DIY: Turn a Rented Flat into Your Dream Home on a Budget

Simple hacks and cheatcodes to make you an interiors person, even if you are not. 

Updated
Lifestyle
4 min read
An earthy living room with a restored antique chair, colourful cushions, and frames with vintage pictures on walls (Photo: An Indian Summer)

Some rearranging, some shopping, a sketch of your ‘ideal look’, some more rearranging, scrubbing, shopping to reconsider, curtains to buy — gasp! Home interiors are a cumbersome business, especially if you earn very little, and have to do up your place in bits and pieces, on a shoestring budget.

We suggest you go step by step while furnishing your place, and give you handy tips on your ‘great interior exercise’.

Pattern Power

(Photo: An Indian Summer)
(Photo: An Indian Summer)

Patterns make your home a better place. With Indian markets inundated with colour, you wouldn’t have to go far to get a patterned piece for your pad. You’ll get a carpet in Sarojini Nagar or Lajpat Nagar market for Rs 300, and cushions for about Rs 200. Also check out online retailer Craftsvilla for similarly priced goods.

Curtaining the Issue

Photo: An Indian Summer
Photo: An Indian Summer

Cotton curtains add warmth and flair to a room — and make it look grounded. You can buy these for just Rs 600-700 depending on the fabric and number of the curtains you want to buy. These can be purchased from Sarojini Nagar in Delhi and Colaba Causeway in Mumbai. Freedom Tree, an online shopping site has some wonderful fabrics for Rs 700.

Trust in the Fairy (Light)

DIY: Turn a Rented Flat into Your Dream Home on a Budget

Perhaps the most beautiful and cheap of all hacks is the fairy lights hack. You can find these at your local electrical store for just Rs 30-40. Rest assured, they will brighten your room and hide all flaws in the dim lighting!

Second Hand Furniture

Old, second hand furniture can be reupholstered with new fabrics (Photo: An Indian Summer)
Old, second hand furniture can be reupholstered with new fabrics (Photo: An Indian Summer)

The first time I moved into an apartment, we had to buy furniture for a living room. And spending insane amount of money to buy furniture for a place which wasn’t even ours made no sense. But that said, we had to entertain guests almost every weekend. So we scouted OLX and found ourselves a really good deal — two sofas and a table for just Rs 2,000.

Sit Up and Take Notice

Coir stools like these can be purchased from local markets (Photo: An Indian Summer)
Coir stools like these can be purchased from local markets (Photo: An Indian Summer)

Anyone who’s ever done interiors on a budget knows how important coir and bamboo stools are. Available at Rs 250, these are the most affordable piece of furniture you can put your hands (or bum) on! If you are in Bangalore, you may find yourselves some really cool stools at the flea market, Kitsch Mandi.

Let’s Get to the Focal Point

Every room should have one focal point — it is what draws your attention first in the room.

Any interior designer will tell you that a fabulous focal point is the cheat code to a good looking room. Creating a focal point also helps take the focus off from the less attractive features of a room.

In the case of this bed room, it is this light fixture.

A bedroom with a table made up of a stack of magazines and an overhead lamp. (Photo: An Indian Summer)
A bedroom with a table made up of a stack of magazines and an overhead lamp. (Photo: An Indian Summer)

Lamps are no shady business. In Delhi, you can buy them from Paharganj market for just Rs 150, and in Bengaluru, Purple Turtles houses some cool stuff. eBay India also stocks decently priced lamps.

And don’t worry if you can’t afford a masterpiece. You can get posters and wall art for as little as Rs 170, from websites like Poster Gully, Poster Duniya and Poster Guy.

A dining table with wrought iron chairs (Photo: An Indian Summer)
A dining table with wrought iron chairs (Photo: An Indian Summer)

In the great game of interior decoration, remember to keep the lighting right, the patterns bright, and the theme right. That’ll make your home a delight!

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