Colm Doyle's budget-stretching tips
1 Do your research - put 'Ikea hack' into Pinterest and houzz.com for clever ways to upcycle or mix up Ikea furniture with other items. "I love Ikea and I have plenty of Ikea in my house, but I hide it amongst other items."
2 Hunt for bargains. Shop at auction houses and salvage yards and you'll find amazing value and oddities. Colm recently bought a set of nine Victorian dining chairs for €450. "They are great quality and look super, and are cheaper than Ikea!"
3 Use mirrors for impact, the bigger, the better. "Use mirrors in bathrooms instead of tiles, it's cheaper. Use mirrors in hallways and reception rooms too - they look great and cover up large amounts of wall at not a huge cost".
4 Only tile 50pc or less of your bathroom. "It's cheaper and it will feel more luxurious, smarter and more elegant, and you can upgrade the non-tiled bit with paint whenever you get bored with it."
5 If in doubt, paint it. Colm has painted splashbacks, showers, bathroom tiles and fireplaces. Check with your supplier that you have the right type of paint for the job in hand though. "It's a great way to add drama while trying to get a more expensive look at a very low cost. We're going from a period of everything being white and beige to much darker colours and there are a lot of dark greens, very dark greys and very dark blues. Think about picking out a wall or room in a dark colour; it's cheap but has a lot of impact. In my house, I painted the skirting and architraves a darker colour than the walls. Use mid-sheen paint on timberwork to give it a lift, and matt on the walls. Regular brands will do copies of the higher-end of paint colours."
6 No budget for a stairs carpet? Paint the runner on. "I painted the runner in a bright orange - you can just stick a real runner over that when your money comes in. For a shabby chic look, paint over the runner again in a different colour the next year, and the next year. As you wear the paint on the steps down, all the colours start to come through and you get this amazing layering of colour on the stair tread."
7 Don't waste labour over removing ugly tiles in a shower, just tile over them. It'll take a good tiler an hour.
8 Make your own art. "We framed up a piece of Ikea fabric and it is now a dramatic piece of art. All in, it cost about €60 and no one else will have it."
9 Want parquet flooring on a lino budget? Colm cut up a cheap lino into strips, and had it laid in a herringbone pattern. Hey presto. Cheap, hardwearing and effective.