This post was written in collaboration with Flooring Superstore.
If you’re anything like me, when spring rolls around you start looking at your home with a pretty critical eye. April and May, in particular, are the months in which I get a real urge to purge. Decluttering your house isn’t just therapeutic, it’s an outright necessity for me. I’ve come to accept my ‘collector’s nature’…but that doesn’t mean I can’t challenge it at least once a year!
The thing is, once the great declutter has finished, you’ll find yourself left with another, previously unaccounted for issue. The state of what’s left. Where once sat piles of stuff, now sit scuffed old floors, unkempt walls or mismatched furniture out on show. The cupboard is bare, but so too is your home’s sense of style. So there’s a new problem to solve.
It’s time to fix up your home and freshen it up for the summer. But wait, before you start reaching for the nearest catalogue of flatpack nightmares, you need to take stock of a few things.
That’s right – you’re not exactly rolling in it and hadn’t bargained on forking out for new furniture when the urge to purge your home struck out of nowhere. While you may feel a million times better for being able to see the floor, you didn’t consider having to invest in a new one. Hold that thought for a minute though, as we’re going to talk through how to fix up your home for less. Thrifting is a way of life, you know?
Realistically, how much time can you dedicate to a home improvement project right now? The last thing you want to do is dive in all guns blazing, only to have to stack everything up in a corner and put it all on hold for a week while you go about your everyday life.
Pick a time and put it in the diary. Write it on a calendar, and stick it in your phone. Wherever you record your schedule, block out a chunk of time in the near future and designate it to this project. You’ll know exactly how to fix up your home for less if you plan it in ahead of time, trust me.
Your ability to get it right
This is important. If you rush this endeavour, you’ll almost certainly get parts of it done, but they probably won’t be as you’d hoped. I know, I get it; you want to dive in and strike while the iron’s hot, but that would be a mistake. Your ability to get this right boils down to taking the time to find the right pieces for your home, the best deals and the correct methods that will freshen up your home in time for summer in the right way.
Top tips for getting started
OK, so you’ve blanked out some time to devote to getting this sorted out, now what? Well, luckily for you, I’ve made a list of starting points that will hopefully help you hit the ground running with your home improvements. Rest assured, none of the following advice will require a sledgehammer or a wrecking ball, but it will need you to take time to do some research and decide if they’re suitable for your tastes.
Choose the room or area of your home you want to start with first and focus solely on that for the foreseeable. Make sure, if it’s a huge area, that the rest of your family is on board with a bit of disruption. You really don’t want to wind the kids up further over breakfast than usual, do you?
Step one involves finding inspiration for your freshened-up look. I’m going to be a bit controversial here; most people would advise you to hit Pinterest for ideas. Please don’t do that. Seriously.
I love Pinterest, but if anything, when it comes to home improvements, it can seriously set you up for a fall. Expectations about what’s realistically achievable can skyrocket, and if you don’t have the kind of budget to turn your two-bed semi into a Hamptons-style villa, then you’re going to be left sorely disappointed with a living room that can’t quite measure up.
Ditch the iPad for a minute and just look at what you currently have in your home. Now ask yourself the following questions:
- Was this style here when I moved in?
- Do I actually like it?
- What’s the most urgent thing that needs changing?
- What are my favourite colours?
That last question is an important one. Don’t just pick what’s currently trendy. Pick colours you actually like. This is your home, after all. Make a list of the answers you’ve given and from there you might start to get some ideas about what you want to change first and foremost. With an idea in mind, it’s time to start looking for thrifty ways to get your new look on the go.
I love a bargain, as you all know, so I’ve put together some ideas for you to use and adapt when fixing up your home for the summer. Feel free to suggest some of your own in the comments too, but here are a few simple ideas to get you started.
Remember when you discovered you could now see the floor, but it wasn’t as impressive as you thought? Well, one of the biggest overhauls you can give your home to freshen it up is actually to change up your flooring situation. Yes, I’m aware this sounds like a big task, but nowadays it’s easier than you’d think to change the look of your floors.
