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Budget-friendly home makeover ideas on any schedule
Liven up your living space with these easy decor updates that will take anywhere from a day to a week.
When it comes to remodelling a home, we often can’t help but dream big – because who doesn’t want a walk-in glass shower, marble backsplash and ample storage space? But before you let your design vision overwhelm you, allow it to inspire you to make tiny tweaks that still have a big impact.
Whether you’re tight on time or worried about stretching your budget too thin, we’ve compiled a list of affordable home makeover ideas that can be done on any schedule – from a day, to a weekend, to one week. It’s time to set your decor hesitations to the curb along with that outdated side table, and read on.
For an instant refresh, switch up a space’s furniture placement. Think seasonally: Make your fireplace the focal point in winter and reposition pieces in summer depending on how the light streams in. Don’t be afraid to think beyond a room itself either – that armchair in your living room might look even better in your home office.
Lend a bright new look to your home by displaying eye-catching accessories. Uplift your sofa with playfully patterned toss cushions or scope out a stylish area rug to add comfort and texture to your space.
Think of bookshelves as fanciful art displays that should be carefully curated. Spend a quiet Sunday afternoon arranging your paperbacks by colour or wrapping unsightly book covers in pretty paper. Showcase decorative objets and prints for extra visual appeal. See here for more shelf-styling tips and tricks.
Don’t have time to paint an entire room? Create an accent wall instead to achieve the same decorative punch. Paint the wall a vivid hue or select a graphic wallpaper pattern that demands to be seen. Learn how to design a show-stopping feature wall here.
Wake up tired furniture with a fresh coat of paint. Whether you want to refresh dated cabinets or revamp a dull dresser, new-and-improved furniture pieces will cheer up a room without breaking the bank. Find out how to make this DIY dresser makeover here.
While creating an accent wall can be completed in a day, devoting a weekend to the task affords you the opportunity to be more creative, and you’ll have time to update a few walls. Try your hand at colour blocking or brighten a bedroom with intricate stencils and wall decals like these ones. Urban Walls, $71.66, etsy.com.
You don’t have to rely on marble or glass mosaic backsplash tiles to achieve a timeless look in your kitchen (cue the sighs of relief). Instead, try self-adhesive wall tiles like Smart Tiles. The budget-friendly alternative is simple to install and will still give your space an effortlessly elegant feel. Mosaic Decorative Wall Tile Peel and Stick in Subway White, The Home Depot, $8.97.
Sometimes purging your pad can have just as dramatic an impact as redecorating it. Release yourself from constant clutter by editing every area in your home. Toss tattered items, corral products in stylish baskets and bins and opt for multi-functional furniture. Find 99 more easy organizing tips here.
First impressions are lasting, so spend a few days improving your home’s porch area. Start by painting the front door an energizing hue that suits the exterior (here’s how to choose a front door colour). To enhance the look further, dress up your porch with planters and replace your mailbox, doormat and number signs with more modern styles.
Bedeck your living room with a DIY gallery wall comprised of well-loved prints. Hang art pieces that range in size and shape for added dimension, and choose stylish frames (whether vintage or modern) that complement each other. Once all is said and done, you’ll earn some serious bragging rights. Follow our steps for creating a DIY gallery wall here.
Making a few slight changes to your kitchen and bath will have big payoff. Begin by trading in timeworn hardware for sleek knobs and pulls, and paint your kitchen cabinets if they’re looking a little worse for wear (here’s how). Give yourself time to update other fixtures too, such as the faucets and vanity mirror.
Enhance the look of your dining or family room by adding decorative moulding. It’s an architectural accent that will instantly uplift your space and lend it more character. Now is also the time to consider reupholstering old furniture (get inspired here) and revamping your floors, whether that means refinishing your hardwood (read: sand and stain) or installing new tiles.
Take your bedroom from boring to beautiful with a few creative upgrades. Get crafty by upholstering your own headboard, which creates an eye-catching focal point. For an even easier hack, use a bedsheet as the fabric like we did here. Boost your room’s comfort factor further by adding an area rug, buying new bedding and installing drapery.
