Monday, 13 July 2020

25 easy DIY projects to update your home yourself

How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

Want the home you've always dreamt of but not got the big budget to do so? You're not the only one! My small, modern first home might not be the country cottage or Victorian townhouse of my dreams, but I haven't let that stand in my way, instead taking to upcycling and DIY to hack my way to my dream home - all on a tight budget, of course. I might not have the kitchen of dreams, or an amazing period style living room, but there's lots you can do with your own two hands to improve your home.

25 ways to DIY your dream home

Upcycle old furniture (or charity shop bargains!) 

I promise you can transform almost anything with a lick of paint! My favourite find ever was a vintage writing bureau for a complete steal at just £7.50 (exactly how I transformed it below), and my first dining table and chairs was a hand-me-down after sitting in my parents garage for years. Be patient when searching sites such as eBay - something else will always come up so don't pay over the odds for a popular listing. Another good tip is to hunt out listings that contain typos in their title - spell words wrong deliberately when searching as there's lots of bargains to be had on listings others haven't found!

Chalk paint is your friend! There's not many things in my home I haven't used my favourite chalk paint on. It can literally transform anything - so you're not stuck with that furniture you no longer like! Use it on melamine, glass, or lacquered wood to give any piece of furniture a new lease of life - no sanding or prep work needed! Don't forget to apply wax afterwards to prevent chipping.

How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

Even my mdf wardrobes haven't been saved from the paintbrush treatment - exactly how I transformed them and all the products I used can be found here.

How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

Keep up with trends the cheap way 

Fallen in love with something but can't quite stretch to it right now? Why not DIY your own? I'll often have a go at recreating something that's out of my budget - and who doesn't love having a fun project?! Think outside the box when creating something - I've previously made my own sunburst mirror from wooden dowels, turned a cheap metal trolley into a glamorous bar cart using spray paint, and created my own outdoor bar from wooden crates.

Have a read of my favourite 30 DIYs here - all completed for a few pounds too.

Shop your own home

Want to refresh your boring old sofa cushions and bring them more up to date with the latest trends? You don't always have to buy new - why not dye them another colour using fabric dye, or add some detail to give them a new lease of life. I did just that to two plain £2.50 cushion covers and some pom poms here - and it took me a couple of hours to do.

Shop your own home and think outside the box - I bet there's something sat in that plastic bag awaiting a charity shop run that you could transform into something new.

How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

Hack yourself some built in cupboards

You don’t need to be a carpenter to do this either - why not hack some Ikea bookcases by adding moulding for a budget way of adding stylish built-in storage?

Update floors and doors

Something I think always think makes a huge (and often overlooked) difference to a room is floors and doors. If you're handy hanging new doors is a budget way of updating a space, and even if you're not that keen on DIY, replacing a vinyl floor is one of the easiest transformations I've done myself. Exactly how I did it is here, but it's totally doable for a novice DIY-er and £50-odd.


How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

Panel walls to add a character to a feature-less room

If you’ve got a more modern home like me, it can sometimes feel like you haven’t got much feature to work with. Why not add some of your own with DIY panelling using mdf or pine strips (exactly how I DIY-ed mine here), or if you’re feeling braver, you could add stud wall to create a chimney breast - the ultimate addition of character. I've previously shared some other ideas for adding character to a modern home here.

Paint tiles or cupboards for an instant refresh

One of the best things I’ve done in our home is to paint the kitchen tiles full DIY tutorial, tips and everything I used to do it here - its given a very run-down space a new lease of life. And for just a tenner too, you can’t argue with that can you? You could do paint your cupboards too - just make sure you do all the prep work necessary first as a kitchen is obviously high-traffic area and you don't want your hard work chipping.

How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

Revamp the front of the house

Repaint your front door in a bright colour, weed your front garden, add some new hardware such as knocker, hang a hanging basket up, and pop some flowers in pots either side of the door. It'll make the world of difference, I promise.

Update window treatments 

Rethinking your window treatments can have a big impact on a room. Replace your blinds, or even add some stylish shutters - we fit our shutters ourselves and they've given our very unattractive conservatory a new lease of life. If you're going for curtains, choose full-length regardless of the window size. It'll make your ceilings appear higher, and give the impression of more space.

How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

Add soft lighting

Overhead lighting and spotlights can be harsh, so by adding some table or floor lamps you can create a softer,  atmospheric feel to a room. If you're blessed with a large open plan home, then using pendant lights, for example above a dining table or breakfast bar, can be a great way to create different 'zones' within the space. 

Think about the little details

Styling your space can make a huge difference, think about the colours you’ve used within the room, and choose complimentary colours within your accessories. Keep it simple to prevent things looking cluttered, and when styling items stick to the rule of three as a good start. More on that and some styling tips, including ideas for styling different areas in your home in this post here

There's no need to spend a fortune on accessories either - I've made a lot of my bits by hand, meaning I can update a space for just a few pennies. I've got 20 DIY tutorials in my Weekend Mini-Make series here

How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

Refresh the paintwork

Always the quickest and simplest way of giving a room a quick refresh - touch up any scuffs on the walls (or little fingerprints!), and freshen up your woodwork to give your home a quick-fix lift. If you fancy a change, dark woodwork seems to be everywhere at the moment and always looks super stylish, especially when paired with light walls.

Change hardware 

Changing your kitchen cupboard handles can have a big impact too. You can pick up new handles pretty cheaply online, or in hardware stores, or even spray paint your existing ones for a quick-fix.

Disguise what you can't replace

If you can’t replace, then disguise. Pop a wooden cover over an ugly radiator, or simply paint it a bold colour to compliment the rest of the room. Layer up with rugs to hide an ugly floor, and paint furniture you can’t afford to replace. There’s always something you can do to improve an item before you shell out for something new!

How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

How have you transformed your home with DIY?

Thanks for reading,
Sam Xx

How to use DIY to transform a home on a budget - with ideas for lots of easy, simple and cheap projects you can do to create your dream home. From upcycling, to making your own accessories, updating lighting and replacing floors

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5 comments

  1. Some great tips, your home always looks fab x
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  3. What paint have you used in the bedroom? I love the pink!:)

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