You may have listened to last weeks podcast where Kim was talking about how we were renovating the front room on the cheap, reusing as much as possible.
In fact, she didn’t buy any new furnishings except block out curtains and sheers, and managed to get those for a quarter of the price that we were quoted locally.
Anyway, the biggest saving was the reuse of some old bookshelves that we converted into a massive wall unit. Kim had been looking online for something, but she soon realised that instead of getting something new, we could make do with the units we had and upcycle them.
But I will let Kim walk you through the reno.
Hi everyone. Since the new double glazing was fitted and the glass brick window, we have been saving like crazy to finish off our living room. Along the way we managed to collect hand-me-downs to decorate the room.
We painted with low VOC paint and used natural oils on the wooden window frames.
Bunch of silk flowers that a friend was throwing out, a bit of a dust and clean and they are as good as new.
Our beautiful double glazed windows with curtains and sheers. I have not had curtains for over 18 years but my goodness with the blackout on the back of the main curtains the room stays pitch black when the sun rises in the mornings (great insulation as well for the windows – Gav).
Cushions are also saved from being thrown out, gifted from friends.
I was looking at buying a new wall unit but could not justify the cost. The three bookcases were purchased back in ’97 so decided to give them a new look. So after giving a sketch to our carpenter handyman he joined them together for me and fixed onto wall. Not only does this give us more insulation in the house but also additional shelving (instead of $3000 for new units, it cost us about $150 to fix the bookshelves to the wall and fit the little shelves – Gav).
Gavin made me some shelves to fit on the tops and I have used that space too (made from scraps of ply – Gav).
I thought it would be great to have some lighting behind the unit and decided that the cheapest option was LED push lights. They look really great and provide us with some great lighting in the evenings (we even used rechargeable AAA batteries – Gav).
Now Kim is far too modest to tell you, but her artwork is amazing. The wall in the photo below is all her own work. Mainly ink drawings of historical buildings she has visited, and a beautiful spanish dancer. She certainly has some talent. Even the artwork cost us very little!
So there you have it. If you try hard enough you can renovate a room on a budget by reusing as much as possible. Work that could have cost us many, many thousands, only cost us a few thousand. That included a lot of plaster work due to cracked walls that had shifted over time and split. We also had to fill in the hole left behind when we removed the gas wall furnace. And of course the cost of the paint and natural oils for the wood.
As this is the biggest room in the house, we must have used about 6 litres of undercoat, 6 litres of ceiling white, and 10 litres of colour. Paint is not cheap, especially when you opt for a more environmentally friendly variety.
Do you try to reuse furniture and furnishings when you renovate? How do you keep the costs down?