Frugalista hacks for home improvement – 7 lessons to get more for less

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We all like to do some DIY home improvement every now and again – but sometimes, we don’t have the funds to go through an entire renovation process. Instead, we look at home improvement tutorials and wish we had enough money to make all our wildest home makeover dreams come true.

However, what if we told you that you wouldn’t have to smash your bank account to make your house look its best? What if there were some ways for you to get more – all while paying less? Here are a few frugalista hacks for you to make your house look spectacular.

Cost-effective home improvement ideas

1. Paint tiles.

Who said you had to replace all that boring or ugly tiling entirely? Why not paint over it instead? All you need is some painter’s tape, primer and some quality paint. Give the surface an interesting pattern by using painter’s tape or stencils, pick your colour and make your wall and floor tiles look fabulous.

Once you’re done, all you will have to do is wait for it to dry, after which you should consider applying a layer of polyurethane. This will protect the paint and make it much easier to clean.

affordable DIY hacks paint tiles

2. Glow-in-the-dark paint outdoors.

Do you know how much money people spend on outdoor lighting to keep their space lit and easy to navigate? Just one outdoor light fixture can put you out of pocket $50 or more. You’ll have to buy new light fittings, pay an electrician for their installation and you’ll also cover the cost of extra electricity usage. It’s expensive, time-consuming – and in some cases, not worth the trouble.

Instead, invest in some glow-in-the-dark paint and apply it to planters or stepping stones in your yard. The more planters, the merrier. These will light your way through the yard at night – and you will not even have to pay for an electrician or electricity.

3. Update your hardware.

Do your furniture and cabinetry look a tad shabby or outdated? Well, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to buy something new. In most cases, that will end up being quite expensive. However, most of these problems can usually be solved by simply updating your hardware. Remove the old pulleys and handles and install new modern ones. Also, replace the hinges if your doors do not close properly. It’s relatively cheap to buy them from the hardware store, and it will certainly improve the functionality of your storage.

If it’s too expensive to completely replace all your handles and pulls – and they are still in working order – you might want to try painting them instead. All you have to do is buy some spray paint, and it will give them a fresh, more attractive look. However, make sure that you remove the hardware first, before spraying it in a well-ventilated area – otherwise, you might end up getting paint on your cabinets or benchtops.

cheap diy ideas new hardware
22 Derby Street, Balmoral, QLD

4. Paint your furniture.

Alongside updating the hardware of your furniture, you might also want to paint it. In most cases, the faded colour of the furniture is exactly what makes it feel run-down and dated – so get a new on-trend shade to make it look like new.

If your previous colour was a boring brown, paint it a classy and elegant white instead. It will make your home look all the more spacious and well-lit – obviously, giving you a feeling of elegance and cosiness. And the only thing you’ll have to pay for is paint and a paintbrush.

affordable diy home improvements paint furniture

5. Install mirrors on your closet doors.

One efficient way to bring some light into your home and make the place look bigger is to install mirrors wherever you can. Granted, if you want to make a space bigger, the standard step would be to start knocking down walls and extend the room. However, when money is tight, you might want to get creative instead.

Take two thin door mirrors and stack them on the exterior of your closet doors. Once you are done, simply paint the frames so that they match the rest of your décor. You’ll see an immediate improvement in the space – and depending on where you make the purchase from, you might only have to spend about $40 or so on the project.

6. Change your curtains.

Curtains can change the look of your home considerably – particularly if you did not have any before. By simply buying a new set of curtains, you may bring your room up a notch and make it look much cosier.

If you are on a budget, there are countless thrift stores and online marketplaces where you can find some cute second-hand vintage curtains – and many of them look like new. You just have to search patiently until you find the one that fits your fancy the most.

cheap diy hacks new curtains
23 McIlwrick Street, Windsor, VIC

7. Turn an old dresser into a planter.

When you’re trying to live frugally and be environmentally conscious, the last thing that you want to do is throw away your old furniture only for it to end up in landfill. Maybe you have an old dresser lying around in your portable self-storage unit or garage – so, you might want to create more space by putting it to good use.

Simply take it outside, give it a layer of primer and a fresh coat of weather-resistant paint in a colour of your choice, and fill one of the drawers with some soil and your favourite flowers. This way, you will have a new garden feature and a spot to grow your herbs, without having to buy a new planter or throw away an old piece of furniture.

You may be on a tight budget and trying to live frugally – but this does not mean your house can’t look fabulous. You just have to know what new items to buy for your home and how to refresh your old ones. In many cases, it will take a lot of DIY work. Still, with a little bit of patience and practice, you’ll be able to make your home nice and unique – and you’ll barely have to spend anything.

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Renee Wainwright
Renee Wainwright is the gobox Mobile Storage Manager whose years of experience in the industry allow her to provide customised and tailored mobile storage solutions to suit residential, business and corporate customer’s storage and moving needs.

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