5 home improvement ideas for any budget

There’s something about a new year or new season that gets people planning for the future. Regardless of your budget, if improving your home is on your list in the next 12 months, you’ll find an idea here

dark green living room
(Image credit: David Wooley)

Short on time and funds? Introduce a new colour scheme 

If you’re after something cost-effective and quick, you can create a fresh new vibe in your home by introducing a new colour scheme. This isn’t about complete redecoration, it’s more about working with what you’ve got and making small changes, and the beauty of this option is that it fits the most varied of budgets.

Introducing pops of colour, new textures or stylish accessories can create feelings of freshness and cosiness in a space that may have previously felt tired and dated.

You could add smaller items like a new throw, clock or vase, invest in new bath towels or bed linen, or even add a couple of simple paint effects.

Even if you just pick one room at a time to focus on, the mood-lifting benefits of this small change can make the world of difference. 

You could always try moving your furniture around to increase the impact of these small changes.

 Strapped for cash and feeling stressed? Declutter 

At various points throughout the year, many of us start to feel a little claustrophobic in our homes, whether that’s due to busy schedules preventing effective organisation, or just the easy accumulation of more stuff. The thought of decluttering can be incredibly daunting, but it is possible with these handy tips

To declutter your wardrobe, try this reverse hanger hack from decluttering expert Anita Birges. This will give you a clear picture of what you actually wear and help you decide which items to donate to a charity shop or sell on Ebay

cluttered wardrobe

(Image credit: Istock)

To declutter your kitchen cupboards, effective utilisation of space is key. Think Russian dolls. If you can store something inside something else, you’ll free up space and help keep yourself organised. Be ruthless, if something is broken or your have surplus items (will you ever need two slow cookers?), either give them away or sell them. 

A useful tip to help keep drawers organised it to practice the ‘one-in-one-out’ principle – thus ensuring that you never over-pack your drawers again. If you buy something new, you have to give away something older to make way for it.

Doesn’t cost a penny, but the rewards on your peace of mind will be priceless! 

 Stuck in a style rut? Decorate 

how to paint a wall

(Image credit: Real Homes)

Quite often, you make one change in your home and it highlights a multitude of other changes you want to make. A fresh coat of paint on walls often draws attention to doors that could do with a bit of a spruce, a carpet that has seen better days or peeling wallpaper that needs to be replaced.

When it comes to decoration, preparation is as key to getting a professional-style finish – follow these handy tips to ensure you’re using the right tools and techniques for the job.

Smaller spaces can usually be completed in a weekend (and if you do it yourself, it’s great cardio!)

For those on a tighter budget, just repainting the walls can make rooms look much fresher, while if you’ve got a larger budget, you could go whole hog with new flooring, window treatments and furniture.

You could try something light and airy or something dark and atmospheric –the world is your oyster!

dark green living room

(Image credit: David Wooley)

By using the same colour for the walls, floors, sofa and even the windows, this dark backdrop acts like a blank canvas for colourful paintings and accessories 

 Looking to add value? New kitchen/bathroom 

If you’re thinking about something more substantial than redecorating, these handy tips will help you make the most of a kitchen or bathroom project, which, if done well, will add to the value of your home. 

You’ll need to consider layout, style, whether you need planning permission (or if you can do the work under permitted development), as well as finding the right people for the job.

If you need more space, see if you can rework the existing space before thinking about extending.

If you are looking to keep costs down, consider what you can reuse. For example, you could add new cupboard doors and worktops to your existing kitchen carcass, giving you a great new look for a fraction of the price of a new kitchen. 

 Desperate for more space? Extend 

If reworking your existing space doesn’t work for you, then it’s worth considering extending, to add both space and value to your home (don’t forget that there will be a ceiling value to your home, so research the sale prices of similar properties nearby to ensure your are adding more value than the expenditure).

If you want to extend, you may be able to do this under your permitted development rights instead of needing planning permission, but do check before you start (Planning Portal is a useful resource).