Recently I shared with you photos of my bedroom makeover. As probably anyone else, who lives in a rented house I had to face the following challenges:
– Restrictions made by the owners. Luckily mine were quite flexible and allowed be to change the walls and ceiling finishes, however it doesn’t always happen.
– If you rent a house with furniture already, you have to accept that this is a given, so you can’t change it or get rid of it.
– And the last and probably the most important challenge is the money issue, as many of us wouldn’t want to invest a lot of money in the refurbishment, if the house is not our property.
Today, I will mainly talk about the last point and will share some tips, where you can cut your costs when decorating a rental.
Where to save:
1) Does the brand really matter?
When I was choosing the paint for my bedroom, I asked the vendor for more budget friendly options. He recommended me the paint which was made on the same factory as one famous brand and he assured me that the quality is more or less the same. Since my bedroom is divided in two areas, I decided to paint them differently to visually enhance this separation. Out of curiosity I took that famous brand for one area and then the cheaper version for the second. What can I say? I didn’t notice any major difference. Looking at my bedroom, can you tell me which section is covered with the paint which is twice more expensive than the other?
2) Look for bargains
Talk to the vendors, tell them that you refurbish a rental and you want to do it on a budget. When I came to choose a standing mirror, I initially got a quote for 80 dollars but when I said that I am renovating a rented apartment, the vendor showed me a wonderful mirror human height with a tiny scratch on the back which I didn’t even notice and said he will give me it for … 12 dollars! Now looking at this wonderful mirror, can you tell me where this scratch is? I will not exaggerate by saying that actually only I know about it.
3) Save on materials
We all know that natural generally costs more than artificial. In interior design there are several areas where you shouldn’t save on materials at any cost. For example, I will not be able to sleep on synthetic fabrics. However, back to my mirror. I could have ordered a fancy frame made from natural wood, which would cost me a fortune. What I did, I ordered a fancy frame, but made from plastic. Now, honestly, can you really tell me about it from a glance?
Expose your creativity and step into the crafty world. I had to hire a tailor to make a headboard for my bed, but if I had a sewing machine, I am sure I could do it myself.
5) Flea Markets
It is amazing what kind of objects you can find sometimes on flea markets, garage sales and antique shops. You can purchase something really unique without paying a lot of money for it. Thus, I got a vintage suitcase actually for free: the shop keeper gave me it as a present when I bought an antique chest of drawers. Now I use it as a bed side table.
6) Save on the hidden side
The backside of my headboard is made from fabric left overs: tailor just sewed them together. Sometimes it is very easy to save on the backsides and hidden corners by using cheaper materials there.
Where not to save:
Looking for everything cheap I bought: 1) paint brush so soft that it was ruined after 5 minutes of use, 2) spatula made from iron and not from steel so it was all covered with rust, 3) roller so inconvenient that my hands were all aching after painting. As the result I had to come back to the shop and buy everything again, now more quality. Remember, cheapest is the dearest.
Beautiful curtains, cushions and throws will create unforgettable atmosphere at your house. I am not talking to go to Rubelli or Etro, completely understand that not everybody can afford it. But searching for fabrics, choose the quality ones, preferably made from natural fibres. They will last and they will make a huge impact in the room.