Redecorating can seem like a daunting task, especially if your budget is small or nonexistent. Whether you’re tired of looking at the same indoor “landscape”, have a special occasion coming up, or just want to freshen up, there are easy and frugal ways to spruce up your interior spaces. A little ingenuity and creativity can go a long way. Here are four ways to refresh and bring new life to your home.
Clean & Organize
A little cleaning and reorganizing can go a long way to improving the look of your home. From windows and appliances to cabinets and bathrooms, a bit of elbow grease will help brighten and disinfect your spaces. Rejuvenate a room by vacuuming or laundering drapes, washing throw pillows, dusting the lampshades, and cleaning the crumbs out from under the couch cushions. (Who knows, you might find some change there too.)
As for reorganization, who doesn’t have a drawer or closet that needs to be decluttered or rearranged? Clearing out is one of the easiest ways to simplify your life, giving you less to manage. It even gives you less to pack up should you relocate soon. Donate those clothes you’re going “to fit into again someday”, toss the boxes from the electronics you got for Christmas, and sell those pretty boots you ordered online that didn’t fit.
In the process, you may find items that you'll want to upcycle. If you aren't familiar with the term, it simply means to refresh and repurpose. According to Wikipedia,
“Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products perceived to be of greater quality, such as artistic or environmental value.”
For example, an old nightstand or child’s dresser, long stashed in the attic, might get a makeover with paint and inexpensive hardware and serve as a small coffee bar in the kitchen. That ugly lamp you were about to toss - with a coat of spray paint and a new shade, might make the perfect addition to a desk or corner table. For more upcycling inspiration, check out these ideas at The Spruce.
A neat, clutter free space offers a more restful environment, translating into less day-to-day stress. You don’t have to clean or reorganize it all in one day. Tackle a project a week, or once a month, or whatever suits your schedule. Not only will you have more peace from your clean, organized space, you might gain some repurposed pieces and/or gain extra money for selling unused items.
A Little Paint Can Go a Long Way
One great way to freshen up a room is to apply a coat of paint. Light, dark, or somewhere in between, an infusion of color can brighten and invigorate, perking up an otherwise drab space. If you aren’t up for painting an entire room, consider painting an accent wall. A splash of color can highlight an interesting focal point for pictures and other décor or design elements such as a fireplace or window.
Walls aren’t the only thing that can illuminate a space with striking color. Consider painting a piece of furniture, such as a cabinet, headboard, or dresser. From the kitchen or guest bath, to the foyer or family room, a pop of color can brighten, cheering all who pass through.
There are great and affordable paint options available – shop around for the best selection and value. Many paint retailers and home improvement stores have “Mistints” or “Oops” quarts or gallons of paint available for sale at discounted prices – the paint that was mixed in error, a customer changed their mind, etc. You never know, one of these colors might be just the right one for you. Watch for seasonal paint sales and special promotions, too.
If you need inspiration to see how color can enliven the spaces in your home, check out these budget friendly, attractive ideas at House Beautiful.
Don’t underestimate the little things. Small changes and well-placed additions can add interest and function to your home. New or handmade accent pillows, a cozy throw, live or artificial plants, or family photos in interesting frames can add color and texture to a living room or bedroom.
The kitchen or bath can get a colorful boost with new or painted hardware like knobs, hinges, and drawer pulls. Add a pop of color with a few new guest or bath towels and small, framed prints. An eye-catching area or throw rug, painted lampshades, or a small upcycled bedside table are other fun additions that can reflect your style and offer depth and visual appeal to a room.
These small changes can be done on the cheap with items and materials you already have around the house, or with discount or dollar store craft supplies, frames, etc., or through special promotions and sales from local or online retailers. Check yard sales, flea markets, and regional used item sale pages on social media for other bargains, too. For your bigger items like upholstered chairs and couches, consider slipcovers; they come in a variety of colors and price ranges.
Seasons offer affordable design options too. Nature provides plenty of design inspiration with pinecones, shells, twigs, sprigs of holly, fresh flowers and the like. Place these items in a vase, bowl, basket, or tray on a mantle or coffee table. Or create a pretty display on your kitchen table or island. Wreaths, candles, lanterns, glassware, antique pitchers, etc., all have the potential for attractive arrangements that add color and style to your space. For more inexpensive decorating ideas, check out these tips at Real Simple.
Cheap Curb Appeal
Welcome your family and guests with an attractive, budget friendly facelift for your entryway. First, spruce up your porch, stairway, or other access of entry with a little housekeeping. Remove or sweep leaves, dust, dirt, and other debris, and clean any outdoor furniture and other surfaces such as windows, doors and frames, and shutters.
If you’re feeling ambitious, paint the front door, trim, and/or shutters. Freshen up that outdoor furniture with a coat of spray paint. Add a fresh coat of paint or stain to the front door, entryway floor or porch, stairs, or deck surface. Hang a wreath or other seasonal décor on the door to welcome your guests in style.
With a little determination and creativity, you can spruce up your home without making a large dent in your budget. Step back, take inventory of your resources, and add life and color that both you and your guests will enjoy all year long.
Image 1 - Pixabay
Image 2 - Pixabay
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