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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Andrea
    • By MSE Andrea 8th Mar 05, 7:19 PM
    • 9,267Posts
    • 22,120Thanks
    MSE Andrea
    Great Spruce Up Your Home Hunt
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 05, 7:19 PM
    Great Spruce Up Your Home Hunt 8th Mar 05 at 7:19 PM
    Property programmes always go on about things to do to increase the value of your home, but what about for people who just want to live there?

    This hunt's all about finding cheap and easy ways to make your house a better place to be.

    What we're really looking for is how much things cost, how long it will take and if something needs to be bought, where a good and cheap place to get it is.

    PS., let's keep this one on topic and not turn it into the merits (or not) of certain DIY chains.

    Click reply to add your ideas.




    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 07-03-2006 at 5:55 PM.
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?


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Page 1
  • Nasnowt
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 05, 7:28 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Mar 05, 7:28 PM
    Good idea!

    I have an internal wall that it is now minus an ugly old fireplace. The wall really should be replastered but cash is currently tight.

    Other than leaving the sofa pushed up against it does anyone have any cheap & cheeerful suggestions? The wall reflects the light from 2 windows into the room and that aspect needs to be preserved.

    Thanks
    In my new basket: A slightly whiffy blanket; Racy’s 2nd favorite jumper; remains of a slipper; 2 sticks (1 chewed); bouncy ball collection (4); Racy’s iPod and a large sock (found under Racy's bed) :confused:

  • shrek101
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 05, 8:22 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Mar 05, 8:22 PM
    We just got the old fire (gas fire with coals in) ripped out and replaced with a new gas fire living flame. It looks so much better and would be a cheap way of improving your home and or prospects of selling it. Cost me £200 plus bunged brother in law who fitted it £40. It was just the fire not surround as we had that already.

    http://www.zen66361.zen.co.uk/Pictures/FirePlace.JPG
  • littlebigfeat
    • #4
    • 9th Mar 05, 5:03 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Mar 05, 5:03 PM
    If you don't have a brother who's a gas fitter but are feeling creative, how about nipping down to your local diy shop, buying a bit of wood and creating a screen to cover up the hole. A bit of trellis with some nice fabric behind it, a picture, some dried or real flowers...... this list is endless.

    Incidentally I have a few questions:

    1) I have a living room with dado rail. How can I get rid of it without having to replaster bits of the wall?

    2) How can I spruce up some very dated kitchen units?

    3) What can I do about an old bathroom suite without having to shell out for a new one?

    Thanks xx
    Last edited by littlebigfeat; 09-03-2005 at 5:05 PM.
  • margaret
    • #5
    • 9th Mar 05, 5:35 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Mar 05, 5:35 PM
    I think it would be much easier to buy a bathroom suite. You can get a lovely modern one for £199. Well worth the money I think.
    • wildchild
    • By wildchild 9th Mar 05, 5:42 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    wildchild
    • #6
    • 9th Mar 05, 5:42 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Mar 05, 5:42 PM
    2) How can I spruce up some very dated kitchen units?

    if the basic units are OK, replace the cupboard fronts (several companies do this, you can probably get the cupboard fronts in the usual chains too)

    3) What can I do about an old bathroom suite without having to shell out for a new one?

    either a cheapie new one (£199 but then you have to get it fitted) OR you could just replace the taps - that sometimes makes a huge amount of difference - OR get your bath re-enameled (specialist firms in yellow pages etc do this).

    For things like screens, don't forget auctions have loads of stuff like that for a fraction of the cost of new and often with lots more character.
  • rafi
    • #7
    • 9th Mar 05, 5:48 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Mar 05, 5:48 PM
    Nasnowt
    How about leaving the sofa in front of the wall meantime but get a really big framed mirror on the wall above and that will reflect the light from the windows even more...?
  • rafi
    • #8
    • 9th Mar 05, 5:49 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Mar 05, 5:49 PM
    By the way - what does "vivster" mean? It seems to be getting added to my posts now.
    Last edited by rafi; 09-03-2005 at 5:52 PM. Reason: never seen "vivster" before
  • Nasnowt
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 05, 6:53 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Mar 05, 6:53 PM
    Thanks all, some good ideas there.
    In my new basket: A slightly whiffy blanket; Racy’s 2nd favorite jumper; remains of a slipper; 2 sticks (1 chewed); bouncy ball collection (4); Racy’s iPod and a large sock (found under Racy's bed) :confused:

  • Sofa_Sogood
    I 'nicked' a good idea for a cottagy style coffee table from my sister-in-law.

    Instead of splashing out on something expensive, she bought 4 wicker cubes and made one big low table.

    Looks great with a bowl of pine cones and wicker balls and only cost about £40 brand new. Might be cheaper if you look out for a few slightly marked cubes.
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 9th Mar 05, 7:22 PM
    • 8,111 Posts
    • 42,248 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Quick note for Rafi (please don't comment on it as it'll disrupt the thread). The Vivister was someone elses signature, we have occassional glitches where it copies them. I've removed it from your profile
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • Becles
    • By Becles 9th Mar 05, 7:22 PM
    • 12,864 Posts
    • 26,180 Thanks
    Becles
    2) How can I spruce up some very dated kitchen units?
    by littlebigfeat
    You can get spray paints for cupboard doors. Mine are a shades of beige/brown mottled effect, so I'm planning on spraying mine a different colour when I get round to it.

