Having a small budget for a room, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality or style. One way to overcome a tight budget is to take your time. Taking your time allows you to find the right pieces at the right price. It also means you can do some of the work yourself, which is always a sure way of saving some money.
This room, like every other room in our house, needed so much work doing to it! The ceiling was sagging in places so it needed replacing in parts, that window architrave had to go, as did the old wonky built in wardrobes. Walls needed stripping and plastering, the fire surround taken out, and the multiple layers of carpet removed.
We had to get trades people in to do the ceiling and the plastering. The radiator also had to move because I wanted full length curtains. This meant that even before I had done any decorating the budget was already half gone. So the pressure was on for me to find some bargains that I could work a little homespun magic on. Read on to learn my tips for saving money while creating the look you want.
Tip # 1 – Think outside the box when sourcing fabrics and make some of the soft furnishings yourself.
To make the curtains for this room I needed 27 metres of furnishing fabric. I was walking around Homesense and discovered some French bedspreads. These are a single flat layer of furnishing fabric that lays over the bed and falls to down to the floor. They had 3 king size covers, which was just a tiny bit less than I needed but I knew I could do some tweaking in the making to compensate for this. I got the fabric I needed to make the curtains for £105, saving us £295, which could be added to the huge savings of making the curtains myself.
As well as hand making the curtains, I have also made every single one of the pillowcases and cushion covers on our bed. The savings continue!
Sometimes I love a fabric so much, I have to find ways to use every single scrap. Once I made the cushions with this gorgeous Liberty velvet, I made a few stars to give as gifts – I just had to keep one for myself too!
Tip # 2 – Ask around as people might be wanting to get rid of something that is exactly what you want.
I was working at a school, and they had these old solid wooden cupboards which were being put in the SKIP!!! I was aghast and went straight to the Head Teacher. I was babbling on about…solid wood…don’t make things like that anymore…just need stripping…can’t just throw them away…it’s a crime! She said if I collected them by the weekend, I could take them. A friend and I rented a van and collected four beautiful solid oak cupboards. She now has two and I have two – one of which is in our bedroom as my wardrobe. There were so many of these cupboards, but we could only take four. I stripped off the apricot gloss paint and found the original makers plate, which adds a little charm.
There were a lot of tack marks in this cupboard so I decided to repair and paint it again. I chose Farrow & Ball Pavilion Gray No. 242.
I took out all but the top shelf on one side and hung a rail, and on the other side I left the shelves as they were. It cost £60 to collect and repaint the wardrobe.
Tip # 3 – Use online auction or classified sites to source quality second hand furniture.
I came across a beautiful Arts and Craft hat stand, which I have in the corner of our bedroom. It was bought off ebay for £5. It required nothing more than a dust.
Our bedside tables also came from ebay and they were covered in a very dark lacquer. These solid oak 1950’s bedside tables were exactly what I was after – just the wrong colour and finish. I used Nitromors and took them back to the bare wood. Just a little wax and they were ready to be put to use. A total of £120 for the cupboards, delivery and materials.
Tip # 4 – Search around for vouchers.
There are so many ways of using vouchers and voucher codes. I used my grocery vouchers to buy the tiles in the hearth! In fact, I used my grocery vouchers to buy most of the tiles in our house. I converted Tesco vouchers for Topps Tiles vouchers at triple the value. So these tiles only cost me £15, instead of £45 – only a little saving, but it all adds up!
Tip # 5 – Wait for price reductions.
Sales are a great way of saving money, but savings can also be had by purchasing floor stock. The ceiling light in our bedroom is a perfect example of how patience pays off. I had wanted to replace the ceiling light in our bedroom for years. I was constantly on the lookout but the only one I liked was the Original BTC Pembridge Pendent Light, retailing at £899! I just couldn’t justify paying that much money. Recently I was walking through the lighting department in John Lewis and asked to see the light. The sales person checked the stock levels on the computer and it was saying they had one in stock. She went out the back and returned carrying this beautiful light – it was just perfection! I began mentally tallying up how many months pocket money it would take for me to buy it. But then she said that it was floor stock and was reduced to £350 because it was soiled. So these few little spots of dirt, which were quickly washed away saved me a whopping £549.
Tip # 6 – Have a go at creating some of your own artwork.
The pictures above our bedside tables are cross stitches that I did myself. Simple to do, just taking a little time. There are great creative ways you can do something yourself to put on your walls – painting, tapestry, drawing, lino printing, applique, screen printing, mixed media collage to name a few. Take a course or research methods and look at the work of others. Looking at the work of others is great for inspiration and allows you to pin point what you like and don’t like.
So I urge you, if money is a little tight take your time…look for the potential in items, find bargains and have a go at working on some things yourself. By keeping these tips in mind I have created a room that is uniquely mine, and if you keep these tips in mind you will create a room that is uniquely yours!
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