Add style to your home on a budget

by Francesca
  • 69% of homeowners would like to make improvements to their current home[1]
  • Sales of paint, wallpaper, home furnishings and compost soared during lockdown, as homeowners opted to tackle long-awaited DIY tasks[2]
  • Online mortgage broker, Trussle has teamed up with interior design blogger, Katy Orme of Apartment Apothecary to launch the ultimate guide for ‘home improvements on a budget

Months spent at home during lockdown and cancelled holidays this summer mean we have spent more time at home than ever before. Our homes have never been so multipurpose, transforming from a relaxing haven to an office, gym, conference room and even a classroom within 24 hours. It’s therefore no surprise to see that lockdown has kickstarted a nationwide trend of home improvement[3].

DIY stores were one of the first to show signs of recovery following a nationwide lockdown earlier this year, with a 42% rise in sales at household goods stores, such as hardware, furniture and paint shops.[4] Proud homeowners have flocked to social media platform, Instagram, to share their newly painted kitchens (934,08 hashtags (#s)s), re-decorating endeavors (203,314 #s) and upholstered furniture (245,223 #s).[5] It seems that updating home décor, completing long-awaited DIY tasks and refreshing interior design styles has come to the forefront for homeowners who were instructed to stay at home.

In the current climate, many people’s finances are stretched as the UK enters a recession for the first time in 11 years.[6]  With this in mind, many homeowners are looking to cut down on their outgoings to save for home improvements. One way that could reduce monthly outgoings is to remortgage, and Trussle’s research found that almost 1 in 7 homeowners are considering remortgaging their property for home improvement[7]. On average, homeowners who remortgage with Trussle and switch to a better deal can save up to £344 a month[8], more than enough to dust off your interior design skills and renovate your home!

To help add style to your home on a friendly budget, online mortgage broker Trussle, has teamed up with interior design blogger, Katy Orme of Apartment Apothecary, to share some top tips for a clever, effective, and quick home makeover! To read the full guide, visit

1.      Create a dual-purpose room

Working from home has become the norm for many during lockdown, and there are a number of ways to create an effective dual purpose room that looks good and works well.

Keep the style cohesive

Firstly, try using the same colour scheme and style as the existing room when adding a desk, chair or storage furniture. This helps to create a sense of cohesion with the rest of the room. It’ll also make the room feel spacious and less like an add-on.


Storage is key when using a room for two different purposes, so use storage furniture to divide the space.

Furniture doesn’t always have to be pushed against a wall, so try positioning it at a right-angle. This will act as a natural room divider and free up more wall space.

Use closed cupboards for storing files and paperwork as they tend to look a little messy and attract dust.

Then make the most of ‘dead’ space by adding:

  • shelves
  • storage benches in bay windows
  • ottoman beds or storage footstools
  • wall mount a TV

You can then use the free space for a desk area.

2.      DIY expensive interior trends

If there’s a particular interior trend you love, you don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on to get it. Try some DIY instead.

There are lots of natural textures being used in interiors, and you can replicate this at a fraction of the cost by adding cane panels to an existing cabinet.

If you’re after the latest wall panelling and reeding craze, have a go using easy tutorials online. 

Crittall doors are a stylish choice at the moment, but they can be expensive.  Try glazed timber doors painted off black as an internal room divider. A DIY Crittall style shower screen could make for an impactful addition to your bathroom.

Line art is another trend that’s easy and affordable to do yourself. If you can get your hands on some paint and a blank canvas, you could create a great unique piece to spruce up your space.

3.      Use paint in creative ways

When working with a tight budget, it’s a good idea to colour match designer paints. You can often find the tester pots on Gumtree or Freecycle.

You don’t even have to paint an entire room to make a drastic change, especially as this can be quite a big job.

Think about highlighting woodwork or period features to give a room a fresh new feel.  You could paint any uPVC doors or windows to help improve the overall feel of a room, and use dark colours to hide ugly moldings.

You can also easily and quickly give a room a new feel by using paint effects like a half-wall, or get creative with old tester pots.

4.      Spend nothing and work with what you’ve got

It’s easy to get used to our homes and not notice the areas that we could easily improve without spending a penny.

Removing any unsightly items is a good start, and changing the layout of the furniture can make a big difference. Moving just one piece of furniture in a room can free up floor space and give a room a whole new lease of life. 

Once you’ve sorted out your space, you can go shopping for artwork, textiles or ornaments to update a forgotten space.It’s easy to get used to our homes and not notice the areas that we could easily improve without spending a penny.

5.      Make the kitchen a focus

If your focus is on selling your home and investing a small amount in an effort to get back as much as possible, your kitchen is a great place to start.

Remove tired wall cabinets and replace them with streamlined open shelves. These cost very little but will make your kitchen feel bigger and fresher.

Update your kitchen features by painting base cupboard fronts and replacing any handles.

Another very easy DIY is re-tiling splashbacks.

[1] Source: Trussle 29 May – 1 June 2020

Calculation: 1,278 identified themselves as homeowners (outright or with mortgage) were asked ‘Which of the following home improvements would you like to make if it were possible?

Calculation = 366 selected n/a ‘I don’t want any home improvements’ = 28.6%

Calculation = 36 selected ‘Don’t know’ = 2.8%

Calculation = 28.6% + 2.8% = 31.4% (respondents said they either did not want any home improvements or that they didn’t know whether they wanted home improvements). Therefore, 68.6% (rounded to 69%) did want to make home improvements if they were possible.

876  selected at least one of the following options:

Re-fitting your kitchen (333) = 26%

Re-doing your bathroom (291) = 23%

Landscaping your garden (277) = 22%

Building an extension (209) = 16%

Having a large garden (119) = 9%

Creating a home office (99) = 8%

Building a swimming pool (95) = 7%

Building a garage (77) = 6%

Converting a room into a home gym (63) = 5%

Converting a room into a playroom for the children (49) = 4%

Other (56) = 4%




[5] Data obtained from Instagram on 28.8.20


[7] Source: Trussle research 29 May – 1 June 2020


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