Kirsty McLuckie: How to renovate a home's interior with a budget of zero

Renovation prices have risen over the past few years, but what if your budget for a home refresh is a solid zero?

There are still ways that you can transform your interior at no cost, using imagination, elbow grease and things you already have...

1. Get rid of unwanted objects so your most-loved pieces can shine. Mitchell Baxter, personal finance expert at discount retail portal Vouchers.co.uk, advises: “The most important and budget-friendly way to revamp a space is to get rid of unused objects.”

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If you are strapped for cash, he says there is another advantage in a thorough clear out. “If you find unwanted items in good condition, consider selling them on – your clutter may be another’s investment.”

Illustration: Adobe Stock
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2. Shop your own home. Highlight your favourite items and remove the not-so-great ones to somewhere out of sight. You can also choose everyday functional items around the home that can double up as styling decor – think pretty serving bowls as plant pots, stylish pans hung up to best effect in the kitchen, or expensive books artfully arrayed on a coffee table.

3. Move pieces of furniture around.Lamps, art and pillows are easily interchangeable and can be moved from room to room. Larger items, such as chests of drawers or bookshelves, can be repurposed to form an open-pantry in the kitchen.

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4. Swap with friends. Chances are they also have homeware they’re no longer impressed with and might be willing to exchange.

5. Look through old paint pots or colour samples to upcycle something small. It can be anything from a mirror to a picture frame but a new finish can completely change the look of the room it’s in.

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6. Bring the outside in. Wild grasses, small tree branches or a bunch of wild flowers can be displayed in a vase. And you can change the design every other week for a seasonal colour splash.

7. Change the light’s direction in a room. Choosing which furniture gets the most light can transform the focal point of a room – so whether it’s your sofa or your office desk, ensure it highlights the space.

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8. Scout out free furniture on social media groups.Online marketplaces can be a great source for finding old furniture that is going free to a good home. Try searching for local “pass it on” groups, where neighbours often post furniture they want to be collected that day –you need to be nimble but, again, that costs nothing.

9. Use rubbish as home decor. With a bit of imagination and styling, wine bottles can become vases or a lamp using fairy lights. Funky sauce jars can turn into toothbrush holders, mini planters, or work as matching spice storage. For the more adventurous, pallets can become shelves or rustic tables.

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10. Give every space in your home a function. If there’s an area in the home you’re not happy with, the chances are it’s lacking a purpose. Figure out which “dead zones” of your dwelling exist and work on transforming them to a different purpose by using furniture you already have.

A designated kids play area should help keep the rest of the house tidy, while a cosy reading nook might make the ultimate winter luxury.

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- Kirsty McLuckie is property editor at The Scotsman