Let’s face it, probably at least once in our lives, we secretly wished our home will make it to Architectural Digest or House Beautiful. However, considering the high cost of living in the UK, we’ve set their dreams aside and continue to settle for the same old drab home interiors.
Guess what, this doesn’t have to be your fate anymore. While you may not have the millions of Simon Cowell or the grand Holland Park mansion of the Beckhams, you can upgrade your space, elevate the look, and make it feel more luxurious without breaking the bank.
These are the ideas you need:
1. Change Your Tacky Tiles
If your floor is still stuck with linoleum or, worse, carpeting that looks it hasn’t experienced any deep cleaning for the last decade, then you need to change it ASAP. Of course, one of the best flooring materials for a decadent space is hardwood.
However, hardwood is expensive. The next best option is to buy luxury vinyl tiles or planks. Unlike regular vinyl, these have the look and feel of real wood without the eye-gouging price. You can already buy it for around £20 per square meter. They are also incredibly easy to install. Planks, for example, may feature a click-and-lock mechanism that even DIY beginners can successfully do.
Granted, luxury vinyls might not have the same lifespan as hardwood (they can last for a hundred years if you take care of them properly), but you’re less likely to get headaches with the former. They are both convenient to clean and maintain.
2. Upgrade the Lighting
Do some big homes make you feel cold or sad? Does it ever occur to you how even some modern properties seem like they’ve taken inspiration from Disney’s The Haunted Mansion? There’s a good chance that one of their biggest issues is lighting.
Many studies already show that lighting can influence your perception of space, mood, and even behavior. In a 2011 research, for instance, the team learned that cove lighting could create the illusion of more space. Uplighting, meanwhile, promotes the feeling of privacy and relaxation.
Depending on the lighting fixture, it can become a focal point or even a conversation piece. It may make the space feel warm or induce glare and headache.
The most economical way to upgrade your home’s lighting is to open windows, especially in the daytime or morning. Natural light can help regulate your circadian rhythm, so you won’t feel like running to your bed again after you wake up. It also increases the release of feel-good hormones, which can help ease depression and anxiety, especially during the winter.
3. Give Your Home a Fresh Coat of Paint
While many home projects require cash, not all need a huge budget. A perfect example is a fresh coat of paint. A gallon may be worth £10, and each can already cover about 400 square feet of space.
You can skip getting a professional painter, which may cost you an extra £2,000 if you’re confident you can do the job right. This project is also often non-urgent, so you can tackle one room at a time and consider it a week- or month-long task, depending on your budget and diligence.
In return, new paint may already increase the value of your home. It may increase it by around 2 percent. It may not be much, but you can do some math. Let’s say a house in Bristol can sell £340,000. A 2 percent increase means you can offer it for £6,800—not too shabby when you account for the total cost of painting the space.
4. Get Rid of Clutter
One of the easiest ways to make your home feel big is to showcase more space, and you can’t do that when you have a lot of things lying around. The solution: listen to Marie Kondo and start decluttering.
First, make an inventory of your possessions. Which ones no longer hold value or space in your home? It can be that tattered old couch or the brand-new coffee press you’ve just added to your collection.
Second, decide what you want to do with them. You may no longer want to keep them, but they may still have some useful life left. You can offer them to charity stores, set up a garage sale, sell them online, and donate them to friends and family. If you’re undecided, you can rent storage temporarily.
Third, now that you have more space, consider rearranging the items. More likely, their placement makes the room appear cluttered.
When upgrading your home so that it feels more luxurious and grand, you don’t have to dip into your funds immediately. Begin with activities that don’t cost anything, like decluttering. Then proceed to more cost-effective alternatives.