Do you ever dream of living in a beautiful country cottage, deep in the heart of nowhere, with only Mr Fox and Mrs Badger as neighbours? Well, you might not have to up sticks and leave just yet. You can get exactly the same experience in any dwelling, but without the bad smells. And it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune, either. Here’s how I think you can countrify your home wherever you live, for very little investment.
Pave Your Lawn
For a classic olde English cottage look, you need to start outside and remember your garden. Some lovely paving slabs winding their way around flower beds and vegetable patches is perfect. You could even throw some shingle in for good measure. Not only does it look great, but it will cut down the time you spend mowing your grass. And most sane people would pay double the money for that.
Rip Up Your Carpet
If your carpet is past its sell-by-date due to the children, pets, or coffee stains, then it is the ideal time to rip it up and start again. For a real country look, you can think about leaving your floorboards exposed. You will need to make sure that all nails are flat to the floor, and all gaps are filled before going over it with an industrial sander. Wear a mask and keep all doors and windows open for ventilation. Once everything is smooth, get hold of some wood stain and give it a couple of coats. You will know have a beautiful wooden floor – and a slightly less soundproofed home.
Distress Your Furniture
Go to your local second-hand furniture shop. Buy a dresser for round £20. Undercoat in white, before adding some chalk-based paint on top. A couple of coats will do. Now cover in beeswax. Once it is semi-dry, grab a 2p coin and rub it lightly all over. Congratulations, you have just become a shabby chic designer! Now you can either: a) proudly arrange your dresser as a focal point in your dining room or b) sell it at an antique market for £600.
Get A Wooden Table
You can’t pretend you are living in the country without investing a little bit in an authentic wooden table. Now, these can cost a fortune new, so some planning is necessary to pick up a good deal. Check your local charity shops – the British Heart Foundation have furniture stores in many towns and cities, for example. You could also pay a visit to Emmaus or a similar organization in your area. You can pick up some incredible bargains there, and will be helping to support an honorable cause, too.
No need for luxury rugs and silky-smooth upholstery in a country house. Chunky, hessian rugs and thick, woollen blankets for throws are where it’s at. You can buy these second hand if you want (they made need a clean) but they can be found for peanuts at a local market if you want to buy new. You could also try your parent’s house. They probably have some relics from their hippy days in the late ’60s stashed away somewhere.
Looking for more tips on frugal living? Make sure you check out the rest of my blog for much, much more.