How to Transform Your Home (Into Your Dream!) on a Budget

by Vincent King · 4 comments

The same walls.
The same floor.
The same stinking everything!

You’re sick of looking at it. You want out. Now.

But moving to your dream home isn’t an option.

So what do you do? You can’t stay miserable, but you CAN change your perspective. That doesn’t mean accepting where you are; it means accepting that you can change things for the better immediately.

Though your budget is limited, with a little research and elbow grease, you can still afford to make the changes you’d love to see in your current space.

Start with your list. Make a list of your absolute must-haves, your things that can fit in this space (architecturally speaking), and your negotiables. Then, start researching to find everything you want to add or change in your home.

Here are four steps that will lead you to your dream home transformation:

1. Do Your Research

Pinterest is my wife’s favorite place to research our renovations. I’d say the social media site is responsible for 93% of our household’s upheaval (almost always a welcome disruption).

Search Pinterest for the qualities that interest you: black and white, small spaces, country cabin — whatever you want, you’ll find a pinboard.

Create a separate pinboard for your found treasures. You can make it private for only you, or public for others to share. Whenever you find a do-able idea, pin it to that board so you’re organized when it’s time to apply what you’ve learned.

Of course, Pinterest isn’t the only place to research, but it is the most elegant, convenient, and visually appealing eye candy out there. Alternatively, you can look for Glossies, too. But, you’ll find more targeted results on Pinterest.

An up-and-coming site is Houzz.com. When you sign up, you can create your own ideabooks and, as with Pinterest, save your favorites to one book for later reference.

2. Get Selective

Once you’ve done your research, break it down. Go through your pinboard on Pinterest, or your ideabook on Houzz, carefully searching for the looks you love most and that flow best together. No need for keeping those you don’t like as much as you did when you pinned them.

Start visualizing your space decorated as you see it. Keep in mind that we’re talking about dream house changes here. We’re not just talking a little paint and moving the couch over five feet. What do you really want to see happen?

Take out the ideas that aren’t feasible for your budget or home layout, then compile what you have left into a single notebook or pinboard. Email yourself the link (if you don’t have the Pinterest or Houzz apps on your phone), so you can access your ideas while shopping.

3. Hit the Bricks

Once armed with your ideas, hit the pavement to start your project. Take care of construction stuff first, of course. If you can do it on your own (realistically), then do. Make time and invest the next months in creating the atmosphere you really need to see in your home. If you can’t, don’t try — the last thing you want is to start something you may not finish.

If you can’t do it alone, look into handymen in your area, interview college students, and, even check Houzz’s listing of pros in your area. Get prices and references. If you go with a student, don’t hesitate to lead the project. They’re new and likely don’t know how to handle projects from A -Z.

4. Go Shopping!

Now that the construction is almost done, hit the shops. Look for clearance and consignment items — and don’t forget about garage sales!

Transforming your house takes time and energy, but you’ll end up with a home you adore, rather than one that bores you. Best of all, you’ll have saved yourself from buying a new home you can’t really afford.

Have you renovated your home? What are your tips?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Start by choosing your favorite color and paint the apartment in that color, cheap and easy. Sean, it is much easier to decorate the flat.

  • Robin Williams says:

    Great points shared! Renovating house can be really fun but it is a very tiresome job. Therefore, it is important to make a proper plan for starting the work.

  • Renovating a house can be fun! Fixing all those things that annoy you in a house to something you like and I agree, research can’t be emphasized enough if one is to find the best deals without breaking the budget. Maybe to add, seeking the advice of a professional friend in the construction industry wouldn’t hurt, well, if you know one. Makes renovating all the more worthwhile.

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