We all want to make the most of our homes, whether we’re renting, in work accommodation or owning your own home. I always thought that to upgrade your home you had to spend a lot of money, when in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Not all of these will be renter friendly. Not all landlords give the same amount of freedom when it comes to decor and putting your own twist on things. For those of you with a stricter landlord, I do advise you stick to what your contract says or ask permission well before you get out a hammer.
Upgrade your home
Doing up the garden or adding something extra can absolutely make or break your whole vibe at home. You could have a tranquil oasis of a home, and walk out into knee high grass and a muddy path. That shatters the illusion of your oasis, so your garden definitely needs some love too!
In March we built our own deck around the front of our mobile home. We’re in work accommodation so we have a little more freedom with what we do, and boy am I glad!
Adding the deck was a big project, but it’s made such a big difference. Both to how we live in general and our routines – morning coffee or tea on the deck, anyone? – and this particular project doesn’t have to cost an arm a leg either. You can make a very cheap DIY deck, ours turned out pretty much free!
Adding a deck or patio is a major upgrade. It makes a huge difference to your space, and can make any garden go from a little boring to cool and interesting.
Flowers & plants
I’ll say it now, forget about your pristine lawn. It’s nice to have some open space for your pets or children to run around in, but don’t dedicate your entire garden to it.
It’s a complete waste. I’d much prefer to have a small vegetable patch or kitchen garden, or a lovely little feature flower bed. Add a pond – it could even just be a large pot with some pond plants in – or a couple of bushes like Blackberry or Raspberry.
I will say, a “pot pond” is a perfect way to add interest or break up an area in the garden, and looks like your put a lot more effort and money into an upgrade than you have.
You could even section off part of your garden and have a wildlife friendly zone!
Tidy but diverse
There are things that you’ll need or want in your garden, like a path or patio. Somewhere you can appreciate your garden from or entertain guests.
On the other hand, putting a many plants and wildlife friendly areas in your garden is also a must. Not just for the sake of the planet, but I cannot tell you how lovely it is to have wildlife from the woodland just walk on through or by the fence while we’re sat outside.
A word of warning though, try to stay away from invasive species and look up what plants you’re buying before you get them. I managed to be silly enough to buy a particular species that would have killed our pets or even us had we have eaten it in any way. Lesson learnt!
Now that you’ve thought a little about what you want your outside to be like, it’s time to upgrade your home inside.
Before starting any major upgrade in your home, think about what style or overall theme you want to go for. Do you want a more modern style? Maybe a little more vintage?
Personally we go for a bit more of a mix between Scandinavian, Hygge, and English countryside. That means there’s a lot of neutrals, textures, woods, and greens.
Painting walls, indoor plants, & art
When we first moved in, the mobile home had two different types of wall pattern. One that ran through the hall, bathrooms, and kitchen, and another that ran through the bedrooms, living room, and dining room.
It’s beige and green, so technically it fits in with our decor choice, but it really made the space feel a lot smaller than it was. It just didn’t look right.
We painted one wall in the living room an olive green and the others a light pebble grey, and my goodness the difference it made was incredible. Adding a few plants helped too, and even though it’s all different greens it all ties together and looks so much nicer than it used to! We also hung up some family photos and a few signs as art and it’s completely changed the feel of the room.
I highly recommend changing up the colours on your walls, or adding pops of colour through living plants. It makes a terrific difference and is good for you!
Related: How I decorate inside my cupboards
Lampshades & curtains
Funny enough, this is something I always think of last even though they can make or break a room!
You have to be very careful with choosing what lampshades and curtains to buy though, as it’s very easy to get them wrong. Not only should you think about the colour, but how the light will come through.
In a living room, you may want a brighter light for the whole room, but also have your lamps a little dimmer and not so bright for those evenings cuddled up on the sofa. A lot of that will completely depend on which lampshades you get.
It may be a more subtle way to upgrade your space, but it’s very noticeable in the end.
If you’re looking at changing your furniture, always look at second hand before you fork out £1000 on a sofa.
This is a good thing to really think about before you buy too. Even if you really need a sofa, or really need a dining table, it’s better to wait a little longer and get the perfect one than to buy something that you’re not 100% happy with.
Furniture can also completely change the theme of your room. Having a very vintage room on the whole, but then having a very modern sofa or side-table can look amazing, but can also look very out of place.
We managed to get our sofa off ebay, for a complete bargain of £12.20. No, that’s not a typo! It’s basically new, and would have cost a lot of money to buy from the shop.
Ahh, floors. Eventually they need changing anyway as they get a lot of wear and tear, but sometimes they’re left from previous tenants, or are the basic carpets or floors that were put in when the house – or in our case, mobile home – was built.
Our decision to change floors started when the bathrooms had carpet in them. Not my idea of cleaning friendly or hygienic!
Now, you definitely don’t need to spend an absolute fortune on flooring. If you are renting or in work accommodation and have the freedom to do so, you can change your floors pretty cheap as long as you install it properly.
B&M and many other places sell packs of flooring and tiles. Some aren’t so great, but some are amazing quality and look really good. It’s all about finding one that looks good and isn’t going to ruin your floor underneath.
If you own your house you can spend a little more on making such a big change, as you don’t really have to worry about taking it with you when you leave or not! This obviously gives way more options, but can also be way more pricey.
Related: Small space living hacks
Have you upgraded your home recently? Are you planning on doing so? Tell me all about it in the comments!