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Money-saving home hacks: 24 ways to revamp your home in 2024

By Rachel Wallace

As we enter 2024, you might be craving a home refresh. But if you don’t have the resources for a full-scale renovation right now, fear not: there are plenty of small changes you can make around the place to revamp your house for the new year.

1. Declutter

Restyling your home might conjure images of purchasing a bunch of new things, but a humble declutter is usually the best place to start.

Interior designer Kate Hickling from Interiors by Kate recommends taking cues from Shira Gill’s book Minimalista and describes the Minimalista philosophy as “keeping things you love and that you want to have on display. And then looking at storage options for other things.”

2. Paint

Interior designer Emma Blomfield says a new paint job is the number-one low-hanging fruit when transforming a space.

Hickling says that having the right shade of white is essential: warm white if the room doesn’t get much natural light or a cool, fresh white for well-lit spaces. She suggests Dulux’s Snowy Mountain Quarter or Whisper White as “good, neutral whites” that will work in both. Otherwise, muted shades of green, blue, charcoal and dark navy blue “just don’t date”.

3. Create vignettes

Designers love creating ‘vignettes’ by combining two or three items of various heights on a tray for a layering effect.

“There is usually … a little bit of space to do a tiny little vignette in a corner of the benchtop [with] a candle, perhaps a little jar and a little flower in a vase,” says interior decorator Liz Hayward from Hayward and Co.

Add vignettes to your coffee table, bedside tables, dining table and bathroom counter.

Create small vignettes on your bedside table.

4. Rearrange your furniture

Shifting things around is bound to give you a new perspective – and sometimes even a bit more space. This could involve mounting your TV on the wall.

5. Update your photos

Hickling loves having family photos around the place – and points out that swapping them out for newer photos can freshen things up.

“If you’ve got family photos that are looking a bit faded or old,” she says, “… update them and make them more current.”

6. Hit up Pinterest for inspiration

Pinterest is full of people like you thinking of innovative ways to decorate their homes – whether you need inspiration for storage solutions, vignettes or creative DIY projects.

7. Create a feature wall

Feature walls in big, bold colours may no longer be de rigueur, but the designers are all for creating subtler versions.

Hickling likes to use Easycraft VJ or dado panelling, Porta Timber for timber feature panelling and Surround by Laminex – and says these options are both cost-effective and possible to do yourself.

Use timber panelling to create a feature wall. Photo: Supplied

8. Update towel racks, taps and toilet roll holders

These items are the ‘jewellery’ of your home. Swap them out for brass or brushed nickel for a fresh, timeless look.

9. Freshen up kitchen furnishings

To balance the hard finishes in a kitchen and add character, update your tea towels, tablecloths, placemats and coasters.

“It can be hard with the kitchen to find that softness,” says Hayward. “… Don’t be afraid of a little bit of colour or texture.”

10. Change handles

This includes wardrobe, vanity, kitchen and bathroom drawer handles. Hickling recommends Hepburn Hardware and Lo & Co Interiors for range and quality.

Change out handles for a fresh new look. Photo: Hayward and Co.

11. Swap out bathroom towels and mats

Fresh new towels in different colours and textures can easily elevate your bathroom.

“There’re also so many fun floor mats around,” says Hayward. “… They can be switched out every few days if you want to have a different look and feel in there.”

12. Refinish the deck

A tannin remover and restaining can drastically improve a weathered and faded deck.

Sand and stain your deck for an instant uplift. Photo: Supplied

13. Paint tiles

Changing tiles over can be a big job. Paint them instead.

“I’ve had some really good experiences with just doing tile paint over old tiles and it comes up looking really good,” says Hickling.

14. Consider your lighting

Ambient lighting can make all the difference to the feel of a home. Swap any cool bulbs out for warmer ones and add lamps or sconce lighting where possible. Pendant lights over island benches or dining tables can also make a great feature.

Pendant lights make a great feature in the kitchen. Photo: Hayward and Co.

15. Spray your bathroom vanity

Hickling recommends spraying bathroom vanities as an economical, DIY way of refreshing your bathroom (though avoid the benchtop unless you have the know-how).

16. Pressure clean

We don’t tend to realise how much dirt has accumulated on the exterior of a home or driveway until we blast it away with a pressure cleaner.

17. Add wallpaper

“I love working with wallpaper a lot in my projects,” says Hayward.

“Introducing some wallpaper to a room can really give a lot of character to a space … that might be a little too neutral or just need some more warmth. And whether that’s a patterned wallpaper or just a textured wallpaper can make a really big difference.”

18. Look at your soft furnishings

Cushions, rugs, and throws create cohesion in a space, which helps us feel comfortable and calm.

“Cushions and soft furnishings are much easier to change because they don’t dictate too much of the rest of the room, so if you wanted to change them in two years’ time, you could,” says Blomfield, who suggests taking colour inspiration from any artwork in the room.

Soft furnishings are an easy and inexpensive way to update a room. Photo: Hayward and Co.

19. Add mirrors

“I think mirrors are really important in living areas, entrances, bedrooms,” says Hickling. “They reflect light and they do add that wow factor as well.”

Mirrors are best hung above fireplaces or buffets and, in an ideal world, reflect an attractive outdoor vista.

20. Update curtains or blinds

“If you’ve got heavier patterned curtains, changing them to a light sheer or a beautiful soft linen can really make a difference to a space,” says Hayward.

Sheer curtains can instantly freshen up a room. Photo: Hayward and Co.

21. Add plants and fresh flowers

Whether you install hooks in the ceiling for hanging plants, turn your bathroom into a jungle or get a large statement plant for the lounge room, greenery can have a big impact. Ditto fresh flowers.

22. Choose new artwork

Artwork can be transformative for a space – but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Hickling likes the website Olive et Oriel for a range of prints that you can fit into your frames.

Hayward, meanwhile, likes finding small nooks to hang interesting pieces in the kitchen for a pop of character.

23. Get in the garden

Elevate your outdoors by getting some planter boxes and starting a humble veggie patch or herb garden – or even plant some of your favourite herbs in pots so they’re always on hand.

Plant herbs in small pots to brighten up your kitchen and freshen up your cooking. Photo: Ina Peters

24. Create a shelfie-worthy shelf

What you place on your shelves can be both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Experiment with plants, books, vases, artwork and objects you love.


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