Samantha Pynn, who co-hosts Save My Reno with Sebastian Clovis, has an expert eye for design and the know-how to save thousands of dollars on a reno. Find out how you can save money without sacrificing style by clicking through.
Save My Reno airs on HGTV Canada Tuesdays at 9 and 9:30PM and is streamed live on STACKTV which is available through Amazon Prime.
Have a Plan!
“You just need to really start with a plan,” Samantha Pynn says when asked about money-saving reno tips. “It’s when you start to buy little things, willy-nilly, that’s when you tend to start spending money and having to repurchase things. So that’s my best advice is start with a plan.” She also suggests that you find inspiration photos of things you love and research what they cost. (You can start by checking out HGTV Canada’s Pinterest account.) And, when you go shopping, carry samples and a tape measure so you know the size, scale and proportion of things.
“The power of paint is great,” she says. Not only can it make ceilings appear higher, but it makes any room feel bigger at a fraction of what a major reno would cost. Doing the painting yourself saves even more money. When picking a colour, don’t rely on just a paint chip. “I am a huge advocate of getting a test pot,” Sam says. “I’m more inclined to getting a quart and painting it and then looking at it at different times of day to see if you like it.” See how the paint looks with your furniture, cabinets and other elements in a room. There are few things as disappointing as having to re-paint a room. It takes the wind out of your reno sails.
Use What You Have
Shopping your house is something that happens a lot on Save My Reno. Use what you have instead of buying new, Sam suggests. In Season 4, Marie and Robert furnished most of the above basement with extra furniture they had laying around. “If you can paint a table or spray paint a lamp; or put fresh cushions on the sofa and have the sofa professionally cleaned, that is a big money saver.” Why buy something new when what you have just needs some love?
Related: Find out more about Samantha Pynn.
Luxe it Up
“Wherever you can buy off-the-rack and make it look custom or elevated in some way, that’s a money saver, that’s a great money saver,” Sam says. Add crown moulding or beef up the trim on an off-the-rack book case. Or, get an inexpensive table and top it off with an offcut of porcelain or a piece of marble. “I’m always looking for ways to elevate the everyday and I find that, that makes the space look luxe – always.”
Related: Watch this DIY Wall Art video with Sam.
Something you will see Sam and co-host Sebastian Clovis doing on Save My Reno is upcycling. The freshly painted antique hutch in the above picture is a prime example from Season 3 of Save My Reno. “Vintage furniture is huge because it’s built solidly and in its day it was probably quite expensive, but you can get it for a song,” she says. You can reupholster or paint an old counter stool and make it look brand new. Even grandma’s old sofa is on-trend these days with the grandmillennial movement gathering steam.
Keep the Walls Up
One of the first things people often want to do when renovating is getting rid of a wall, but Sam says to hold off on the sledge hammer. You could need the wall for support and replacing it with a support beam can be very costly. And there could be other reasons to keep the walls. “You need them for furniture placement, or you need them for cabinetry placement,” she says. While there are times when taking out a wall opens up a closed space, make sure you pick your battles wisely… and then take out all your frustrations on the wall.
Keep Your DIY in Check
“So if you have good DIY skills, then, you know, knock yourself out,” Sam says. “And if you have not so good DIY skills, there’s certainly projects and things that you can do on your own.” But know your limits when it comes to things like plumbing, electrical or using a blow torch for the first time. “If it’s just not something you’ve attempted before, you’ve got to leave that to the professionals – that will save you money in the long run.”
Support a Local Artist
You can find local-based painters who give your house distinct character without breaking the bank, Sam suggests. “You often think: ‘Oh, original art comes with a huge price tag… Sometimes it does, but oftentimes it doesn’t.” Not only that, supporting the local arts community feels great! The piece featured in the photo above is by Toronto-based artist Nick Bahizi.
Related: Get inspired by the latest Save My Reno pictures.