    3) What can I do about an old bathroom suite without having to shell out for a new one?
    Can you replace/update things around the bathroom suite? I had a mahogany bath panel, but painted that a cheerful blue to brighten my bathroom up, and replaced the mahogany toilet seat and fixtures with pine ones. New paint or flooring might brighten it up too.
    Here I go again on my own....
  • msraec
    revamping kitchen units
    i agree about replacing just the kitchen doors but if you're on a really really tight budget as we were (we ran outta money at the kitchen) and the kitchen we inherited was really dreadful we just painted the cupboard doors with a couple of layers of white paint (they havent peeled yet and dont mind being scoured - its not specialist spray or paint!) and screwed in some modern stainless steel (dirt cheap from b+q) handles and they look, well...much much better than we thought, we white washed the walls, moved a lamp or two in there and put some slate effect lino down over the old stained stuff (also dirt cheap and did a slap dash but good enough job ourselves) and the kitchen looks more than presentable enough to sell the house if we wanted to. the only thing i still hate is the yucky bland worktops and tiling but a few strategically placed funky appliances we brought from our last house, bread boards, nice oil bottles, plants etc and the eye is drawn away from it. its not the kitchen we want but its great while we save for a new one!
    Last edited by msraec; 16-09-2006 at 11:24 AM. Reason: spelling
    R
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 10th Mar 05, 1:37 AM
    • 11,405 Posts
    • 30,592 Thanks
    suki1964
    3) What can I do about an old bathroom suite without having to shell out for a new one?

    Thanks xx
    by littlebigfeat
    If the suite is in good condition then changing the taps and the handle on the loo will smarten it up. Also new towel rail, loo paper holder,loo brush etc etc will make a difference. Tachibo are excellent for those bits and pieces. if the tiling is looking drab then re-grouting them will breathe new life into them.
    And maybe a new bath panel? We replaced our plastic panel with woodchip and then tongue and grooved it, painting and varnishing it to match the rest of the colour scheme and our 20 year old suite looks as good as new.
  • dustycat
    A few more suggestions
    Hi

    I recently refurbished my kitchen on a shoestring. The units were in good condition, just very dated knotty pine, so I bought a product called Easy Surface Preparation which cleans and primes the doors, then painted them inside and out with an oil based eggshell paint. I added new handles and voila an instantly updated and very expensive-looking hand painted kitchen. The oil based eggshell gives a matt finish that is washable.

    Other suggestions:

    If you can't afford to repaint a whole room, just paint one wall in a striking colour - feature walls are all the rage and it take a fraction of the paint needed for a whole room

    Make your own abstract art prints. You can get pre-stretched, pre-primed canvases from Au Naturele Interiors (and elsewhere I imagine) for a few pounds. I used matchpots of emulsion paint to match, tone and contrast the colours in my room then painted different abstract designs (stencils, fabric swatches etc could suggest shapes). Great looking, unique artwork for a fraction of the cost of a gallery print

    Just changing soft furnishings such as cushions, a rug, blinds or curtains can transform a room without breaking the bank.

    Great topic Martin!



    Michelle McDines
    The House Coach
    "Maximising Your Property's Potential"
    • ChatwithJacqs
    • By ChatwithJacqs 10th Mar 05, 8:15 AM
    • 55 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    ChatwithJacqs
    I 'nicked' a good idea for a cottagy style coffee table from my sister-in-law.

    Instead of splashing out on something expensive, she bought 4 wicker cubes and made one big low table.

    Looks great with a bowl of pine cones and wicker balls and only cost about £40 brand new. Might be cheaper if you look out for a few slightly marked cubes.
    by Sofa_Sogood

    Hi!

    Where did she get the wicker cubes from...thanks

    Jacq (new home owner)
    Jacqs
    :rolleyes:
  • Sofa_Sogood
    Hi!

    Where did she get the wicker cubes from...thanks

    Jacq (new home owner)
    by ChatwithJacqs
    Hi, it was Homebase, but you can get them from a few places - Dunelms etc. They're quite big, approx. 15" x 15", maybe more, so makes a big table

    We also store things in boxes underneath them - utilise the space as much as we can (and hide a bit of clutter )

    Hope that helps.
    • gremlin
    • By gremlin 10th Mar 05, 9:40 AM
    • 1,128 Posts
    • 1,513 Thanks
    gremlin
    1)
    2) How can I spruce up some very dated kitchen units?

    Thanks xx
    by littlebigfeat
    Hi
    As has been suggested before changing the cupboard fronts is probably your best bet. Theres loads of people out there who do this - you could check your local paper or even HERE for modern doors that are avge £10 each.

    When I was a student I painted my doors, a good couple of coatings of paint ( I prefer satinwood for a nice finish) and change the handles. It can totally transform your doors.
    "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye" - Miss Piggy
  • dilly
    I've found the best way to do a house makeover is to declutter - ruthlessly and steadily (15 mins per day, see http://www.FlyLady.net).

    Previously I only saved stuff I really wanted, so it was hard. Then I started saying "OK, I want this stuff, but what do I want more, the stuff or the space?" Usually the space. Surprise, I can hardly remember the things I agonised over - I haven't mised one of them. And if I do, I can afford to replace them having saved so much money by avoiding an extension or house move!!

    I worked really hard at decluttering the kitchen so I could remove one tower unit which cast deep shadow into one corner (previously tried to light the corner - very ineffective).

    Removing eye-level cupboards makes the room seem huge!! Do It!!
  • kitty_kat_uk
    OR get your bath re-enameled (specialist firms in yellow pages etc do this).
    by wildchild
    When we bought our Victorian house last year the bath had boards round the bottom of it which were painted black. When we pulled these away we realised we had a cast iron bath complete with fancy feet. Rather than pay for a specialist firm to re-enamel it, we bought a re-enamel kit from the internet for about £90 and did it our self. We also painted round the base of the bath with normal white paint, and sprayed the feet silver. It looks fab now!
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