Cheat your way to a refreshed home

Whether you read home decor magazines, watch home improvement TV shows, or browse the Internet for design ideas, you will have seen before and afters that show how to transform a plain room into a spectacular space on a limited budget and in no time at all. The secret to the success for many of these projects is to cheat... just a bit !


Architectural Detail

There are more than a few days to give your home a refreshed look without spending too much, and while we take the liberty of calling it cheating, it's more about do-it-yourself crafts and DIY that will give your home a new look without the expensive price tag that comes with hiring a designer or forking out for expensive (usually overpriced) accessories and furnishings.

It's simple things like crown moulding, decorative skirtings and added trim here and there that can make a big impact on any room - for less than you might think. Extruded polystyrene moulding and skirtings only cost around R250 for a length just under 3 metres, which means you can afford to decorate an average-size room for around R1000. Not bad when you look at the 'wow impact small items like these can make to a finished project.

Do-it-yourself installation is also easy and painless. You will find everything you need at your local Builders Warehouse, including a selection of polystryrene mouldings, Pattex No More Nails solvent-free adhesive, as well as a mitre box and backsaw to cut everything to length. Plus, you will even find how to instructions for installing cornice or crown moulding, skirtings and  over-skirtings right here on Home-Dzine.



Fake the floor
If you love the look of wood floors but don't have the budget, or are a bit hesitant to install laminate flooring because you're scared they might scratch, perhaps you should take a look at vinyl flooring. Today's vinyl flooring is anything like the vinyl floors of yesteryear. They are soft and durable and warm underfoot. Plus installing vinyl sheet, tiles or planks is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project.

Vinyl floors are known for sheer durability and toughness. And the option to choose luxury vinyl, while more expensive, allows you to choose a flooring that comes within your budget.

Manufacturers have re-designed vinyl floors to fit into 21st century living. You can choose vinyl flooring in sheet, tile or plank with a variety of finishes. Where a real wood floor might be out of reach, you can still add the look to your home with vinyl planks, and the added advantage is that it requires minimal maintenance to keep it looking good for years.

Make no mistake, when properly installed, you really have to look close before you know it's a vinyl floor... so why not cheat a bit !

Frame the room

willey design

Window treatments can cost the earth if you have them custom made, but making your own window treatments means that you can afford to splurge a little more on designer fabrics to get the same look at a fraction of the cost.

Even if you don't own a sewing machine, or have never used a sewing machine, making curtains is one of the easiest projects you can do. With an outlay of around R500 for a basic sewing machine you are still going to come in well under what it would cost to have curtains made. Not to mention that after making your first set of curtains you will be equipped with the experience to make more. Click here for tips on measuring up for curtains.

Even if you don't want to sew your own window treatments, there are plenty more inexpensive options to shop around for. Aluminium and wooden blinds are available at most home decor stores in a variety of colours and styles. Ranging in price from around R100 upwards depending on size, you can easily install these with a drill / driver, some bits and a tape measure and pencil.

There's nothing wrong with using a little do-it-yourself when it comes to refreshing a home. A bit of cheating here and there is not only rewarding, it's an affordable way to get dress a room in designer style on a budget. So do what the experts do and cheat a little!