Revamp your home for less!
Interiors whizz Sam Taylor-crooks – owner of home blog Dove Cottage – shares her tips on how to give your pad an Instagram-worthy look on a budget
Without the budget for luxe lamps and plush blinds, our dream home can often seem out of reach. Luckily, interiors blogger Sam Taylor-crooks is on a mission to make beautiful homes accessible to everyone. Sam says, “Just because you’re renting, on a tight budget, or (like me) are not currently living in your ‘forever home’, it doesn’t mean you can’t live in beautiful surroundings.” Here are Sam’s secrets to creating your dream digs on a shoestring…
“I never buy anything without doing my research first and can often find something almost identical for less”, says Sam. “The shopping tab on Google is a great way of doing this quickly. I love the supermarkets – particularly Sainsbury’s and Tesco – for stylish, high quality and great value accessories. And budget stores such as B&M and Home Bargains are great for the really on-trend bits. Aldi’s special buys, especially their luxury candle dupes, are amazing too. One of my favourite finds is some ladder shelves which have really transformed my small, bland bathroom. I stumbled across them in Ikea’s garden section – I think they were originally intended to house plant pots!”
“I’ve found so many bargains on ebay – it’s not just somewhere for unwanted Christmas gifts,” says Sam. “A footstool that sits in pride of place in my living room was made-to-order by a seller on ebay using Laura Ashley fabric. At just over £100, it was a third of the cost of designer ones I’d been looking at.”
“There’s nothing I won’t revamp with a slap of paint”, reveals Sam. “I always recommend using chalk paint. Rust-oleum Furniture Paint is my go-to for great value – it’s really thick and can be painted on to most surfaces with no need for sanding or priming. Just make sure you use a wax on top to seal the paint and prevent chipping. I also use a small roller rather than a paintbrush to avoid brush strokes.” Also check www.ikeahackers.net for loads of ways to upcycle IKEA stuff.
LOOK AT TINY DETAILS
“Sometimes, doing something as simple as changing the handles can transform the look of a piece of furniture with very minimal cost” says Sam. “Try hardware stores like Homebase or B&Q for cheap but beautiful doorknobs and handles.”
MAKE YOUR OWN
“I have limited DIY skills but I’ll always have a go at recreating something before shelling out”, insists Sam. “In the past I’ve made an upholstered headboard (stapling fabric on to plywood) for a quarter of the price of a shop-bought one, spray-painted an £18 Ikea trolley to create a glam bar cart, and even used pine planks and glue to make my own Victorian-style wood panelling.” Check Pinterest and Youtube for ideas.
The ladder shelves have been as re-imagined bathroom storage