REFURBISHING an old house is currently taking up all my time – and money!
I have been spending the last few months flicking through interior design magazines, cutting out styles and pictures that catch my eye and then pasting them in my ideas scrapbook. The potential interior design of my new home – according to my scrapbook anyway – is pretty damn nice. It certainly wouldn’t look out of place in an edition of Casa and Campo magazine.
The spec for the refurbished home so far includes pricey antique wooden floorboards, while regular doors have been substituted for arched entrances fitted out with elaborate white doors. An outdoor rain shower on the terrace, in order to be able to cool down during the summer months, is also on the list!
On paper it all sounds delightful, but there’s one big fat problem. I seem to have expensive taste. And having paid a deposit on a house and now forking out a hefty sum each month on a mortgage, there is no money left to indulge in fancy furnishings. So what can I do? How do we get what we want but without breaking the bank?
The first sensible step is to shop around. Look locally, compare prices and then look even further afield on the internet. The more time spent searching out the perfect product – and price – will help knock a lump sum off the final bill. Think outside the box. Antique furniture is expensive, while replica furniture is equally as pricey, so look for other means to gain the same thing. Search flea markets and visit second hand stores.
I drove 40 minutes out of town last week to view some furniture that an 18-year-old boy had salvaged from a construction site. I snapped up a freestanding antique French wardrobe for only €70.
Pace yourself. If you have to sleep on a mattress on the floor for a few months – do it. There is no point in buying something just because it’s cheap. Hold out, save and buy what you want at a later date.
Less is more. Write a list of what you want and then sit down and ask yourself what you really need from the list. It’s a common to load up homes with useless appliances and pointless furnishings that were bought in a whim.
Get smart and spend wisely to create the perfect home!