4 ways to make your space a home for under £100

One of the perks of being a Dot Dot Dot Property Guardian is that in a lot of our properties you have the creative freedom to paint and renovate your space as you see fit (as long as it doesn’t affect structural integrity). You wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to live in your own, fresh space for what could be years (yes some of our guardians have been with us for years!). The question is; what are the quickest and most cost-effective things you can do to renovate a room? Well, below you’ll find 4 fun things you can do quickly and easily to make your space a home for under £100.

1. Fresh Paint

Painting your property is a great starting point to spruce up things in a quick and cost-effective way. A good paint job is a great way to add character and personality to your home, but will also help defend against weather, insects and other damage, so it’s the perfect place to start!

First pain(t) point is cost. Painting a room or entire flat can be expensive, but in the UK Dulux has created the Community RePaint scheme. There are plenty of locations around London and the UK, with many of them offering free paint, or paint for just £1 – £2 per litre. Each of the schemes is run independently and they’re all not-for-profit so any money raised goes back to the local community!

The second pain(t) point is the time and effort it takes to paint a room. If you’re someone who loves the smell of mineral turpentine and gets genuinely excited about masking tape then skip this part. However, if you’re like me and think house painting is like looking at a wall for hours on end, because well, that’s what it is – fear not, we have found the quickest and most pain-free way to paint your place in a day here!

 2. Picture Frames & Unsplash Prints

So you’ve added a fresh coat of paint to the walls, and now you’re thinking “how do I cover up this beautiful paint job with someone else’s artwork in the cheapest way possible”? Well, once again you’ve come to the right place, and sure you might see the above image and think you can create that look on a budget. Well, you’d be wrong, keep reading.

First things first, the frames. If you have a bit of extra budget, you can head over to Ikea or Wilko and pick up frames relatively cheaply. However, if you’re thrifty and resourceful, a quick peruse of Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree using the search terms “Ikea Picture Frames” (Or something similar) you’ll actually find the exact frames, usually unused for at least half the price.

Now you’ve picked up some cheap frames, that’s the easy part sorted. Next, you need to work out what you want to stare at, and more importantly what images are going to make you seem tasteful and distinguished to your hipster friends from the East-End. Don’t worry once again we are here to help. Firstly, I’d like to introduce you to our good friend Unsplash.com. Put simply, Unsplash is a site for high quality “stock photography” that doesn’t look like “stock photography” that you can use for FREE, you don’t even need to sign up. If it sounds too good to be true it isn’t, all you need to do is search whatever you are looking for in the search terms and you’ll be presented with a myriad of amazing images from artists around the world.

Next, you’ve measured up your frames and decided what photos you’d like to impress those “artsy” friends with, now you need to get them printed. Our pick here is Snappy Snaps, for high quality and affordable photo printing services. Finally, lay the frames out on the ground to get the layout right, and then put them on the wall – done!

3. Indoor Plants

Other than looking great, house plants are good for your health. How? Simple, they oxygenate the air, and remove harmful toxins by up to 87 per cent as shown in extensive research carried out by NASA! Plants, however, can be expensive if you don’t know where to look. The first place to start would be to jump onto Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree and search “indoor plants” where you’ll find plenty of people attempting to offload plants at ludicrously cheap prices. If you live in London, you could also like the @PlantsforallUK Facebook page. Here you’ll find a monthly event held in Central London for plants at crazy low prices.

4. “Upcycling” Second Hand Furniture

Now to fill your space with furnishings that an Ikea catalogue would be envious of. The best part is these pieces will have something new furniture will never have – character! We love the Freecycle website, but you can find affordable second-hand furniture on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. Our tip would be to focus on key pieces that you base your other smaller pieces, like plants, around.

These are just a few helpful tips to kick start your life as a Dot Dot Dot Property Guardian. Remember before you buy new, check Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace because chances are the same item will be a fraction of the price! If you’re struggling to work out how to fit all of these pieces together, stay tuned for our blog on how to style a room with mismatched and eclectic furniture coming next month. In the meantime check out our other blogs on making your space a home here.