New Year, fresh house: simple ways to spruce up your abode

Date Wednesday, 24 January 2018 12:00 AM

With Christmas over and the new year just begun, this is a time when homeowners often think about ways they can spruce up their houses. Maybe your house is looking a little dull with the decorations down or perhaps you’ve visited relatives and friends with houses that have had that wow factor. Here are some clever and cost-effective ways you can transform your own house in the new year.


1. Add a lick of paint

A fresh coat of paint on your house’s interior and exterior is the most cost-effective way to refresh your home. With this year’s trending colour palette featuring a wide variety of colours - ochre, terracotta, rust, organic greens and greys – it’s best to play it safe and stick with neutral colours for large spaces and introduce the trending colours as features. If you can’t afford to paint your entire house, consider freshening up your front door with a pop of colour or your front fence with a neutral hue.


2. Revamp your furniture and add second-hand pieces

If your furniture is looking a little tired, sanding it back and repainting it is an easy weekend job. Ask the experts at your local hardware store which paint will work best for your furniture. Re-covering couches is a simple way to give your furniture a fresh look and adding floor rugs and throw rugs allows you to add colour, texture and interest to your living spaces. Cosy luxury and a blending of cultures are this year’s interior trends – think layering, rich colours and creating a sense of warmth and escape.


Keep an eye out for second-hand furniture on online sites like Gumtree and eBay – having an idea of what furniture you need and what will work best in your interior spaces will help narrow your search and save you time online.


3. Update curtains and blinds

If your budget doesn’t stretch to buying order-made curtains or blinds, you’re in luck, as there are now many stores such as Spotlight and Bunnings that sell inexpensive ready-made window treatments. New curtains or blinds will add instant impact to your home and allow you to choose designs that will provide extra insulation or block out light and sun where your old curtains or blinds didn’t. Ready-made curtains and blinds are produced to fit the most popular window sizes and shapes on the market, so make sure you bring your measurements along when you are shopping.


4. Replace fixtures and fittings

Outdated fixtures and fittings can make a house look tired. Make a list of all the items you would like to revamp and make your way through the list as your budget allows. You could start with kitchen and bathroom handles, then move on to taps, shower heads, shower curtains and towel rails and finally lights and ceiling fans.


Buy items when they are on sale and ask your hardware or specialist store if they will provide a discount if you buy in bulk. Some houses, for example, will have six or more ceiling fans and you may be able to save a lot of money by buying them at the same time.


5. Extend your living space to the outdoors

Outdoor kitchens, comfy outdoor furniture and fire pits are all on trend and now is the best time of year to enjoy them. Think about creating outdoor ‘rooms’ or spaces that will work best for your family within your budget.


Second-hand outdoor furniture can be bought cheaply and can be revamped by sanding down any old paint or rust and applying new paint in the colour of your choice. Add some inexpensive cushions and colourful décor items to create a happy space for you and your family. While the top-of-the-range fire pits can cost thousands of dollars, there are fire pits to suit every budget and you can pick up a brazier-style fire pit from Bunnings for under $50.


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