Malaysian woman’s budget home makeover

With extra time to burn, thanks or no thanks to the MCO, Malaysians have been looking to sprucing up our living spaces to stay comfy and productive. 

Serving as an inspiration to those sticking to a budget with home makeovers at this time, Nur Diyana from Bentong shared on Facebook how she gave new life to a 20-year-old rental apartment – by utilising used and IKEA furniture, and sourcing decorative items from budget stores such as Eco Shop, Daiso and Jalan Jalan Japan

20-year-old apartment given a fresh new look

Malaysian's budget home makeover - living room
The wall decorations above her TV only cost her over RM35 to put together
Image credit:
Nur Diyana

Diyana shared the budget-friendly makeover of her rented apartment in Lurah Bilut, Bentong in a series of before-and-after photos with detailed captions on Facebook. In the captions, she even included prices for furniture and home decor items in the photos, as well as tips helpful to anyone wanting to give their homes a makeover. 

According to the Facebook post, she and her husband opted for a simple “light, bright and airy” look. And the final look – with the bedrooms, toilet, living and dining area, and kitchen fitted with Scandi-inspired and contemporary farmhouse-inspired furnishings – was achieved in just 2 weeks.

But the thrifty way she decorated her apartment, with previously owned furniture and items sourced from budget stores, and with no renovations needed, is even more impressive.  

Malaysian's budget home makeover - living room before
Her rented apartment before the makeover
Image credit: Nur Diyana

She shared that she only spent RM725 to add new furniture and colour to the living area – a TV cabinet, wooden chair and standing lamp from IKEA, a vintage carpet from Carpet Prima Nilai, and a 7-litre bucket of white paint to give the room’s yellowing walls a fresh coat of paint. 

To help cut costs, she retained the sofa set that came with the apartment. Most of the home decor items she has in her home are also thrifted from bundle stores and dollar stores. They include things such as rattan place mats, wooden frames and decorative lanterns from stores such as Jalan Jalan Japan, Eco Shop, Kaison and even pasar malams.

Malaysian's budget home makeover - decor
Diyana used shelving units to show off thrifted finds and to add character to her space
Image adapted from: Nur Diyana and Nur Diyana

For the dining area, Diyana only spent RM500 to decorate it with a dining set, carpet, wall shelvings and decor.

To keep things affordable, but not skimping out on tasteful furnishings, she shopped for her dining table at IKEA’s “As-Is” section – a space within the well-known furniture store that sells discontinued, returned and showroom items at lower-than-usual prices.

She also waited for Shopee’s popular 11:11 sale to get Eames-inspired chairs, which only cost her slightly under RM200 (including shipping) for a set of 4 chairs.

Malaysian's budget home makeover - dining area
Image adapted from: Nur Diyana and Nur Diyana

No room left out of budget-friendly home makeover

While most of us would think kitchen makeovers would cost a bomb, Diyana kept her kitchen makeover pretty minimal with results nonetheless impressive. Aside from the already-installed cabinets and countertops, she added PVC industrial tile stickers and contemporary farmhouse-inspired decor to add a modern, yet cosy, touch to the space. 

Malaysian's budget home makeover - kitchen
Image adapted from: Nur Diyana

But the master bedroom gets the same Scandi-inspired decor as the living area, with clean white walls and airy curtains, and pops of colour from rustic bedspreads, rattan wall decor and hanging pots of plants. 

Malaysian's budget home makeover - bedroom
Image adapted from: Nur Diyana

While larger items in the bedroom, such as the bed, side tables and wardrobe were previously owned items, Diyana switched out the old dressing table left behind in the apartment for a modern-looking shelving unit with a hanging mirror that acts as a dressing table and storage space.

Malaysian's budget home makeover - bedroom before
Her bedroom before the makeover
Image adapted from: Nur Diyana

The second bedroom in their apartment is turned into a cosy nursery with chic decor as well. The couple opted for a gender-neutral concept, with furniture sourced from IKEA and Shopee. Bundling up aesthetically pleasing furniture with practicality, the dresser can even double as a changing table. 

Leaving no room untouched in the apartment, Diyana also spruced up areas that we usually leave out of home makeovers, including the laundry area, with contemporary farmhouse-inspired decor.

Malaysian's budget home makeover - nursery
Image adapted from: Nur Diyana

The toilet was transformed with Moroccan-style PVC tiles from Kaison, which only cost RM20, to give it a more modern feel.

Malaysia's budget home makeover - toilet
Image adapted from: Nur Diyana and Nur Diyana

Budget home makeover of 20-year-old rented apartment

We’re always looking for ways to save time and money while giving our homes a new look. While many of us might think that extensive renovations are the only way to go to spruce up old spaces, Diyana creatively shows us with her budget home makeover that it’s not impossible to get a new space out of a lived-in apartment with tasteful furnishings, thrifted decor and a new coat of paint.

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Cover image adapted from: Nur Diyana

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