Save versus Splurge

So the time for the much anticipated renovations have come… Suddenly the budget is not looking as generous as it was once the quotes start coming in! Fear not! Here are some tips on where to save and where to splurge and still have a gorgeous home to show for it!

Better Bathrooms:

A simple bathroom for a young man in Zimbali. By not tiling from floor to ceiling you save money on tiles and labour! 

A simple bathroom for a young man in Zimbali. By not tiling from floor to ceiling you save money on tiles and labour! 

 

SAVE: 

When renovating, keep the plumbing in the same positions as this saves a huge amount on labour costs as well as extra pipes etc. A fully tiled bathroom is really not necessary. By not tiling from floor to ceiling you save money on tiles and labour! I normally tile up to a height of 1.2m and skim and paint the walls above this. The only exceptions are in the shower and on occasions all the way behind the vanity as a feature. If the budget is very tight you may want to consider re-enameling the tiles and bath etc. if they are still in a good condition. It’s surprisingly reasonable and hardwearing! Your shower head does not need to cost you R2000. There are many decent shower heads in the range of R500 – R1300 that last as long and produce a wonderful water flow! 

SPLURGE:

I have lived in a few rented houses with cheap taps however… When the tap head falls off of the hot water mid shower it is NOT fun! Spend some extra money on good quality taps. Often when renovating people try cut costs by buying cheaper taps only to have to replace them again in a years time! Splurge on a feature tile that you add in small quantities but make a huge impact. I often use these as part of the back splash behind the vanity or incorporate sections of mosaic sheets into the wall tiles or floor pattern. In guest toilets go wild and wallpaper the whole area! It’s a small area but many will see it! Let it make a statement!

Kooler Kitchens

 
Splashing out a little on the mosaic tile turned this kitchen from drab to fab! 

Splashing out a little on the mosaic tile turned this kitchen from drab to fab! 

 

SAVE:

As in the bathroom, keep plumbing in the same positions if possible. The same applies to electrical points – unless the socket or light switch is in a highly illogical position (then by all means change!) – try work around these. Labour costs to move these add up very quickly (think labour of electrician, material costs, chasing, filling, skimming, etc) In the same breath though… If there are not enough points then add away! Nothing more annoying than only one or two plug points in a kitchen! If your kitchen cupboard carcasses are in good condition but the doors are not so great – keep the carcass and replace the doors with inexpensive supawood and get them sprayed or hand painted in the same colour. 

SPLURGE:

Good quality counter tops add value to your home when reselling. They also add value to kitchen living! Quartz or granite are sure fire winners (try steer clear of very busy designs though!). Kitchen counter tops need to be hard wearing with all the activity one finds in the kitchen! Splash back tiles in the kitchen are the artwork of the space! Splurge on some beautiful and interesting tiles for this reasonably small area! Spend on an oven/ stove that makes cooking a pleasure! I often advise my clients to go gas for the stove – It may be more of an outlay initially but saves cost in the long run and if you ever sell, buyers love them. Efficient lighting is a must in a kitchen! There are many attractive fittings that can be used without compromising on lighting quality! 

Lovely Lounges

SAVE:

If your couches are in good condition then recover them in a durable neutral fabric that you buy off the roll! Off the roll options are much less expensive than ordering from the fabric houses. Curtains costs can add up quickly! Buy off the shelf curtains in a plain or lightly patterned fabric from any of the leading retailers (many do extra length) and add a 50cm – 1m border at the bottom to ‘custom’ them for your space! If you do not need to close your curtains but want to soften the lines of the window (always good!), dummy drops work well and save on fabric! Mix less expensive shop bought scatters with your pricier ones below! (Just change the inners!)

Closing up an unused door to lengthen the wall and adding New art work, carpet, paintwork and coffee table with new colour adds vibrancy & practicality to this lounge.

Closing up an unused door to lengthen the wall and adding New art work, carpet, paintwork and coffee table with new colour adds vibrancy & practicality to this lounge.

SPLURGE:

If your couch is no longer in a grand lady state and is going to cost more to repair than replace then…. Replace. Look for good quality framework that comes with a workmanship guarantee/ warranty. Getting a couch made up from a reputable company is often the way to go. Scatter cushions are always an easy way to add impact into a lounge. Splurge on some designer fabric for the fronts of your scatter cushions and team these up with less expensive plain fabric for the backs (SAVE!). Scatter inners play an important role to your cushions looking great! Skip the hollow fibre and buy either unicurl or feather. I tend to stick to unicurl as they hold their shape for longer and are less risk for allergies! You can splurge a bit more on fabric for your occasional chairs and/or ottomans as these use less than your couch but will also add depth and texture to your décor. If you live in a colder climate, a fireplace is a must. Invest in a stylish yet functional gas or wood-burning fireplace. Ensure it has good extraction to prevent your home from smelling like a woodcutters log cabin!

