Skip These 6 Costly Features If You Are On a Budget

September 19, 2018
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If resources were unlimited, we would all have alfresco ceilings and infinity pools at home. But in reality, most of us have fixed and limited budgets, which means... design sacrifices.

As a rule of thumb, skipping out on over-the-top styles or complex constructs, and focusing instead on improving utility around the home is the way to go when dealing with a small budget. But what should you avoid, exactly? Here's a list of potentially-pricey renovation requests to look out for:


1. Wallpaper

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Interior Designer: Design Geek Sdn Bhd

The look of plain walls can get, well…plain! But deciding to wallpaper for added style effects might not be the right option when you have a small budget. It can be quite expensive, especially when considering the costs of high-quality materials, in-trend designs and colour schemes, as well as professional installation.

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Interior Designer: Philia Interior Design Studio

Also, if you grow tired of your wall paper, it isn’t as easy to update as you would painted walls. You’ll need to remove the wallpaper with care and fix wall damage, if any, which could incur extra maintenance costs down the road.

2. Water Features

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Interior Designer: Code Red Studio

Thanks to our love of Feng Shui and the sound of babbling brooks, Malaysians are into indoor and outdoor water features, big time! Unfortunately, these features which range from tasteful to monstrous, can cost a lot of money. It’s not just the installation and material costs that you’ll have to consider, but added energy usage and maintenance as well.

3. Marble

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Interior Designer: Nevermore Design

There’s no doubt about it, marble are a style statement and with very high-end, pure marble –it’s a status symbol too. But alas, status will cost you! Real imported marble runs into the thousands and even though it’s super expensive, it can be a ‘tender’ material. In other words, marble will easily scratch, stain, etch, and chip if you aren’t careful.

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Interior Designer: Nu Infinity

In addition, to keep it looking its prettiest, this material will require quite a bit of maintenance (e.g. proper cleaning, applying sealant and other protective materials, professional repairs, etc.). All that = costs.

4. Recessed Ceiling Lights

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Interior Designer: Torch Empire

While these lighting options have been around for a while, it still remains a popular renovation request with Malaysian homeowners. And it is often the most costly of lighting choices too. Not only do the fixtures cost more than standard tube lighting, installation costs can be heavy as well. You’ll also have to factor in bulb replacement and cleaning, which can be tricky with very tall ceilings.

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Interior Designer: GI Design Sdn Bhd

You may even need to pay for the services of a handy man to change the bulbs and clear out dust. For a more cost-friendly option, do consider layering lighting with wall and table lamps as well as large, incandescent pendant lights.

5. Wall Niches

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Interior Designer: Twelve Empire Sdn Bhd

This design feature is slowly creeping into the renovation plans of urban and city homeowners who want more ‘creative’ space. However, wall niches can be rather expensive, depending on its size and depth (more hacking, more money), as well as the extras that often go with. Yes, your niche can be fitted with shelving, casing, lighting, tiling (in bathrooms), etc., which will expectedly cost more.

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Interior Designer: Pocket Square

If you don’t have the budget, it’s wise to just skip this costly, albeit useful feature and opt for easy-install open shelving instead.

6. Ceiling Works

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Interior Designer: Twelve Empire Sdn Bhd

A fancy ceiling certainly has its charms but it can also cost you an arm and a leg! From elaborate crown moulding designs to artsy painted ceilings and more, the choices for stylistically drawing the eye upward are almost always dreadfully expensive. This is likely because ceiling surfaces are an extensive part of the home and often require professional hands.

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Interior Designer: Latitude Design

Depending on the complexity of the works and the materials needed, upscale ceilings can cost a bomb. So instead of dramatic, expensive styles, consider just scrapping popcorn ceilings and opt for plaster, a cheaper alternative (from RM2 to RM4 per sq. ft.).


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