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5 examples of awesome house innovation that you can steal for your own home without breaking the bank. Get inspired!
Here at Bamboo, we love all things interior design. We’re always checking out nice properties and DIY projects on Instagram, pinning awe-inspiring examples of house innovation on Pinterest and generally thinking of ways that we can help you – our readers and customers – make your home look great on the cheap.
We’ve written before about the best DIY projects to add value to your property, upcycling tricks to look chic on a budget and even how to add a touch of personality to a rented property without losing your deposit. But this week, we thought we’d dream a little bigger and check out the crazy world of house innovation – and then see if we can steal an idea or two for your own home, without breaking the bank in the process.
Our House Innovation Inspiration:
If you’ve seen George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, Grand Designs or The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, you’ve probably got the same bug we have.
Symptoms include: an addiction to TV shows about house innovation, a head full of ideas about what to do with your space, a Pinterest board of interior design pins and a bank account telling you ‘maybe another day…’ You see, whenever you catch one of those TV shows, their budgets are always eye-wateringly high and waaaaay beyond anything us normal folk could afford.
Home remodel costs: the breakdown
Of course, the cost of remodelling your house is completely dependent on what you want done. According to Experian, a loft conversion can cost an average of £24,600, a new kitchen costs £9,600 and a new bathroom comes in at an average of £4,900. Extensions, on the other hand, are significantly more expensive. Last year, the average estimate for a single storey extension was between £1,200 and £1,500 per m2. That means, for a very small, very basic, one-storey extension – say, 10m2 – you’d be expecting to pay upwards of £10,000, and that doesn’t include VAT.
If you want a two-storey extension, you can expect the cost to go up by around 50%. Ouch.
Which leaves you with two options: save up and fund a large-scale renovation of your home, or get creative with your space
Your decision depends on the state of your house. If you’re happy with your house but feel like it lacks a little bit of the Wow Factor, it’s time to get creative with your space.
If you moved into a fixer-upper and need to add some space to your property, rip out an old kitchen or just give the place a much-needed update, then you’re probably going to have to go with Option A – the large-scale renovation. For that, you might want to consider looking into home improvement loans. Home improvement loans are a good way to spread the cost of doing your house out over the course of a few years, letting you get on with the work right away and paying it off gradually. You won’t be alone – nearly a quarter of UK borrowers take out personal loans for home improvement.
Is borrowing money to improve your home a good idea?
As we said, this depends on your situation. If you’ve got savings, it makes sense to dip into those savings to fund your renovation. However, if you’re short on savings but really need to get your house done, borrowing to fix your home up can be a great idea – not only because it spreads the cost, but you’ll immediately add a lot of value to your property.
And now, onto our five favourite budget-friendly house innovations
Turn your dead space under the stairs into hidden storage
If there’s one thing we love more than a great example of house innovation, it’s an example of house innovation that also lets you hide away a tonne of things that never really have a home of their own; the hoover, the mop, old coats, shoes…
That’s why we love this clever idea to turn the dead space under your stairs into super handy, hideaway storage for all of your bits and bobs…
Rather than talk you through the whole process, here’s a great YouTube video:
Welcome to the Future! Build your own smart mirror.
Smart mirrors are something straight out of a sci-fi film: while you’re brushing your hair or cleaning your teeth, you’ll be able to check out the weather, keep up to date with the news and even check your emails. And while smart mirrors can cost upwards of £1,000, with a little bit of YouTube learning, some determination and a sprinkle of innovation (this is an article on house innovation, after all), you can build your own for much less than that and blow your friends away!
Welcome to the Future: Part II – Control your appliances from your phone (or your Alexa)
This one isn’t particularly new, but it’s still incredibly innovative – and, if you’ve ever tried it, you’ll know that it feels like you’re living in the future.
All you have to do is get a few wireless plugs and connect them to your phone or voice assistant (Alexa or Google Home, for instance) and you’ll be able to say ‘Alexa, turn the lights off and turn the fan on’ and just like that, the lights will dim and the fan will come on. You can even purchase a Fire TV Stick with voice control to control Netflix with just your voice.
And let us tell you, the novelty never gets old. The power goes to your head a bit for the first few days, but then your life just gets a little easier.
Fold your table away
This example of house innovation is one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that?!’ ideas: you take a table and turn into a blackboard (or photo frame) that you can keep on the wall when you don’t need it. Sounds crazy, right? Bear with us. Kitchen tables are great for eating on, sure, but for the rest of the day, what do they do? Collect dust and act as a dumping ground for all your unwanted post, items of clothing and other bits and bobs from around the house. What if you could do away with that dead space altogether?
Well now you can, if you build a table that folds onto the wall and adds an extra something to the room at the same time.
Check this video out to see how:
Make the most of every inch of space
You know that space beneath your kitchen cupboards but above the floor? It’s usually a couple of inches high and completely dead space. Well, that space is known as a toe kick – we guess because you kick it with your toes? who knows… And, with a little bit of imagination and ingenuity, you can convert that space into a usable storage space for all your odds and ends.
Odd plates that you only get out at Christmas? Stick ‘em in the toe kick. Nowhere to keep all those batteries, torches and other bits and pieces? Stick ‘em in the toe kick. Want somewhere to keep tea towels, sponges or cleaning equipment? Stick ‘em in the toe kick. We’ve even seen people build their dog bowls into the drawers so that they can hide them away during the day too.
There’s no limit to what you can do with these spaces. Wanna see how to make them? Here’s another video!
Inspired by this post and thinking of applying for one of our home improvement loans?
If you’re thinking of carrying out works on your house and don’t want to pay cash or put it on a credit card, then a guarantor or unsecured loan could be the perfect solution for you. Not only are guarantor loans a great way to finance home improvements with bad credit, but they’ll help repair your credit score at the same time.
At Bamboo, we offer home improvement loans for anywhere between £1,000 and £8,000. Why not see how much you could borrow? If you’re approved, you could be on your way to repairing your credit score and your house within 24 hours. Representative APR 49.7% – a guarantor may be required.
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 12 June 2018