If your floors are damaged or stained, your carpets have been looking a bit shoddy for a few years, or even if they’re just ones that were there when you moved in and you fancy a change, then a great way to modernise and lighten up your home is by switching from carpet to laminate.
My kitchen laminate flooring has been down since I moved in, and for me, it’s one of the areas of the home I could easily switch up the look of for summer. If you’re thinking about making the switch then I suggest checking out these great deals on cheap laminate wood flooring, especially as there are some big sale savings to be had until the end of this month.
I really recommend using a mix of both types of flooring in your home, but of course, this is totally up to you. I have both laminate and real wood flooring on the whole of the ground floor level of my house, and carpets on the stairs and top two floors. The main reason? I have a small child and two pets, and it’s way easier cleaning up pet hair (and other assorted spillages) off the laminate and hardwood than it is from the carpet, believe me. Pop a few rugs down in front of the fire in winter and it’s just as cosy as you’d expect from a carpeted floor.
Charity shops are your friends. You can find major bargains in them, and you’re helping good causes too – what’s not to love? You can often find full sets of crockery in there, some of which are so vintage and cool that you could re-stock a whole kitchen shabby-chic style with them! Notable items usually include:
- Tea sets, crockery and kitchen utensils
- Dining room furniture
- Living room pieces
- Nursery furniture and children’s items
One man’s junk is another’s treasure, and you’ll have plenty of money to spare on extras for your home’s new look too!
Sometimes you can lift a surprising amount of darkness from your home just by giving it a full, proper deep clean. Not all of us have the time to do this for ourselves though nowadays. So, once you’ve picked out some new pieces and got an idea of your layout, it’s not a bad idea to hire some help to come in and give a thorough cleaning.
There’ll be no Kim or Aggie-style shaming going on here; most local small cleaning businesses are happy to help and value your business, so don’t be scared to reach out to someone near you to get things off to a sparkling start! You’ll need to budget a little bit for this of course, but to me, it’s a worthwhile investment.
Ask around to see if anyone you know is clearing out their old furniture or has some of the items you’d like. Often, you’d be surprised at what people chuck out to make way for new stuff. My neighbour gave me two beautiful new lamps the other week purely because she’s redecorating her living room and doesn’t need white in her colour scheme anymore. Win-win for us both!
If you need to replace or invest in some new appliances for your home, again I’d suggest checking out some of the larger charity shops for electronics or kitchen white goods. Many of them have been professionally refurbished and often come with a guarantee or warranty of some kind as well. It’s true that not all of the goods you’ll find there will be brand new or top of the range, but when you’re fixing up your home on a budget then that shouldn’t be a huge consideration anyway.
Artificial or real plants
A minor detail, but plants can really brighten up any space. I tend to go for artificial ones for the most part, with the odd real plant dotted around for good measure.
You can find really inexpensive shrubs at local supermarkets or fruit and veg shops, as well as top-quality artificial plants and flowers for really low prices. They’re a cheap but cheerful way to freshen up your home for less.
Personalise your walls
You’ve probably got about 3,000 photos sitting inside your phone, haven’t you? Do something with them! You can print them out yourself and frame them with frames you’ve picked up at the charity shop. Alternatively, you can have them printed professionally online and sent back to you if you prefer, but I’m all about the cost-effective options here.
You can also pick up cheap digital photo frames in the charity shop or at any supermarket, and have your digital photos on display always on anywhere in the home.
Speaking of walls now is a good time to revisit that colour palette you first came up with and see if your walls could do with a fresh lick of paint or even some new wallpaper. However, it’s key to factor all this into your time schedule, and try not to bite off more than you can chew!
Where will you start?
I hope this post has given you some ideas for how to fix up your home for less this summer. I plan to box off a good fortnight of the summer holidays to redecorate my living room and dining room, so I’m in the planning stages now. I’ve also been inspired to revisit my kitchen flooring, but we’ll see if that’s getting a bit too ambitious or not when the time comes.
Have you got any plans to refurbish or redecorate in time for the summer? What kind of style suits your home? Let me know in the comments below and do let me know if you’ve found any bargains too!