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HOW TO: Top tips for designing your home on a budget

Buying a new home is an exciting time, however for many buyers, getting on or moving up the property ladder can also be a costly one. Once you have finally got your hands on the keys to your new place, it is important that you are savvy about designing – without breaking the bank. There are so many different options and possibilities out there, but it can be difficult to know what is and is not good value for money.

Rebecca Harris, Senior Sales Manager at Dapa Interiors and the designer of Crest Nicholson’s luxurious show homes at its Colwell Green development in Witney, Oxfordshire shares her top tips:

  1. Get creative with upcycling

    Upcycling is a form of recycling, in which you improve old belongings and give them an entirely new look & purpose. Examples of this may include turning a shabby wooden ladder into a painted bookcase, repurposing a vintage suitcase into a chair or even turning an old tennis racket into a mirror. This mixture of old and new will help give your home character and add a rustic edge. It doesn’t have to be expensive either, you can find some amazing bargains on auction sites or at vintage stalls and flea markets – all you need is a little patience and a discerning eye!


  2. Feature paints rather than wallpaper

    Feature paints are a useful way of injecting colour and vibrancy to a room, without the need for wallpaper which can sometimes be costly. Paint the wall behind the sofa with a bold mustard or calming teal or even give textured paints a try. A concrete finish is on trend currently.


  3. Display bespoke artwork

    Oversized artwork is a great way to create impact in a room, giving a clear focal point. This doesn’t have to be expensive - consider editing, printing and framing your own photography; using a photo from a trip to a city or landscape close to your heart makes the feature even more personal, whilst also saving your budget.


  4. Fire up the sewing machine

    If you (or someone you know) are handy with a sewing machine, you can easily design your own window treatments and cushions. Take a trip out to your nearest fabric wholesaler and take your pick from an array of beautiful, bold prints. These will give maximum impact on a room, without breaking your budget.


  5. Add some finishing touches

If you are fitting out your home on a budget, it is worth investing in larger items such as a sofa and dining room table whilst keeping these fairly neutral to ensure they stand the test of time. When it comes to adding personality and colour, accessories are a great place to start as they can easily be adapted to future trends. Think rugs to zone, decorative lamps and colourful throws.


Crest Nicholson’s Colwell Green development comprises a stylish collection of two-bedroom apartments and two, three, four and five bedroom houses, which have been carefully designed to suit the modern-day purchaser.

Prices for two bedroom apartments at Colwell Green start from £254,950 and from two £314,950 for a two bedroom house. Prices for three bedroom houses start from £354,950, four bedroom houses from £544,950 and five bedroom properties from £849,950. The Government-backed Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme is available on selected properties. To find out more, please call 01993 648004 or visit:

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