Six Ways You Didn't Know You Could Improve Your Home on a Budget

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Looking to reinvigorate your living space? Home improvement needn't be costly, dramatic and time-consuming; there's no need to be swinging sledgehammers around and knocking walls down when a few small-but-smart changes can make an enormous difference.

Here are half-a-dozen ideas for sprucing up your abode in easy-peasy but undeniably effective ways. So take off that dust mask, and step awaaay from the sandblaster... 

Invisible book shelves
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Invisible book shelves

Invisible Book Shelves


Book-storage solutions don't get more cool and minimal than this: simply affix two decent-sized L-brackets to your wall, stack ten or so books on there, and there you go – an instant, 'invisible' book shelf! You'll find several variations of the invisible bookshelf project online; this one came from the May December Home blog.

And if you want to make the shelving truly 'invisible' – so that it appears, that your books are levitating against the wall when viewed from underneath – then simply use a strong glue to cover the L-brackets with the cover of the bottom book in the pile. Just make sure it's a book you're happy with never reading again!     

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Under-the-sink upgrades
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Under-the-sink upgrades

Under-The-Sink: Upgraded


Okay, so the cupboard under your sink perhaps isn't the first area you'd consider being in need of a makeover – but let's be honest, it is kind of grim in there, no? Leaks, condensation marks and weird stains from cleaning products can leave you wincing with icky displeasure every time you have to venture in there – but it needn't be like that. 

As recommended by Family Handyman, covering the base of the cupboard with inexpensive, stick-on tiles will not only cover up all those unsightly, unshiftable stains, it'll also bolster the cabinet's structural integrity and provide an easily wipe-able surface to remove any future spillages from. 

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Industrial house numbers
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Industrial house numbers

Industrial House Numbers


Thinking of replacing your house number? Want something that'll have visitors and passersby cooing with envy? This fashionably industrial-looking project was posted on The Owner-Builder Network  and it might just be the coolest thing that'll ever happen to your home's exterior. 

A simple bit of Photoshop prep-work is required here – if you've not got access to Photoshop, a quick ask-around should get you someone who is. Choose the font and size you want your numbers, and use Photoshop to overlay them with a grid, with the grid squares the same size as your screw heads.

Print out your grid-covered numbers, tape them to the wood you want them on, and use a nail or screw to tap in guide-holes where the grid-lines intersect. Remove the numbers, partially drive stainless-steel screws into the holes – and you're done!

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Driftwood Necklace Holder


Hitting the sweet spot between cool, kitsch and shabby chic, this necklace holder will not only free you from the tangled tyranny of your jewellery box, it also makes for a fantastic piece of DIY decor in its own right. The construction method is as you'd imagine it to be: take a not-too-thick piece of driftwood; drill holes at regular intervals; screw in cupboard knobs; attach hanging wire; hang on nail, on wall; add necklaces; stand back and breathe a contented, creatively fulfilled sigh. 

The example here, taken from the Visibly Moved blog, features a pointedly eclectic selection of knobs – you, of course, could opt for all-matching, if that's more your cup  of tea. 

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Paint-Swatch Feature Wall


Okay, so this one project is maybe a teensy bit more involved than the others, but when all's said and done, 'feature walls' don't get much more dazzling, or easy-to-achieve, than this.

You'll need to get yourself a whole load of paint-colour swatches –  you can pick up a brand-new fat booklet of them for about a tenner on eBay. After deciding the kind of pattern and colouration you want, start attaching swatches to the wall, beginning from a top corner and working down, across, and back up again. Repeat until posting a pic of your wall on social media would cause an eruption of likes, OMGs and smiley emojis. 

On the wall shown here – originally posted by the Poppytalk blog  – the swatches were affixed to the wall with glue. Unless you're 100% confident in getting your layout right the first time, however, you may want to go with photo-mount spray instead – it'll hold the swatches in place, but you'll be able to peel them off if needs be. 

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Gold Fridge Letters


Here's a quick, quirky and inexpensive way to bring a little fun bling to your kitchen, courtesy of the Inspired By Charm blog. Take as many magnetic letters – the kind kids play with – as you think your fridge can handle, and, in a well-ventilated area, apply two coats of primer to the front and back of them. Then simply apply two coats of gold spray-paint to the front and back, and you're done. 

You've now got a fridge worthy of a hip-hop high-roller's mansion. Don't forget to use the letters to write suitably extravagant reminders to yourself – “we are out of caviar again” and so on.

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