Bored of staring at the same bland walls of your house? Desperately looking for ways to make your house look livelier? Well, look no further. Like always, we’re here to help. We know what you’re thinking. How can BankBazaar, a neutral online marketplace for loans, Credit Cards and more, help with interior designing?
Well, this time, it’s not exactly us. We’ve outsourced some help for you! We’ve roped in an expert in the area to give you top-notch tips and tricks to remodel your house or even help you decorate that new house you plan to buy. All this on a shoestring budget, of course!
Meet The Creative GeniusShivani Dogra is a Delhi-based Interior Designer, who specialises in remodelling old spaces. After you see a few glimpses of her work, you might not believe what we’re going to tell you now. Are your ready for it? Here we go: Shivani comes from a media background with no formal training in interior designing. No kidding! That’s quite cool, isn’t it?
After working in the media line for almost 10 years, Shivani realised that designing interiors and remodelling old spaces was her calling. What started as a small, personal blog went on to becoming a successful interior designer’s public blog. She started by revamping a small rented room at her aunt’s place. There was no looking back after that for this talented woman entrepreneur.
Shivani wrote about the transformation of that small space. The main highlight of that project was that she did it all on a strict budget. Everything, right from the decorative elements to furniture, was taken from the second-hand market in Delhi. Shivani has been a part of some amazing projects since then, and she’s killing it every day!
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Golden Rules For Remodelling
If you’re looking to renovate your house, you’re bound to have a number of thoughts swirling around in your head at the moment. Which theme to go with – one or many? What are the best options for lighting? How to manage all of this within a tight budget? To make your life simpler, we asked our design genius Shivani. Here’s what she has to say.
“For someone who’s planning to remodel their house on a shoestring budget, the golden rule is to choose carefully.”
That makes sense, right? Since you have a limited amount to spare, it’s better to be sure about what you want. “You also need to develop an eye for the right stuff. You want to stand apart from the crowd, get economical stuff, without letting it look cheap or too common to find,” Shivani adds.
It might take a toll on you and it’s bound to try your patience severely. Since you’ll mostly find this stuff in the older markets, you need to be a little forbearing. That’s probably the hardest part about finding the perfect things for your house. All set to explore the dusty streets of that magnificent street market? What are you waiting for?
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Here’s a summary of the golden rules for renovating your house:
- Choose carefully
- Be patient
- Buy things that are reasonable, but look elegant.
- Choose things that are not common
Shivani Dogra certainly makes a good point. If you want your house to look beautiful and reflect a part of your personality, you ought to work hard for it, right?
Redecorating Small SpacesDo you want to make a small space look elegant and tastefully done? If you thought that was impossible to achieve, well, it’s time to change the way you think. Shivani has a solution to your problem.
“You can make a small space look elegant by choosing the right pieces of furniture. Getting massive sofas or armchairs won’t make any sense if you have a space constraint. Stick to light-weight, simpler furniture pieces. Avoid going for things that are overly ornate or heavy,” says Shivani.
Keeping the space constraint in mind while redesigning your house is crucial. Shivani had some great insights about using the right colours to make a small space look more spacious. She elaborates, “To make a small space look more spacious, you could try painting it in lighter colours. Stick to white, cream or other lighter shades. Over cluttering is a big no-no! Fewer pictures on the walls work better than having a whole gallery on display.”
You don’t want to overdo things, right? Balance is the key here. Well, that solves the curious case of redoing a small space tastefully, doesn’t it? So, won’t elegance take a toll on your budget? Read on.
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How To Work That Budget To Maximum Advantage
If you’re worried that looking for elegant and classic pieces of furniture is going to ruin your budget, fret not! Shivani shares some cool cost-cutting measures to ensure that you don’t end up wrecking your finances while redoing your house.
“Don’t start without a plan. Since your budget is limited, it’s sensible to spend some time thinking about what you want before actually starting. Jumping headlong into renovating your house without a plan is only going to affect your pocket and waste your time.”
You don’t want to make mistakes here. Because it could cost you a lot! How to go about it then? Our expert spells it out for you.
“Figure out what you want your place to feel like before taking the plunge. If you’re starting everything from scratch, invest well in the flooring. Make some structural changes in the house to allow more natural light in. The idea is to get the basics right. If they’re all in place, you don’t need to invest much in the decorative stuff. Investing in the shell of the space is any day better than focusing on decorative stuff.”
