Photo Gallery: Affordable Home Reno Tips
Easy makeovers on a budget.
When designer Jennifer Reid and her family renovated their house, they chose high and low additions to make sure they stayed within budget. They wanted a gradient or shaded tile effect for the backsplash, but it was expensive, so they purchased tile and created the effect for themselves by exchanging the dominant grey tiles for white ones. Ready-made cabinets from The Home Depot and Ikea hardware also cut costs.
When H&H design editor Kai Ethier tackled her first kitchen reno, she envisioned marble countertops for a classic bistro look. In the end marble wasn’t in the budget, so she opted for a butcher-block counter that gave the same feel for a lot less.
Don’t have the time or money to replace your kitchen cabinets? Change the look of uppers in an instant by removing their doors and painting the back wall a contrasting colour. Pale blue is a serene backdrop for white, silver and pewter.
The faucet draws a lot of attention and is the most used fixture in the kitchen, so even this single change can make a big difference. Chrome gives a sleek look, or try something trendy like a matte black to add some edge.
Peter Fallico — host of HGTV’s Home To Flip — designed this kitchen to have a contemporary yet liveable look. Here, a bank of new white lacquered uppers pair with older, more traditional profiled wood doors below, resulting in a look that’s fresh and new. A large island houses storage as well as the sink, while vintage-look industrial pendants add sparkle and personality.
Save by using big box store cabinets in creative ways instead of doing custom built-ins. “Here, we used Ikea kitchen pantries to create sleek extra storage in their open-concept family dining room,” says designer Melissa Davis.
This fireplace lacked cohesive style with the rest of the house. The owners opted for a creative — and economical — solution by constructing a new clean-line mantel out of MDF and painting it a crisp white. A black granite surround and hearth provides bold contrast.
When it came to renovating her own home, Emma Reddington cut costs with inexpensive statement pieces. She recommends attending graduate shows of student artists for artwork, adding colour and texture with vintage area rugs instead of broadloom, and adding big, architectural plants to a room.
Designer Arren Williams overhauled his small former bathroom with a few affordable additions. Paint and tile in a similar shade of aqua offers modern appeal as well as savings. Big box stores like The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Rona and Home Hardware sell many inexpensive pedestal sinks and skinny vertical storage cabinets like the ones Arren chose, too. A capiz shell curtain provides a bit of privacy, while still letting in lots of natural light. The budget-friendly cork floor also works well in this space, and is ideal for a humid bathroom.
In this bathroom renovation, designers Halina Catherine and Melissa Davis of Catherine + Davis used standard Carerra marble 12 x 12 tiles, piecing them together to achieve a style very similar but much more affordable than a marble clad wall. Installing the tiles on the walls, floors, tub surround and window casing gives the space the high-end look of more expensive varieties of marble.