A few days ago I bumped into a talented actress friend who lives in my hood. We were both out running errands and passed each other at the intersection. I was wearing a dapper little outfit carrying my reusable grocery bag with kale poking out and she was wearing yoga pants and toque as she flitted from ballet class to the subway. As we passed she flashed a big smile and said “you don’t even own a pair of sweat pants, do you?” . Well, she was right and hardly the first to say this to me.
The reason for my general fabulosity is my company Design Mantra I bring up in every blog post: Keep Striving to Live the Well Designed Life. It’s important that I walk the walk. How can I tell a Client they simply must have $5000 of custom draperies if I live in a hovel dressed like a professional skateboarder who can’t get a sponsor? It got me thinking about what the Well Designed Life means to me and what I want for Clients and readers. It’s my belief that everyone deserves to live in a beautiful home that reflects them, even people who (think) they can’t afford it. When I first moved out on my own, I was always gussying up apartments into showrooms. It’s the start of how I got here. So I thought this post I’d give some budget savvy advice to all you renters or cash strapped owners who want to improve their home without going neck deep into debt. Here are a few of my top tips to improve your space on a budget.
If you’ve got a kitchen or bathroom with an ugly, or no, backsplash one of the best things for you is Smart Tiles. Smart Tiles are peel and stick sheets of gel filled 3D Tiles you can cut with scissors and stick on your wall or on top of existing tiles. Super fast. Super easy. And adhere until you remove them with the heat of a hairdryer. They can even go behind a stove (but not in a shower as the steam dissolves the glue). I’ve used these myself. They look amazing, took little effort or time to install and you can’t tell they’re not the real thing. You can easily do a backsplash in a kitchen for about $150 installed in about an hour and they have very updated, on trend patterns like subway tile, herringbone, circles, etc. Available on their website or at many hardware stores.
Paint is without a doubt the best tool in anyone’s decorating arsenal. It’s really inexpensive and has the most impact for your dollar. Not only can you paint your walls but you can update an old piece of furniture or even your crappy kitchen cupboards (check with your landlord first if you rent). Be sure to speak to your paint professional before you start. 80% of a great paint job is proper prep work be it taping, sanding, cleaning. The staff at your favourite paint store can advise you on all of that and what paints will work best for your job.
So I hope that gives you some inspiration to create the home you deserve no matter what stage of ownership you’re in. These are just a few of the creative solutions Designers have, so don’t be afraid to contact us if you need a little help. Thanks for reading and check back for more blog posts. Until then, keep striving to live the Well Designed Life.