Courtesy of Kevin Kelly


The most well-known way to save money on any home renovation project is to do it yourself. But what if you don’t have the skills? The secret is to find a contractor who will work with you to save money in other areas. The most important aspect of taking this approach when renovating is to maintain open and honest communication with your contractor from the start. Tell them what your budget is and ask how you can work together to achieve that amount. If they seem reluctant or won’t answer you directly, they likely aren’t the right contractor for you. Once you’ve found a professional who is happy to work within your budget, ask them how you can help reduce costs. For example,

even if you don’t know how to install kitchen cabinets, you may be perfectly comfortable removing your old ones and transporting them off-site. Ask your contractor what other site prep you can tackle before they arrive, because the less they have to do the less it will cost you. You might also not know how to tile a floor, but if your contractor is willing to let you source and deliver the materials to the construction site that can save on labour. You can keep the material cost low by shopping on local buy and sells – where people often list items remaining from their own projects. But while many of these cost-saving approaches still take time, they certainly don’t require the same skillset needed to fully DIY a reno.


One of the reasons rustic design can be hard to pin down is that it actually plays a role in many of today’s most popular design styles. For example, modern farmhouse, shabby chic and Scandinavian all have rustic elements woven into them. Aside from homes already embracing these common rustic-loving styles, the well worn, warm and cozy vibe can be added to any interior space using these four guiding principles. 1. Use real wood that is textured instead of smooth. Avoid adding manufactured wooden furniture and accessories. Choose real wood with texture – even imperfections. 2. Incorporate elements from nature. One of the main features of a rustic space is that it brings the feeling of the outside world indoors. Think dried flowers, shed antlers and artwork featuring plants and animals. 3. Focus on simple lines. Rustic design tends to let the materials do the talking and avoids overly complicated lines and fussy details.

4. Buy handmade items or make them yourself. The cozy feeling that rustic spaces embody often comes from handmade, unique and not-quite-perfect items.

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