Tired of reinventing the sourdough wheel? What about those seemingly never-ending Zoom catch-ups with friends and family?
With the current coronavirus lockdown in place for at least another month, it presents an opportunity for aspiring DIY renovators to flex their creative muscles and spruce up their homes.
Kara Demmrich, one half of the Kyal&Kara home renovation duo that shot to fame on The Block, said people interested in a domestic overhaul need to develop a step-by-step plan.
She said updating one room at a time not only enables households to stay on budget, but makes the process more enjoyable.
“If you break your tasks down, you can use every weekend for one specific area,” Ms Demmrich told The New Daily.
“So, firstly, you might want to tackle your front entry, as first impressions count for so much, then start moving your way through the hallway, your kitchen, bathroom, and then out to the backyard.”
Even the smallest renovation jobs can quickly stack up and add thousands of dollars of value – so here’s some surefire tips to liven up a home on a budget.
Renovation jobs for under $100
Changing your handles
Small cosmetic changes to doors and cupboards throughout the home are one of the cheapest ways to reinvigorate a dated interior.
Carnelian director Kerri-Ann Hooper said local hardware stores – Bunnings and independent outlets – stock numerous styles of inexpensive on-trend handles.
And households should veer towards two aesthetics: Industrial (bronze details) and beachy (earthy and rustic elements).
“Deep coloured cabinetry can be complemented with nice brass handles, or even gold-look handles can freshen up the space,” Ms Hooper told The New Daily.
Purchase some new light fittings
Although trends have moved towards environmentally-friendly down lights, renovators can still find ways to add unique touches with lighting additions that evoke style and sophistication.
Ms Hooper said stockists including Beacon Lighting feature an array of fittings ranging from modern pendants to industrial drop lights.
“For around $60 to $70, you can replace those old brown-coloured glass light fittings that were popular 20 to 30 years ago,” Ms Hooper said.
Liven up the front entrance
Whether you are entertaining guests (once lockdown measures are lifted, of course) or selling your home, first impressions always count.
Although $100 may not radically reshape the front facade, Ms Demmrich believes there are still cost-effective ways to reimagine the front entrance.
“Landscaping is an effective way of sprucing up your home, so prune your trees, remove weeds and update loose fence palings,” Ms Demmrich said.
“Also, $100 can buy you a pot plant or two. Magnolias with those beautiful brown leaves and green contrast are a great welcoming plant, and if you’re after a more coastal look, a strelitzia or a small palm tree.”
Renovation jobs between $101 – $500
Modernise the kitchen
Ms Hooper said a larger budget can afford households a new kitchen cupboard, and perhaps even a revamped sink and fixtures from stores like The Sink Warehouse.
And families looking to modernise stovetops could fit the job within a $500 budget with splashback tiles from Beaumont Tiles.
Clean up your bathroom
Removing the muck and grime can not only uplift a bathroom’s cleanliness, but provide a perfect canvas for a new paint job.
Ms Hooper said brightening up the bathroom can instantly raise its appeal.
“If you’ve got brown or dark-coloured tiles, specific paints can help turn them white – and you can also get a new vanity and taps for $500 as well,” Ms Hooper said.
Paint the entire interior – or exterior, if you’re game
Ms Demmrich said households can repaint an entire interior – or exterior if they are willing to do the labour themselves – on an expanded budget.
Among renovators both professional and amateur, one clear trend is emerging: Whites, and other light-coloured neutrals like greys.
“Nice warm whites are so beneficial because they can completely transform a space, and help to bounce natural light around a room,” Ms Demmrich said.
“But we’re also seeing beautiful soft greys emerging – for example, we just recently painted our studio in a colour called Taubman’s Manorborn.”
Renovation jobs between $501 – $1000
Rip up an old floor
Out with crusty old carpets or tiling, and in with uber-chic timber laminated flooring, says Ms Hooper.
“There’s so many colours and it looks gorgeous, so you can find anything from grey timbers to honey woodgrain,” Ms Hooper said.
“Woodgrains are also proving popular with kitchen cupboards, so having a row of cupboards contrasting with the floor looks spectacular.”
Add new dimensions to an outdoor entertainment area
Giving new life to an outdoor living area can both improve a family’s life satisfaction and increase the marketability of a home.
“People who may potentially look to buy your house can walk out the backyard and see themselves sitting by a newly-built patio, and that’s important because when you put your home up for auction, you’re really trying to sell a lifestyle,” Ms Demmrich said.
She said home renovators should have scope to construct an outdoor paved area to boost their living space, or even a small paved fireplace, on a $1000 budget.