Brilliant Bedrooms

 
Here I reupholstered the ottoman & chair as well as repainted the bedside tables. Splurged on the fabric for ottoman and chair. The wallpaper is a beautiful feature in this tranquil room.

Here I reupholstered the ottoman & chair as well as repainted the bedside tables. Splurged on the fabric for ottoman and chair. The wallpaper is a beautiful feature in this tranquil room.

 

SAVE:

Much the same as in the lounge, mix less expensive shop bought scatters with your pricier ones below! (Just change the inners!) Curtains costs can add up quickly! Buy off the shelf curtains in a plain or lightly patterned fabric from any of the leading retailers (many do extra length) and add a 50cm – 1m border at the bottom to ‘custom’ them for your space! Think out the box for your headboard. Use old screens, pallets, burglar guards, etc to add character and save money! If that is not your cup of tea, many retailers sell lovely headboards at reasonable costs. 

SPLURGE:

Its’ never a good idea to compromise on the quality of a good sleep! Where possible purchase a comfortable bed with at least a 15-year guarantee. I always spend a little more on high thread count linen for my clients. They do last longer and wash well! Always in white… Patterns can date quickly and you end up sticking a very expensive set into the linen cupboard once you are bored with it! If you are going to install an upholstered headboard, spend more on a durable fabric that wont show dirt easily! Splurge on a feature wall… whether this means cladding or wallpaper. Or perhaps a sizeable headboard – bring in some wow with a feature wall! 

Party Patios

By adding some shelves and accessories we transformed this patio as well as respraying the server & table . Good quality fabric for the slip covers was used.

By adding some shelves and accessories we transformed this patio as well as respraying the server & table . Good quality fabric for the slip covers was used.

SAVE:

Shop bought scatters can be used on your outdoor furniture. Remember to change your inners to unicurl! If the budget doesn’t stretch far enough for the exact flooring you want, consider painting your concrete base until you are able to afford those tiles you’re drooling over! There are many wonderful options of floor paint out there at the moment! 

 

 

 

SPLURGE:

Use outdoor fabric for your seating! It may cost more in the outlay but saves a huge amount of stress and energy in the long run! Specialist outdoor fabric is generally water resistant, stain resistant and fade/UV resistant, making it a much more durable option with kids and pets! If possible try incorporating a covered patio/stoep/veranda! As South Africans we love to be outdoors regardless of the weather. With a covered area the rain or sunshine wont effect our entertaining badly! It also adds great resale value onto your home.

Delicious Dining rooms

SAVE:

Dining chairs seem to come with a hefty price tag quite often! Look at auctions or second hand shops for chairs that fit the bill! Recovering with off the shelf fabrics and a coat of paint is often all they need to be a stylish addition! Centre pieces or table/ server décor doesn’t need to break the bank either! Use some clear vases with leaves such as Delicious Monster or Wild Strelitzia from your garden. 

Second hand shop chairs find a new lease on life with some snazzy paint colours and Hertex fabric.

Second hand shop chairs find a new lease on life with some snazzy paint colours and Hertex fabric.

SPLURGE:

A hardy beautiful table is worth spending a little more on! Dining tables take a lot of abuse and are not necessarily as easy to change as the chairs! A good buy can last many years in ones home and can even be passed down to another family member.
Invest in a beautiful light fitting for above the table – this is your artwork of the dining area! Just the one piece can bring drama into the area without having to add anything else.


Generally speaking

SAVE: 

By doing as much of the labour as you can e.g. painting, will save you costs of labour. Buying in bulk saves money! If you are installing down lighters throughout the house, buy them all at once. In fact, try get as much of your lighting from one place and negotiate a better price. Same applies to paint and other general building supplies. Shop at markets to find those characterful and unique pieces that bring a different dynamic to your home! Don’t be afraid to get some second-hand furniture and give it a face lift! 

SPLURGE:

Don’t be tempted by cheap laminate flooring specials or reject tiles! These will come back to bite you! Rather spend extra on durable flooring… it literally gets trodden on daily! Be prepared to hand over more for excellent quality external doors and windows from reputable companies. Whether it is aluminium or wood –do your research well! All paint is not equal! Ensure you get a washable and durable low sheen paint! It is not much fun when you wipe your walls and the paint comes off but the dirt stays! It’s worth spending more on the specialist kitchen and bathroom mixes for those areas!
 

Simply put, spend more on the larger more permanent pieces and fixtures that need stand the test of time as they are used the most! Save on the things that are easier to change like the accessories, bedside lamps, and side tables.

 

Remember, if you feel overwhelmed by the renovation and need a guiding hand... Interiors Etc is more than happy to help!