How To: Renovate on a Budget

Designing our homes as a place to relax, share memories and enjoy is all about how we include our own personal touch within the décor. Taking on the task of renovating your space can be thrilling, but also quite daunting. Especially when we must consider the realistic constraints of that dreaded B word – Budget! 

However, Living Etc magazine recently gathered some interior experts to share their wisdom and top tips when it comes to inexpensive renovations, and I have selected my favourite ideas and suggestions:


Get yourself a notepad and start planning! As a stationery lover there is nothing I love more than starting a new pad with lots of ideas that I can then whittle down to the most imperative. Prioritise what needs done first, what will cost the most, and remember timescales and lead times are key. Once you have jotted all of this down, you can start to plan out your calendar month by month. Focus on the rooms you spend the most time in, such as the kitchen or living space and begin with the walls and flooring. You can build and layer from here, but the starting base of any room is key. 


One way to keep your budget under control is to take things into your own hands. If possible, try painting your rooms yourself, every spare evening or at the weekend – get stuck in. If you have the time to spare, why not? Ottalie Stride also recommends you are brave and watch YouTube videos for advice, taking on the tasks yourself. Leave less to the experts!

There is much to gain from ‘breathing space’ in a room. Invest in key pieces that are handmade rather than mass produced. You will get more value out of them in the long run, and they will therefore be more cost effective – Angus Buchanan


These days we can source great imitation materials that are indistinguishable from the real thing. If you have financial constraints try and utilise these alternatives such as wood, stone, or marble. They are more affordable and will still deliver when it comes to style and finesse. 

However, remember budget does not mean cheap! Louise Lythe from David Collins Studio recommends investing in special furniture pieces by designers that you love.  “Buy pieces that are built to last in classic shapes that won’t date and consider vintage pieces and items made by craftspeople using traditional techniques”. These will stand the test of time not just style wise, but the quality will ensure you can enjoy these pieces for years to come.


Keep an eye out for bargains and sales, particularly if there is something specific you need, wait for any price reductions before purchasing. Facebook marketplace and eBay are great for surprising second-hand items and great deals, plus you never know what unexpected gems you might find.

Pick up great bargains along the way rather than needing to fill a space last minute. Whilst this saves money, it also helps to bring a strong narrative and personality to the space – Shalini Misra