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Embarking on a home renovation can really put a hole in your pocket, when you have big dreams for your humble abode. But fret not – a small budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a home that’s everything you ever dreamed of. With a dash of creativity and inspiration - and these 7 cost effective ideas - you’re on the way to creating a home that’s big on style.

1. Minimalism Is The Way To Go

Interior Designer: Designlah

It comes as no surprise that less complicated designs cost less. Why not return to the basics, or adapt a more minimalist approach to your desired style.

Interior Designer: Up Creations

Try opting for Japanese, Scandinavian or industrial décor as these aesthetics embrace clean, raw, reclaimed, resuable and less-is-more design concepts that can be of a high quality, sans the big price tag.

2. Or Try Out Maximalism

Interior Designer: ID Industries

Or maybe you’re one for a design that’s less fussy or strict, giving you the freedom to mix and match pieces, and style your home as your budget permits.

Interior Designer: La Conception Hauz

If so, consider eclectic and bohemian looks as their easy-going, chic interiors allow more flexibility for integrating low-cost pieces into the home’s overall décor - such as recycled/salvaged wares or second-hand decor - with flair.

3. Say No to Carpets

Interior Designer: KLAAS Design & Build

Full on carpeting can really add a warm, homely touch – but can also be rather costly, with the cost of installation, cleaning, and maintenance, building up in the long run. This can hurt both your renovation budget and increase long-term expenses. Why not swap them out for loose rugs that’ll give you that softness underfoot.

4. Choose Cost-Effective Flooring

Interior Designer: Zyon Interior Design

If you have a smaller budget, forget hardwood, natural stone, ceramics and designer marbles – these types of flooring, while elegant, come with a hefty price tag!

Interior Designer: Roomia

Instead, stylish yet durable flooring materials such as vinyl, tiles and laminate are cost-efficient choices that come in a myriad of styles and in exceptionally realistic finishes. Go for hardwearing and resilient varieties that will stand the test of time and save you more on maintenance.

5. Minimise Hacking

Interior Designer: Spazio Design

Hacking jobs that include demolishing walls and other large structures will incur heavy expenses as these involve tearing down walls, then rebuilding again – so consider carefully if you really want that open kitchen or half-hacked wall.

Interior Designer: Designlah

Also try to minimize any rerouting of plumbing, rewiring and adding of windows. In spaces with less natural light coming, refrain from adding hulking cabinets and try faux natural-light tubes to make the space brighter and more airy.

6. Opt for Paint Instead of Wallpaper

Interior Designer: Senterior Design

Paint can look better than wallpaper at just a fraction of the cost! Choose washable or low-to-medium gloss options which are may be slightly more expensive, but can be cleaned and maintained to last longer.

Interior Designer: Spazio Design

We generally don’t recommend wallpaper. Here’s why. It isn’t the easiest to install, so you’ll definitely need professional help. The materials are pretty costly, ranging around RM60 - RM200 (without adhesive and installation costs) for one roll covering approximately a wall area of 55 sf. Plus, they are difficult to maintain – be careful not to stain, scratch or tear the wallpaper!

7. Custom Carpentry or Not?

Interior Designer: ID Industries

For odd-angles and small spaces – surprise, surprise - custom cabinets could actually be the least expensive option when you choose less costly materials.

Interior Designer: Minterior Project Sdn Bhd

But for square, L-shape or U-shape kitchens, rooms or larger spaces, modular or readymade cabinets would be the more prudent choice. You can save up on expensive design and workmanship fees by going clean with straight lines instead of circular, intricate or odd-shaped details.

This article was first published on Qanvast, an interior design platform for homeowners passionate about their home design. Download the free app to get inspired by thousands of local home ideas and connect with interior designers.


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Own dp small

Better be prepare of some X amount of money as there are no ezy payment plan for a construction/renovation work. Sometime you wish to renovate abit but many factors that causes you spend more during construction.

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It is still better to renovate fully before moving in, as it is very troublesome to renovate with all your furniture getting in the way later on.

Own dp small

Truly agree @Dom on better get it fully done before moving in but sometimes the rush of moving in and the excitement of getting the keys will be a great feeling.If the reno is just about the plaster ceiling and minor stuffs, then we don't mind waiting for a bit as its a fast process but if a major makeover, then its better to wait before going in as there will be tidious to jaga as its occupied.

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@admin_ps thank you for sharing