Interiors on the cheap
There are now great stickers or “decals” available on the market ( Etsy.comis a good starting point) and coloured chalkboard paint can turn a plain wall into a blank canvas for your junior Sean Scully or Van Gogh.
Painting is perhaps one of the most cost-effective ways to update your space. Schvartz-Poludniewska also says a nifty tip is to paint a coloured strip at the bottom of the wall in your hallway in washable paint – a funky antidote to scuffs from bikes, shoes and school bags in your entrance way. Wooden and metal items can be sanded down and varnished or painted for a few quid and a bit of elbow grease.
When the job is too complex there are painting services which can tackle big jobs such as the kitchen cupboards and offer good value versus buying a new kitchen or even new doors. Jackie Carton recommends a company called First Choice Spraying Services which has many years experience and can respray virtually anything from office furniture to Mexican pine wardrobes at very affordable rates.
Both designers suggest adding a feature wall for a cheap burst of impact. “There’s a wealth of wallpaper colours, styles and finishes to choose from,” says Carton. “All DIY stores sell end-of-line wallpapers at a discount and it only takes two or three rolls for a feature wall.”
In the bedroom display your handbags on the wall or wall-mount a collection of random plates or mirrors in the kitchen or living room (charity shops are a great source here). Schvartz-Poludniewska says it may only take investing in one “masterpiece” to make a room great – be it a painting or one good quality original chair.
The cheapest way to update your decor is definitely to DIY it if you think you have the wherewithal. “If you can sew a straight line you can make a cushion cover,” says Carton.
Starting in the autumn there will be a multitude of courses countrywide from furniture restoration and basic DIY to interior design for beginners. Check out nightcourses.comfor details or learningireland.iewhose 2012 Guide to Nightcourses is published soon and provides a comprehensive guide to evening classes in many subjects for the coming academic year.