Once the weather warms up, our attention quickly shifts to the outdoors. Make your yard more inviting this year with a gorgeous garden path or walkway (materials like natural stone, brick and concrete all work well). Don’t stop there. Take the time to paint your home’s exterior – or at least the trim! – as well as the fence. Other easy tasks include washing the windows, staining the deck and painting outdoor furniture.
Host the most unforgettable holiday party with help from our savvy hostess guide Source: Tracey Ayton
We asked the experts, consulted the pros and tapped into the minds of the most talented to create the ultimate handbook for the holiday hostess.
THROW THE PERFECT PARTY
The dos and don'ts of throwing the perfect party: Find out the ultimate dos and don'ts for throwing a fabulous holiday party from the expert.
SERVE THE PERFECT DINNER
Mark McEwan's 5 tips to serving the perfect dinner: Celebrity chef Mark McEwan is no stranger to dinner parties - both hosting and attending them. Here, he shares his secrets to serving in style.
SET THE PERFECT TABLE
Holiday table setting 101: Easy tips to go from boring to breathtaking
CREATE THE PERFECT COCKTAILS
4 must-try classic cocktail recipes: You may not be a mixologist, but these signature drinks will have guests convinced you've been taking secret bartending lessons.
Drink recipe: Grapefruit rose mimosa: This refreshing grapefruit mimosa makes the perfect holiday brunch beverage.
Drink recipe: Ginger pear Bellini: Serve your classic Bellini with a twist by adding sugar pear and ginger liqueur.
Drink recipe: Satsuma sparkle: Freshly squeezed satsuma gives this champagne cocktail its signature fruity flavour.
Drink recipe: Blackberry lime fizz: Serve this fresh and flavourful champagne cocktail at your upcoming holiday party.
DECORATE THE PERFECT GUEST ROOM
How to decorate the perfect guest room for the holidays: The experts dish their tips on preparing for overnight guests this holiday season.
GIVE THE PERFECT HOSTESS GIFT
14 great gift ideas for the holiday hostess: Get holiday party ready with these gift ideas for your holiday host.
How to: Create accent walls
Looking to create an impact in your space? For an easy and inexpensive way to add a bit of drama to any room, consider creating a feature wall with an accent paint colour. Perfect for highlighting a focal point such as a fireplace or shelving unit, an accent wall commands the eye’s attention.
We checked in with five paint companies to get expert advice on where to feature an accent wall and what colour combinations pair well together.
Photography courtesy of Benjamin Moore
Go dark for drama
Using a vibrant colour on an accent wall is bold, but if you want a touch of drama in your space, go for a dark navy, charcoal or even black. A dark colour looks great against surrounding light walls and crates a space around a room’s focal point, like the fireplace in the photo above.
"When we choose the colours for a room, we try to use a dark colour to add drama,” says Benjamin Moore colour and style expert Sophie Bergeron. “In this case, black and blue walls work well together to add both drama and a sense of airiness. The blue (Gossamer Blue 2123-40) is very fresh and light while the black (Black Satin 2131-10) sets the tone for a more modern setting."
Photography by Stacey Brandford
Switch it up with colour blocking
Not all accent walls have to be a solid hue – get creative with colour blocking by adding a striped wall or a graphic pattern.
“These stripes feature the room’s soft hue alternating with an energetic pop of colour,” says Bev Bell, Beauti-Tone colour expert. “The combination creates a dramatic accent wall with a more cohesive and harmonious feel than if the wall was painted one solid accent colour.”
Photography courtesy of Farrow & Ball
Try a custom wallpaper
For an accent wall with a bit more character, try a graphic wallpaper pattern. Some paint companies like Farrow & Ball custom make their papers using their own paint colours, so you can co-ordinate with the surrounding walls in the room.
“The accent wall has encouraged a more adventurous approach to decorating, providing an opportunity to indulge in colour and pattern without the commitment of covering a whole room,” says Sarah Cole, Director at Farrow & Ball. “Try one of Farrow & Ball’s traditional damask paper designs such as Silvergate or St. Antoine in a contemporary colourway for a modern twist on a classic pattern. For a more contemporary design, try Lotus or Bamboo (shown above) for a really striking accent.”
Photography courtesy of PARA Paints
Use an accent wall to define a living space
Accent colours are great for creating a defined area in a multi-functional space (think open-concept loft or studio apartment). Paint a little nook to create a home office or an inset wall to define your sleeping space like in the image above.
