Feel at Home on a Budget



I’ve just moved home after a disastrous purchase, which involved a huge undervaluation, an unexpected damp issue, and more. So, with all my money for refurbishment gone and the reality hitting that I may have to live with the orange kitchen for quite some time, I embark on a mission to make my new space “home”.


This feeling may equally apply to you if you’ve just moved to Dubai from another country or if you’ve moved into a much rented and much “loved” space. Whatever your situation, it’s always good to feel at “home” with where you live, be it rented or owned.


Here’s just a few ideas to get you started…


Paint It

The quickest way to spruce things up is to put a fresh coat of paint on it. I chose to paint my new home a fresh white as this makes it look clean and fresh and it gives you time to live with it, to work out the light and which rooms would work in different colours. Joton and Dulux both change up their colours regularly and are good options to look at and the average home costs AED 2000-3000 to paint.


Wrap It

I’m a big fan of wrapping. I was one of the first to give kitchen wrapping a go in my old home and the kitchen was brilliant for nearly 4 years until we moved. You can wrap most things these days – kitchens, bathrooms, floors, furniture, banisters, and more, and it’s super affordable and comes with a good warranty. The kitchen is the biggest transformation, but there are waterproof options for bathrooms and you can even change unsightly colour window and door frames too. If you hate it in a year’s time – re-wrap it. We’re big fans of Creative Wrap – a great locally owned company.


Soft Furnish It

Nothing spruces up a new home and makes it homely more than soft furnishings. New cushions on your sofa, a colourful new bedspread, a big new rug – all options can be affordable and make a big difference. Home centre, Jysk, Ikea and Debenhams all have great options and you can get cushions from as little as 20 dhs.


Revamp It

If you have a piece of furniture you love, but you don’t like the colour or it doesn’t go with your new home or any of your furniture why not give it a new lease of life with a bit of a make-over. Chalk paint is one of my favourite things as it transforms most things. There are also some interesting paint effects such as marble or crackle you can have fun with – wander around ACE Hardware and discover them all!


So much furniture is very dark here in the UAE and if you’re feeling resourceful find a piece of furniture on Dubizzle or one of the many FB groups and create something new. Big transformations are easy if you paint items white, cream or pale gray. You can also add new handles to cupboards to create brand new looks. You can also re-upholster chairs and sofas - the list for revamping is easy, just give it a go.


And.. Statement piece it!

A quick win is to buy one statement piece, be it furniture, art, a rug or a light fitting. If you buy something you truly love, not only will it be an investment, but it will add a real wow factor in your home and chances are it will make you happy every time you look at it.


Limited budgets don’t need to mean an unhappy or shabby home! You just need a little creativity and even small things can make the biggest of differences.