Renovation and interior during the crisis
Where it is with save money and where not.
In late 2008, the market of the interior design was frozen. And this was not surprising — many people during this period did not know what will be the end of the global financial crisis. There were rumors both of the third world war and doomsday — of course, less of us would think about apartments’ repair or interior design.
But then the spring came, nature began to stir — and the same happened to minds. Even the most pessimistic people have understood that despite of the crisis life is going on. Of course, it would be better to dive for a couple of years in hibernation and wake up in already stabilized economic situation, but it was a utopia. We had to live further, make plans, develop, and, finally repair our apartments.
In a sense, to make repair or to build a new house during the financial crisis is rather beneficial. Price for materials are growing lower, masters agree to work for quite reasonable, and sometimes even funny money. There are discounts in all furniture stores, all manufacturers and suppliers are offering great bonuses and promotions. Also investments in your own house and comfort in the current situation seem to be more profitable — the crisis will pass, but the comfort remains.
On the other hand, there is no reason to invest much money in the apartment in such unstable conditions— moreover, we have not this money. So, we have to learn to save money — but it should be done wisely. And the aid comes – it is the age-old proverb.
«Seven times measure — once cut»
Special attention should be paid to the process of design and planning. Before starting repair, we are to imagine in details the final result and all obstacles we can meet in its achieving. In a tight economy of greater importance than earlier is the detailed design project, created either with the help of a professional interior designer, or independently. The project will allow you to minimize costly rework in the process of repair, accurately calculate the necessary amount of the material, and make sure, that the furniture you had bought, will take its place with no problems.
Ideally, you need a fully completed design project before the start of repair works, as well as estimates for the project and schedule for all works with a clear sequence of the execution and timing. This allows you to execute of all works not only technologically correctly, but will also save you from a situation of workers’ standing idle ( which is resulting in the rise in the cost of repair) or premises standing idle (payment for room and utilities also rises). Also, the schedule will allow you to predict the number and sequence of costs and payments during the project.
Of course, I recommend you to turn to a professional interior designer. A professional will make the project faster, more accurate and complete than you can do yourself, not to mention the fact that everyone must do his work. And I do not advise to save money on design services, choosing a cheaper designer or even turning to a student. Cheap, poor quality or incomplete project will not give you all of the above benefits – in the contrary, it could provoke unnecessary spending, waiting and rework.
“The Miser pays twice”
During the repair works there is one very simple rule – do not skimp on what is going on for decades. The design of the building foundation and roof, sewage pipes and water supply, ventilation and air conditioning, electrical wiring – repair and replacement of all this can be very expensive and labor costs, and are complicated and messy repairs. Therefore, all the basic work is to be carried out at the highest level in order in the coming years you do not feel needs in repair. Give preference to companies and products that are warranted.
Also, I do not recommend saving on doors, windows, radiator. But as to the framework of sockets and switches you can buy the most simple and inexpensive
The first question that usually arises during the repair — what kind of floor we are going to do? The leader for it is still laminate flooring, and to my mind it is absolute nonsense. Laminate flooring is electrostatic, it «sounds», not to mention the fact that low-cost types of laminate flooring are often of not sufficiently good quality for our climate with its variable humidity. There is no need to speak on the ecology of this material. So, if there is such an opportunity, there is a sense to think seriously about wooden floors (parquet, solid wood or engineering board).
However, wood – it’s quite expensive, which during the crisis is often the deciding factor. Another common material for floor covering is stone and tile. However, in our climate, they are too cold, so when using you should think about the structure of the floor heating systems. And this leads to additional costs both at the stage of repair, and operation.
There is an excellent material, which is recently somehow forgotten – linoleum. Perhaps the reason for this neglect lies in our Soviet past, for most of people the word “linoleum” is associated with something inferior plastic of gray-brown colour with ugly patterns. But this is just an old stereotype, modern linoleum is quite different.