“This bright, bold accent colour (Fresh Berries’ P5079-63) directs the eye to the main focus of the room – the bed,” says PARA Paints Senior Brand Manager Garry Belfall. “Used as a vibrant contrast to the more neutral base colour (Every Girl’s Dream’ P5219-14) as seen on the other walls, Fresh Berries perfectly complements this room and creates a bold, beach-themed oasis where you can escape from reality.”
Photography courtesy of CIL
Add a pop of colour to a black and white room.
Add some life to a neutral room with a bold colour that commands attention. Black-and-white is a timeless colour combination, but adding a vibrant hue gives it a modern edge.
“Cinnabar 50YR 32/460 from CIL is a trendy orange that, when paired with stark white and a graphic black-and white-print, is super modern,” says Alison Goodman, CIL Brand Manager. “When you’re dealing with a predominantly black-and-white colour scheme, a feature wall and its splash of colour is a must-have.”
Beautiful blue laundry room.
We've created a laundry room you could spend all day in – on both a royal budget and a baby one.
1 CANISTER, KSP glass Pasabahce with glass loop handle, Kitchen Stuff Plus, $12. 2 LAUNDRY DETERGENT, The Laundress Delicate Wash in Lady, Soap and Water Everyday, $20. 3 BATH/HAND TOWELS, WestPoint Home cotton Lasting colour in White, Bed Bath & Beyond, $22. 4 WASHING MACHINE, LG 4.6 cu ft. Ultra Large Capacity SteamWasher in Graphite Steel, The Home Depot, $1,048. 5 FAUCET, Powder-coated brass single-lever single-hole Ringskår, IKEA, $99. 6 WALLPAPER, Blue Pattern Tile, artistichomeowner.com, US $90 per roll. 7 CONTAINER, Tin, HomeSense, $8. 8 CANISTER, Anchor Hocking glass Montana with stainless steel lid, Kitchen Stuff Plus, $10. 9 BASKETS, Woven wicker, HomeSense, $17 each. 10 NESTING BASKETS, Seagrass, Canadian Tire, $15 for 3. 11 TURKISH BATH TOWEL, Plain and Simple Home, $74. 12 LAUNDRY BAG, Cotton in Hammam Stripe, West Elm Market, $34. 13 HAMPER, Rattan Sedona, Crate and Barrel, $100. 14 RUNNERS, Blue diamond woven 4' x 2.25', HomeSense, $20 each.
1 CANISTER, Extra Large Glass, Crate and Barrel, $30. 2 LAUNDRY DETERGENT, The Laundress Le Labo in Rose, Soap and Water Everyday, $56. 3 BATH TOWELS, PB Classic Turkish cotton, $29 each; HAND TOWELS, PB Classic Turkish cotton, $19 each, Pottery Barn. 4 WASHING MACHINE, LG 6 cu. ft. Mega Capacity SteamWasher in Graphite Steel, The Home Depot, $1,698. 5 FAUCET, Powder-coated brass Solna Single-Handle Single-Hole Pull-Down Smart Touch, Brizo, $811. 6 TILES, Hand-painted porcelain indoor/outdoor Talavera Poblana Classic C14, Mexican Traditions, $540. 7 CONTAINER, Enamelled metal Clothes Pegs, Soap and Water Everyday, $22. 8 CANISTER, Glass with polished silver lid, Ginger's, $45. 9 BASKETS, Handwoven rattan Jacquelyne Rope-Handled, Pottery Barn, $59 each. 10 BASKETS, Small woven rattan Tamiko, Ginger's, $252. 11 TURKISH BATH TOWEL, Khadi and Co. hand-loomed cotton, Plain and Simple Home, $88. 12 LAUNDRY BAG, Izola canvas Launder With Care, Ginger's, $56. 13 HAMPER, Small woven rattan Tamiko, Ginger's, $286. 14 RUNNER, Polypropylene indoor/outdoor Diamond in Denim & White, Dash & Albert Rug Company, $158.
