“For thine pocket will be stretched.”
So you’ve received your first couple of paychecks, you’re slowing settling into the groove of adulthood, and hopefully you’re adding to your savings too (this is essential). You decide you want to do something for yourself, an act of self-gratification for all the effort you have put in for all these months.
Some people might decide that the perfect act of self love is giving their bedroom an ultimate makeover. If this sounds like you, stay tuned! If not…stay tuned anyway. You never know, it might become your dream too!
But sometimes, even when your imagination starts working overtime and your mental Pinterest board is in pinning heaven, you might fast forward a few weeks later and find your dream is totally abandoned, only halfway done, or has become your worst nightmare.
So here are some tips on how to complete a successful room makeover anchored by realistic goals.
Budget and plan:
Without some sort of plan guided by a very clear budget, you will surely end up confused or totally unmotivated midway into the process. But with a budget and plan in hand, you can set project targets and deadlines which will guide and encourage you throughout the process.
These are a few guidelines:
- Have a realistic budget: You are “adulting,” so you should mostly be saving and not splurging. Make sure to stick to a sensible budget or save up over a period of time for this project.
- Keep a journal: It’s always good to have some things written down in your own handwriting. This can also serve as further motivation and keep you accountable when you read through the plans you wrote a month ago.
- Prioritize: Make sure you prioritize all the items on your lists, using key determinants like price or urgency.
Do your research:
A room makeover does not happen in a flash. There is no magic wand that you can whip out and TAA DAA – your dream room will appear. As with every good thing, this also requires work. Use your weekends or some in-active moments at work to look at some Pinterest boards (I love Pinterest personally because it allows you to envision your room more clearly).
Alternatively, you could dive into other sites like Instagram and YouTube. For Instagram, searching for specific hashtags like #minimalistdecor #roomdecor #roommakeover #roomdiy can help to reduce the digital content clutter. I personally also found this YouTube channel called Live your Style (https://www.youtube.com/user/robesondesignstudios/featured) hosted by Shar. Together with her mum they make home makeovers that are effortless and also budget friendly—check them out!
Try as much as possible to use craftsmen you know to make some things, instead of just buying them; ask your mum/dad to give you the contact for the family carpenter or handy guy. Usually a person that has a relationship with your family for years is more likely to be flexible with pricing. To make it as hassle-free as possible, here are some tips to keep in mind when working with a craftsman:
- Take clear images of exactly what you want: Almost everyone has a smart phone now, so you can usually share images on the spot. Send a photo (or two) by WhatsApp or text message to your craftsman, and try as much as possible not to change your mind. If they are additions you want made, the best option would be to have a face to face meeting where you can draw/show and explain. After that, send another picture of your new choice.
- Supervise. On the day of installation, you should be there to monitor the progress every now and then. The key word here is monitor, not oppress; be subtle. If you are overbearing and constantly looking over their shoulder, mistakes will happen. Earn their trust; they have been doing this for years after all, probably since even before you were born.
I’ll confess, I have quite a few “projects” which I abandoned halfway through because I became lazy or uninspired and didn’t have good plans or timelines. That’s why I say you need to DIY HARD; make sure you see the whole project through. DIY projects are a perfect way to add more personal touches to your room without feeling that pinch in your pocket. From decorative bold mirrors made from spoons to unique pallet furniture, your options are endless. The only thing needed is determination, your imagination and your local crafts guy in your corner every now and then.
Look out for steals:
Shopping in Ghana for anything can be quite the pain. However, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Here are a few great locations I have stumbled across!
- Acrilex (Osu) – This art store has some great paint colours at really affordable prices per tin. For my room (a standard Ghanaian room), I mixed one 0.5 litre tin of satin finish paint with a regular bucket of white paint and it was a done deal. There is also much more than paint in stock at Acrilex, so make sure to pass through.
- Palace/Mr. Price/Orca Decor – These shops offer lots of fun furniture pieces that you can buy at quite affordable prices. You can mix and match items, and even pull out a handy can of spray paint (check Acrilex) to customize your finds.
- Ashfoam/Latex Foam – If you’re looking for a new mattress or pillows, or even bedsheets, both brands seem to be doing the most to stay relevant in this competitive market, meaning better deals for us! Be sure to check their Facebook pages to update yourself on their newest deals.
Your room is supposed to be an extension of yourself, a haven from all the mayhem, and your retreat for inspiration. Find ways to bring elements of things you like into your space. After all this work is to make you feel better not to age you!
By Guest Hacker Maame Owusua
Maame is an alternative. She thrives in the extremes of life and strives to live every moment to the fullest. She is currently on the search to define her destined purpose and also her more domestic side, which is supposedly, used to lockdown a man. Nothing is more important to her than faith, family, events, her girl pack, the kelewele seller at the junction and a pair of good jeans.