How We’re Planning to Update Our Home on a Budget

Who knew the process of decorating a house could be so overwhelming? With so much to consider from paint colours to flooring to what finish of light switch to plump for, it’s ridiculously easy to find yourself feeling swamped by the mountain of decisions needed to be made and have you wondering how everyone on Instagram manages to make it look so simple!

Since buying our first home back in August we’ve begun to add our own splash of personality here and there but as a two bedroom terraced house with no back garden and no real option for any major alterations we know that this isn’t going to be our forever home. It was a step on the property ladder and as such we are being extremely cautious of how much money we put into it.

Ideally, I would love to renovate every single room, remove the awful lining paper from the dining room, rip out the tired looking bathroom suite, overhaul the dingy kitchen but in reality this wouldn’t be a sensible decision. We don’t want to end up making a loss on the house when we come to sell it so instead we’re going to have to get a bit creative and manage my Pinterest fuelled expectations a little. My only real goal is to make the house feel like a home and inject some of our personality into every room.

So, today I thought I’d run you through some of the more realistic plans we’ve got floating around our heads that we hope to put into motion in time. If you want to get more of an idea of what we’re working with head over and watch my empty house tour on YouTube as some of the rooms have never (and probably will never) be documented in photo form…

Living Room

So the living room is one which we’ve got to a comfortable living stage. We’ve given it a lick of paint with a Valspar colour match of Farrow & Ball’s Lamproom Grey and added decorative details in the way of a large round mirror, statement light fixture, personalised artwork and THEE La Redoute rug which has all made it feel extremely home-y.

We don’t currently have any big plans for the living room but I would like to replace some of the fireplace tiles which are currently a hideous lime green colour as well as add some shelves to the alcoves which we can then fill with trinkets and photo frames to bring some real personal touches to the room!

Dining Room

So after approximately two months of deliberating on paint samples we finally decided to plump for a colour match of Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue to paint the chimney stack in the dining room to act as a bit of a feature wall. Ever since that day we’ve been trying to make our minds up on whether we actually like it…Turns out, five months down the line that we’re not huge fans. Our first real decorating fail!

With beautiful original floorboards and wooden wall panelling, the dining room has loads of potential but we’re just currently stuck in a bit of a indecisive spot on what colour scheme to go for. We want to keep things feeling light and airy so my latest thought is perhaps a sage green and ideally I’d love to sand back the floorboards as they are currently quite a dark oak shade which I think would make a whole world of difference.

Our best buy for the dining room so far has undoubtedly been this shelving unit from Cuckooland. We were hunting around for an industrial piece that fell into our price range for months until we found this beauty. It fits perfectly into one of the alcoves and is an amazing way to display photographs and trinkets.


We’re yet to start any work on our kitchen so you definitely won’t find any pictures online from this space as it’s so far removed from our taste, I mean it’s painted blue, and by blue I mean baby blue…

It’s a teensy tiny kitchen which is highlighted due to the narrow, gallery style so we’ve been back and forth on whether to rip everything out and start again from scratch or to go for a much more budget option and stick with the cupboards we have and just give them a lick of paint.

Image Credit: Jenifer Rosena

No matter what we decide, I hope to retile the backsplash area to get rid of the slightly offensive blue grout and paint the walls, even just a simple white to make everything feel more neutral. We’re also deliberating removing the wall cupboards to open up the space a little and instead create open shelving to display all of our nicely curated crockery and kilner jars filled with dry ingredients.

All of this won’t be happening anytime soon as we have some serious saving to do but a girl can dream about having a beautiful space to cook in!


Another room that is yet to be touched and has been blessed with the baby blue wall curse is the bathroom. Again, in an ideal world we’d like to rip out the whole thing and start again but as usual budget constraints mean that isn’t quite on the cards yet so in the mean time I think it might just be a case of whipping out the paintbrushes and setting to work!

Image credit: Lust Living

If we were to totally redesign the bathroom I think we would keep things pretty basic. I’m talking subway tiles, new bathroom suite, some much-needed under sink storage and hopefully a mirrored cabinet to house all of my skincare products to help keep them looking neat and tidy!


It’s probably quite generous to call the little land we have a garden but we’re determined to make the most of what we have available and create an outside space to relax in during the summer months.

I spent one evening last week tackling the overgrown weeds and hedges which made a huge difference and we’re now at the stage where we can look to make some improvements. We’ve done a little bit of research as to the cost of adding decking so that we can create a real dedicated seating area but at the moment that’s looking like it’s coming up a little over budget so it might be back to the drawing board!

Image Credit: The Fresh Exchange

One way or another we want to tidy up the space, bring in a lot more potted plants and add a cute little patio set so we can eat alfresco during the warmer months!

Are you planning any home updates? How do you decide what to focus on first?

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Photography by Ami Ford.


Author: Jessica

I’m Jess, a twenty-six year old self diagnosed Instagram and brunch addict. Whilst browsing Jess Who expect to find a hint of relatable personal style, Pinterest-worthy interiors, drool-worthy food and all of the latest happenings in Nottingham!