practical function.

6. Be clever with your cabinets. Use every spare inch in a small kitchen by building recessed shelves where feasible. Surround an integrated refrigerator. With this design solution, wall space that’s too skinny or awkwardly shaped for extra cabinets can still be used to hold frequently used items. In some kitchens, it also helps open up the room and leads the eye to an appealing feature.

7. Go minimal. Are you in the process of picking new cabinets for your compact kitchen? Consider this look: Ultra-plain, handleless cabinets in a nude hue are soothing to look at and give a sense of visual order. Pick a seamless backsplash such as a slab of marble, since tiles with grout can look busy.

8. Get in a tight corner. When space is tight, an ingenious trio of pullout corner drawers is a lifesaver, helping to solve the problem of lost space in those awkward-to-access base cabinets.

If you’re remodeling, think about how you’d use such drawers — for cutlery, towels, pans, dishes? You could do a slimmer top drawer complemented by two deeper ones, so all the bases are covered.

9. Put the pans away. Similarly a pullout pan rack can be a gift in a small kitchen, creating an organized home for frying pans and saucepans and keeping you from tearing your hair out as you hunt around in the backs of cupboards. Also try using racks for items such as steamers or large, unwieldy casserole dishes.

10. Organize inside. It may sound like a no-brainer, but often what makes a kitchen, big or small, organized is how we arrange the insides of our cupboards. Shelf and drawer dividers, hooks, racks and other storage devices are key to keeping order. Consider what works for you and go custom if you can. Are you a Mason jar and Tupperware kind of person? Do you prefer mugs on hooks, shelves or in drawers? Storage is often about personal preference.  Slim slots for chopping boards and placemats are a brilliant idea, as is a slim pullout spice rack.

Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) IDX Reciprocity listings are displayed in accordance with SRA's MLS® Data Access Agreement and are copyright of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA).
The above information is from sources deemed reliable but should not be relied upon without independent verification. The information presented here is for general interest only, no guarantees apply.
Trademarks are owned and controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Used under license.
MLS® System data of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) displayed on this site is refreshed every 2 hours.