These tips sure provide clarity about the entire renovation project. Now you know where you need to invest on priority and what can be taken care of later.
Shedding Light On Lighting
Another crucial element of getting interior design right is lighting. Since we’re looking for economical ways of doing everything, lighting has to be taken care of keeping a strict budget in mind as well. It’s one of the elements that form the backbone of your house’s overall look. Don’t worry! You can still get it spot on with Shivani’s tips.
“Natural light is what you need to hunt for. If you’re just moving into a new apartment, look for ways to make the most of sunlight. Apart from helping you save on unnecessary electricity expenses, it also proves to be good for your health,” she says.
Two birds, one stone, right? If you’re getting an added health benefit while remodelling your house, why not?
Shivani adds, “Lighting makes the place look more open. If you don’t have the option of letting sunlight in, you could opt for concealed lighting. Since there are mainly LED lights involved, you get to save considerably on electricity bills. If you want your place to look cosier, you could look at table lamps and standing lamps as options.”
A Good Excuse To Reuse
Do you have a couple of old furniture pieces that lack glam quotient? The good news is that you can reuse and spiff them up instead of buying new ones. Not sure how? That’s why we have our expert! Here’s what Shivani has to say about this.
“If you have an old piece of furniture that lacks lustre, you could give it a new look using lacquer paints. You could use colours like emerald green or bright red to make it look more glamorous. Alternatively, you could scrub off the paint and see what the wood looks like. Sometimes, polishing the wood with natural tones makes more sense than painting it all over again.”
Depending on the type of wood, you can decide whether painting it all over again or scrubbing the paint off makes more sense. If it’s one of those vintage pieces that has been lying around your house for decades, you might want to go with the second option and polish the wood. Why? Because chances of it being made using good and expensive wood like sheesham or walnut are high.
So, we’re almost set with all the crucial elements of a house makeover – on a strict budget, of course.
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Choosing A ThemeAnother important question most of us keep pondering, “Which theme should I go with? How strictly do I need to stick to the theme?” Shivani has the answer.
“A theme is basically a set of guidelines that helps you have a vision of your remodelled house. It helps you choose the right furniture, decorative pieces, colours etc. But if you copy a particular theme to such an extent that your house starts to look like something that directly came out of the computer, it might look perfect according to the theme you’ve chosen. However, it’ll lack your personal touch and a lively element. Use your chosen theme as a guideline and step outside of it once in a while. Make your house look like a home.”
All of us want our houses to reflect a part of your personality. If we keep looking for perfection, running after themes, we might end up creating something that’s beautiful, but doesn’t quite feel like ‘home’. A space that looks like it stepped out of an interior-design magazine may look picture perfect but it can feel extremely impersonal and devoid of personality.
Old Is Gold
After sharing so many meaningful insights with us, Shivani also tells us about the kind of work she enjoys doing the most. Guessing from her eye for beauty hidden in older buildings and pieces of art, we guess the answer.
Confirming our suspicions, Shivani says, “I love working on older architecture! The most fulfilling projects for me have been renovating older buildings.”
When we ask her the reason, she adds, “Working with older buildings is not merely about interior designing. You get to travel, interact with new people, get a chance to experience new cultures, interact with local artisans and craftsmen.”
So just what are her favourite projects to date?
“Out of all the experiences that I’ve had so far, working at Arunachal and Gwalior. I got to interact with the local communities and we also sourced a lot of stuff from them,” reminisces Shivani.
Intrigued by her design capabilities, we ask her what her biggest inspiration is.
“My style of design is guided by two main elements—India and nature. The ever-changing Indian terrain, the lights, sounds and colours around me; anything around me that’s natural serves as an inspiration,” Shivani signs off.
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We got so much useful information while talking to her that we never wanted this interview to end. But, sigh! All good things come to an end. On the brighter side, we got some wonderful insights into renovating houses on a tight budget. What more could we have asked for?
If you’re as smitten by this talented young designer’s work as we are, here’s the link to her awesome work and every project she has been a part of. Any questions about interior designing? You know where to find all the answers now, don’t you?
You’re all set to renovate your house now! Yippee! Aah, but are your finances in place to support your dream? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered!