If you watch home and garden shows, the default budget is thousands of dollars to redecorate a home, while large scale updates of a home cost as much as a car. And like the wedding shows that suggest you have to spend as much as you did on your new vehicle to have a wedding, they overlook lower cost options that still give you the home and life you’d like to live. Here are five low cost home decorating tips that anyone can implement.
Before you start ripping out the dingy wallpaper, have it cleaned to see if you can revive its original, bright color. Don’t replace your carpets if a deep cleaning could bring out the dirt and stains. Before you decide to replace your kitchen tiles, consider a steam cleaning and hard scrubbing to see if you can bring back that original look. You’ll find that deep cleaning a room can cost only a few hundred dollars if done by others, or even less if you do it yourself, a fraction of the cost of replacing flooring or repainting the walls.
Another way to revive your home is to declutter. Clean your room. Remove the little things that annoy you, and give yourself permission to release them – whether throwing them out, giving them away or giving them to charity. Organize that bookshelf and put a few knickknacks or family photos on the shelves to break up the visual flow. One option is raising up a bed on risers so you can store items under the bed instead of getting frustrated stepping around shoes and other items. Before you buy a new organizer for your desk, clear out the drawers and throw out what you’re never really going to use.
The Little Touches that Make the Space
Don’t assume you have to rip out a backsplash when adding a few accent tiles could be enough to make it seem like new. Replacing a few tiles in your hallway or kitchen floors will break up the monotony for a fraction of the price of a new room. A common variation of this theme is the addition of crown molding to where the walls meet the ceiling; you may be able to do this without repainting the room at all. Another option is a two tone paint job, something real estate investors recommend to stand out from competing properties that only have white walls. The two tone paint job is cheaper than painting murals or putting in wallpaper, and you may be able to add the second color to a section of the walls without even repainting the rest of the room.
If you feel like the room needs to be livened up, start hanging paintings, rugs, or plates to break up the monotonous view. The ideal case is using art you already own or can finally inherit from Mom’s estate. If you don’t have anything like this readily available, don’t go to the antique store. You’ll find an amazing selection of decorator items for dirt cheap at the thrift store, donated by people who don’t want it anymore.
In the case of bedrooms, don’t get a new bed unless the current one is too small or no longer comfortable. If you want to change its look, get rid of those big pillows you don’t really use and put in a headboard. Another option is replacing the bedcover with something that pops out. You can find many options at https://www.visionbedding.com/. If you like the look, let Vision Bedding make printed wall hangings, too, to match the new bed cover.
Reuse Pieces in New Ways
If your children are too old for toy boxes, consider repurposing the box as a hope chest, storing dishes you rarely use or quilts only broken out when it gets very cold. Small book shelves can be moved throughout the house to act as storage or a way to display your collectibles. Use a drafting table as a place to put your keys and support several vases, if lying flat, or a place to lay artwork for display if at an angle. You can take that mirror out of your closet and put it opposite a doorway to reflect natural light and make small spaces seem larger. If those family photos are painful after a divorce, keep the frame and replace the picture with your diploma or awards.
Break Up the Space without Walls
Home remodeling shows make it seem like knocking out walls is part of the fun. Then they spend thousands of dollars building new walls. In other cases, they put up walls to break up open floorplans. There are actually several ways to alter how your space is divided without altering the walls.
One option is putting furniture in functional groups so that the couches and tables in the living area are clearly a “group” separate from the dining room space with the table and chairs. If you need visual dividers, use low book cases, beaded curtains or bamboo screens to let through light. If you want a stronger division, such as providing privacy for the bedroom in an efficiency apartment, put in tall book cases that act as walls, but can be moved if you find you need another six inches one way or another.
If you want to further break up the space without breaking up your budget, separate color palettes for furniture and supplements like pillows and blankets over the back of the couch make each space seem unique.
Brighten the Space
It is amazing how many makeovers start with the complaint, “The room is so dark!” The first steps to solving this are cleaning the windows, cleaning your lamp shades, and perhaps removing a layer of drapery. A second step is adding more lights. Perhaps you need to add two more lamps to the corners of the room so that it is light and airy when you turn on the lights in the morning instead of the dull and dim light of your bedside lamp. Supplementing the lights in the ceiling with recessed lamps is another option. Putting a mirror behind light fixtures doubles the illumination, while replacing old light bulbs with something that uses less power while putting out more light could be a win-win for your budget.
Before you spend a fortune redecorating, consider the above tips.