There are ways to drastically improve your home even if you’re a renter with a limited budget. Structural changes are obviously out of the question. But have you thought about how powerful a tin of paint can be when it comes to home improvement?
A lick of paint can transform a room. My home office is a small relatively damp space. Recently, after a few weeks of rain, I noticed mould and mildew building up in the corners of the room. The paint work was old and peeling, I was spending less and less time in my office and more time at the library writing. My office felt gloomy and ugly. I hadn’t updated the furniture (most of which I had been given) because the space was so small that it didn’t feel worth it. However, I was beginning to realise that it was crazy to pay rent for a home office space and not use it.
I decided to take action.
I set aside a weekend to renovate my office.
The before photos:
So what I took everything out of the room and scrubbed the walls with sugar soap. This got rid of the mould and made the room feel clean. Great for Feng Shui.
I painted the ceiling, walls, door and window sill – an undercoat and then a final coat in semi gloss. Enamel for the door and window sill.
Clearing the room out and cleaning took about three to four hours on a Friday night. Painting took about 6 hours on the Saturday, this included a two hour break to wait for paint to dry.
Because the room is narrow, I decided to try a low lying line of bookshelves at the back of the room instead of a tall book case. I turfed out my old Ikea tower bookcase. I found a great desk at Offiecworks for $90 and three small white bookcases for a total of $90. The office cabinets I’d seen at Ikea cost hundreds of dollars, but these bookcases when stacked up against were a much cheaper alternative. I also turfed my old lamp and picked up a new one at IKEA for $20.
When we moved into the house there was a really ugly bathroom mirror, which we replaced with a nicer one. The ugly bathroom mirror ended up in my office (as I have my make up and dressing table in my office). Good quality mirrors are expensive, so instead of buying a new one, I grabbed a can of aqua spray paint and gave it a once over. I think the result is pretty cool.
I also added new art to my office – The Bird by Claire Nakazawa (Sydney NSW), the red tree by Seth Birchall (Sydney NSW) and 3 smaller paintings by Natalie Sherring (Newcastle NSW). The photos are a little blurry because you’ll get the idea.
The result – well, I think the results speak for themself and I love my new office.