Home renovation is neither cheap or easy, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I know I for one want to gut a new place as soon as I lay eyes on it and have to willingly hold back on buying everything brand new, and literally within the first month. Anyone else?
There is still plenty of opportunities to refresh your home without breaking the bank, or a sweat. Here are 6 easy cosmetic changes that you can make to your interiors that will make a markable difference.
There is something about panelling that can absolutely lift the walls of any room in a home. It’s relatively simple to do and there are SO many useful videos on Instagram and youtube on how to do it.
Panelling is a cost effective way to add depth and character to a room, whilst it can be done as much or as sparingly as you want. In the right setting it can create a luxe look to any setting. Often blank walls without anything on them can look extremely bland and boring, like they lack something. There are many different ways to panel a wall, the below example would look best suited to a living room or bedroom. You can leave it as it is or add artwork in between the squares of panelling to inject some colour into the room.
2. Change Your Sockets & Switches
I spent years with plug socket shame until I realised that white, cheap plastic wasn’t my only option. The devil is in the detail and sockets and switches are two of the most appraised items in an interior. Stat. Making that switch from white plastic to a metal finish makes an absolutely huge difference. AND it can actually add value to your property by refreshing them throughout.
This is definitely not one of the cheapest ways to freshen up your interior, but it’s one you won’t ever regret. I adore Soho Lighting for their sockets and switches. Antique brass and brushed brass are two of my fave finishes as they’re incredibly versatile, but well suited to period properties too.
The thing with sockets and switches is that you can change them room by room when you want. I only updated mine in my kitchen to antique brass to start with but it made the BIGGEST difference! And can we just take a moment to talk about screws? You don’t realise how unsightly they are until you don’t have them. Screwless > screws. Any day.
3. A Lick of Paint
There’s no quicker way to refresh an interior than with a lick of paint. An all white interior can be refreshing, but over time it can look bland and lack personality. Choosing whites with an undertone can help to create that warmth whilst actually helping to brighten a room. There is a common misconception that bright white paint can make a room feel lighter, and bigger. Picking the ‘right’ white is no easy feat as it’s available in so many different colours. My best advice is to gather paint charts, most will display paints in line with other colours that would complement them because of their undertones.
Opting for paints that are all in the same group of undertones will keep a home consistent, modern and airy. I was that person that always thought bright white was best so it was a game changer when I worked this out. There is nothing to fear when it comes to introducing colour into your home, just do it in a guided way from the most neutral shade in the collection and work with it.
4. Change Cabinetry Handles
Refreshing the handles and knobs of your cabinets from the kitchen to your bedroom is such a small, and affordable change that is incredibly effective. Like sockets and switches, it’s an item that is appraised and touched on a daily basis. They might as well look amazing too. Function is important, but come on, they’ve got to look great too. I think B&Q is great for cabinetry handles which are beautiful and affordable. If you’re looking for a more vintage look, head to vintage antique fairs and pick some up on your travels. They don’t always have to match.
5. New Skirting & Architraves
Asides from paint, there is nothing that will lift an interior quicker than new skirting boards to replace tired, unattractive skirting and architraves. There are so many different styles of skirting board to choose from, but it’s best to take lead from your own personal taste and the period of the property. For example, a Georgian property you want to opt for a much higher, ornate skirting board.
They will make a room look so much more finished. It’s not the cheapest change to make to a home but it will make a massive difference.
6. Add New Lights
There’s nothing as scary as those ancient light fittings that seem to get left behind when a house is sold. When sellers tick the lighting as part of the sale in the fittings form like it’s something we should be thankful for. Refreshing the light fittings doesn’t have to be expensive. It will always be slightly cheaper to opt for a new light shade and bulb then an entire fitting with a ceiling rose.
Don’t forget to pay attention to the bulbs too! The colour temperature of bulbs is so important to ensure you get the desired look in your home. 1800 kelvins for a light bulb is a warm, orangey light which is perfect for creating an ambient setting such as in a living room. A daylight white bulb such as 4000k is well suited to rooms where high precision and clarity is required such as in an office, or garage. The right colour temperature can make or break an interior so make sure you look out for the number followed by K or kelvins, this is the colour temperature.
A new home can be overwhelming, but stop it from becoming a money pit and start with the smaller jobs first that can make a big difference whilst you prepare for the rest of the renovations.