Spray, scrub, spin dry, starch and start all over again next week – let’s face it, laundry is seldom a labour of love. But luxe products like these make it less of a chore, so soap up! 1 PEGS, Wooden Dolly, Soap and Water Everyday, $20 per pack of 50. 2 LINEN WATER, Compagnie de Provence in Luberon, Keep Me Posted, $19. 3 LINEN WATER, ElizabethW in Lavender, Ginger's, $28. 4 LINEN WATER, Lothantique in Lavender, Ginger's, $23. 5 DRYER BALL, Handmade felted wool, Lynn's Lids, $25 per pack of 3. 6 DRYER BALL, Rubber Hedgehog, West Elm Market, $9 per pack of 2. 7 DRYER SACHETS, Pi'lo lavender-filled, Soap and Water Everyday, $20. 8 DRYER SACHETS, Lavender-filled linen, Keep Me Posted, $10 per pack of 2. 9 SPOON, Wooden, Plain and Simple Home, $18. 10 LAUNDRY DETERGENT, The Laundress Delicate Wash in Lady, Soap and Water Everyday, $20. 11 DRYER BALL, Get Sorted, Home Outfitters, $10 per pack of 2. 12 DRYER BALL, Variations, Home Outfitters, $10 per pack of 8. 13 STARCH, The Laundress Stiffen Up, Soap and Water Everyday, $18. 14 SCOOP, Wooden, Plain and Simple Home, $18. 15 DRYER SHEETS, Caldrea in Black Coriander Lime, Soap and Water Everyday, $15 per pack of 80.
We love the bold yet lighthearted patterns of Talavera Poblana pottery, a tradition that dates back to 16th-century Mexico. It’s such a time-honoured practice that its production is heavily regulated in order to be called authentic. But we’re fans of the inauthentic versions, too. And the tile-look wallpaper? Muy bueno. 1 TILE, Hand-painted porcelain Talavera Poblana Classic C14, Mexican Traditions, $5 per tile. 2 TILE, Hand-painted clay Talavera Poblana Classic C5C, Mexican Traditions, $3 per tile. 3 TILE, Hand-painted clay Talavera Poblana Classic C10C, Mexican Traditions, $3 per tile. 4 TILE, Target Unica glazed porcelain stoneware Bonton in Black and White, Ciot, $22 per sq. foot. 5 TILE, Target Unica glazed percelain stoneware Bonton in Light Blue on White, Ciot, $22 per sq. foot. 6 WALLPAPER, Blue Pattern Tile, artistichomeowner.com, US $90 per roll.
Get to know your hangers before you trust them with your wardrobe! 1 Painted wood Sturdy; shape protects clothes; bottom bar allows suits and matching sets to be stored together. 2 Coated plastic with rubber shoulders Thinner than the average hanger, so you can fit more clothes in your closet; rubber grip on shoulders and bottom bar keeps everything in place. 3 Plastic attachable Another great way to get more into your closet, these hangers can hook onto each other. 4 Maple Sturdy; wide frame helps items like blazers maintain their shape; notched shoulders keep strappy shirts from slipping. 5 Cedar Natural and unvarnished wood absorbs moisture and odours, leaving clothing with a fresh cedar scent. 6 Nylon-coated plastic Super slim and perfect for space-saving; nylon coating prevents slippery fabricsand wide-necked shirts from sliding off. 7 Fabric-padded Perfect for lingerie and lightweight camisoles; smooth material helps prevent snags in silk and satin. Hangers 1 Get Sorted maple Wood Suite in White, Home Outfitters, $10 per set. 2 Coated plastic Slim Grips, Bed Bath & Beyond, $20 per set of 16. 3 Plastic Attachable in white, Bed Bath & Beyond, $6 per set of 10. 4 Maple, HomeSense, $6 per set of 5. 5 Get Sorted cedar, Home Outfitters, $14 per set of 3. 6 Nylon-coated plastic ultra-slim non-slip flocked blue, HomeSense, $17 per set of 25. 7 Fabric-padded, HomeSense, $7 per set of 5.
Might as well face it. We're addicted to plus pure white bath towels. Does anything feel better after a long, hot shower? So fresh, so clean and so pristine -- they're the quintessential start to a successful day. And at the mid-range price point of the Style at Home collection, they're also simply irresistible. BATH TOWELS, Style at Home Solid Colour Cotton in Bright White, Sears, $23.