Natural (and, hence, eco-friendly) linoleum made from natural oils and resins, tinted in dozens of attractive colors. They come in rolls of various widths, which allow it to stack without seams. However, even if the seam is still needed – modern technologies make it completely invisible. It is also possible to create any drawings, designs, combining some linoleum in the same room.
In short, if you are looking for an eco-friendly, affordable, practical and visually appealing floor coverings – we recommend you to pay the very close attention to the linoleum.
As for the walls, here again it is possible to save money. The walls must be perfectly aligned and prepared according to the technology – using network installation and antifungal compounds. But after that, they can simply be painted with a qualitative paint – it’s inexpensive, practical, and will at any time change the design of the space according to your choice. Such a wall with time can be cheaply repainted, you can cause a stencil pattern on it, or it can be painted, at such a wall can be applied paint or decorative plaster, wallpaper… In short, the painted wall is the ideal basis, with which you can further do anything.
Exactly the same recommendations are applied to the ceiling. Multilevel ceilings themselves are already out of fashion, suspended ceilings are still quite expensive (although sometimes they are the best solution). The only thing that’s important to remember – it is necessary to foresee all the lighting and electrical cables for it.
«Less is the best»
I would not advise to save on the amount of lightning – in our climate, where 9 out of 12 months of the year greyness and gloom are prevailing, artificial lighting is a necessity, not luxury. But there is no need to buy expensive designer lamps. Let them be of good quality, but maximum simple. Maybe later you will replace them, but maybe their elegant simplicity will be just what suits your interior.
The same principle can be applied to furniture – buy high-quality and most simple things. Sofa, first of all, should be comfortable, lifting and opening mechanisms of opening or lifting reliable. My special compliments have received the modern models of sofas with cushions – they look luxurious, and removable covers on the pillows are both very practical and can easily change the mood of the room.
Speaking of furniture, it should be noted that now there are large opportunities for the production of furniture to order. This is a good solution due to several reasons. First, you can vary substantially the cost of such furniture, changing accessories, or materials. Secondly, this furniture is always manufactured specifically for your premises – thus eliminating the need to look for a ready option, which will suit your size.
Furniture is exactly the point where the significant savings are possible — in fact to change the furniture is much easier than the floor covering or radiators. Perhaps you’ve ever wanted to experiment with some bold style or colour solution? Now it is just the time to do it – in a few years, you can completely change the furnishing. The exception, perhaps, is kitchen furniture – the process of its assembling is quite time-consuming, so it is better to plan a kitchen for the next 5-10 years.
And to give your interior a chic and unique, place one or several original pieces of furniture. Perhaps they can be quite expensive, such as samples of designer furniture or perfectly restored antiques. For example, a bright Egg arm-chair or a table in the Baroque style will perfectly shade your minimalist and economical interior, as well as will demonstrate your good taste.
Decor and linens is another way to save money on the interior. I recommend refrain from complex curtains with lambrequins and caught, as well as minimize the number of jalousie – despite of its outward simplicity, they are quite difficult in manufacturing, and therefore by no means cheap. Use a simple smooth fabric of elegant shades or with a large but simple design. You can abandon the rich draperies, but do not skimp on the length of the curtains.
Decorating the room is in principle the case where sleaze is inappropriate. But this does not mean that the interior needs the original painting – it can be successfully replaced with the author’s photo. Look closely at the work of novice photographers – they are often very original and not expensive. Glassware and ceramics will help you to bring a bright accent to the interior – vases, plates and ashtrays.
Thus it is possible to optimize costs and receive the stylish and original interior without investing huge resources into it. Perhaps, after the crisis and stabilization of the economic situation, you will want something more luxurious – well, you can transform your interior without making huge changes, through wall covering, replacement of furniture and decor. Maybe you’ll like the possibility to change completely the look of your house every 2-3 years with a small investment of funds. Or perhaps you will like minimalism, and you will just replace the inexpensive furniture and fabrics with truly luxurious items, characteristic for this style.