Know How: Five tips to renovating your home on a small budget with Topology

How to fix up a house on a tight renovating budget? Topology design studio shares their accessible tips to help make your renovation an affordable reality.

Tip 1. What is the best approach when your renovation budget is rather small?

It depends on the project, but I'd take it a step at a time if you're working on a budget. I'd start with the flooring, walls, radiators & overhead/wall lights - these are the foundation to any great space, and in my opinion, the furniture can come later when more budget is freed up.

If you're working on a smaller budget than you want, be sure to research your tradesmen carefully and seek around three quotes for each element you need to do. This way, you can compare quotes and get a feel for the type of cost you need. Always ensure your tradesmen have good insurance and only hire someone of a referral.

If you need a bathroom & kitchen done, try and do this first if budgets allow - mainly because it's messy work and can cause a lot of dust, stress and time, so best to get this done & out of the way if possible.

Tip 2. What are the critical enhancements for home renovating in 2021?

I think now, more than ever, because we're spending so much time indoors at the moment, our homes need to be the place where we can unwind easily and feel calm. Our home environments play a huge part in our wellbeing and even mental health, so it's crucial to focus on improving our homes for this reason.

I'd say from a well-being perspective, the most critical elements of a renovation are:

1. Ensuring you get enough natural light and that your home feels airy, uplifting and spacious
2. Making sure comfort is at the forefront of your interior design, e.g. a good sofa, an ergonomic desk chair, a decent mattress etc
3. Planning your furniture layout accurately
4. Ensuring you have good storage so that you can keep the space tidy and calm

Tip 3. How do you make the most of storage when renovating?

I love going bespoke where possible because it fits right into the nooks and crannies of your space, which means you can maximise the amount of storage provided whilst also enhancing the property's aesthetic. Storage truly is key, though, to keep a space clean, well maintained and functional. If you have kids, we like to pop a few loose baskets around family or play areas, so tidying up toys is an easy and quick process.

For quick small storage wins explore Arlo & Jacob's footstool range with hidden storage. They are perfect for quick tidy ups around your home and can also be used as a coffee table.

Tip 4. What is the best approach for walls during your renovation?

For paint, we would recommend Lick Home. Their paint is not only VOC friendly, meaning it releases little toxins into the air we breathe, but it is also priced well. I honestly can't sing its praises enough; every painter hire enjoys working with the paint so much it makes other brands look sub-par. Additionally, it has a primer built into the paint, so you don't need an undercoat. After Lick, my next choice would be Little Greene as their colours are beautiful and the quality is excellent; it's just a little bit more expensive.

Tip 5. Does a small-budget require clever sourcing of materials and furnishings? Where do you start your hunt?

To some degree, yes, as you need to be more resourceful; however, it's by no means a disadvantage. Everyone is really into finding vintage or second-hand pieces at the moment due to the trend for sustainability. So in 2021, small budgets aren't necessarily a bad thing. Facebook market place, eBay, Etsy, Gumtree are all amazing places to find second-hand lighting, side tables, fabrics & more - all of which can be found on small budgets. Some of the top designers on Instagram at the moment are all about buying vintage and repurposing. One of my favourite things to source second hand are doors,  taps, radiators and tables - sometimes there is something so charming about an old brass fixture with a story, a scratched up butcher's block or a half-broken light in need of a DIY.

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