If you want to spruce up your home but you don’t want to break the bank, here are some ideas to fit your budget.
Give a room a whole new look by rearranging your existing furniture. An expert tip for you, though— if you want to really do this right, start by removing everything, and I mean EVERYTHING (including nails where artwork was previously hung), from the room before you start. The reason for this is that people are creatures of habit, and if you don’t start with a clean slate, you will likely just end up putting things back where they were. So trust me on this one.
Once your room is empty, look at it with fresh eyes. Enlist a friend who can help you see things in a new way. Place the largest items (like the sofa) first, then fill in with smaller items such as end tables and other items, then finish with lamps, art and accessories. Borrow and trade items from other rooms; hang art where it has not been hung before; try placing the sofa and chairs in different locations. It’s amazing what can be done with existing furnishings.
- PAINT! I’ve said it many times before, but a couple of gallons of paint can transform your walls, a piece of furniture, or even some old picture frames. Paint one wall, or a ceiling, or the whole room. Paint an old dresser or buffet or bookcase. Paint a collection of mismatched frames and create a photo gallery. Paint your window and door casings and baseboards in a color other than white. Or, for fun, paint the inside of your closet in a color other than white!
- Refresh a bathroom with some new artwork, towels and shower curtain.
- Change the cabinet hardware on your dressers or bath vanities.
- Create some artwork: Enlarge a favorite photo and frame it. Whether it’s a photo of your kids, your pets, your vacation, or a close up of flowers from your garden, livening up your walls with personalized art is always a good thing to do.
- Update your light fixtures: Is your dining room chandelier making your room look frumpy and outdated? For less than $1000 you can replace it with a something artistic and dramatic. Or how about hanging a chandelier above your bed instead of the ceiling fixture that might be there now. It can really make a pretty statement.
- Add a large area rug: There are many attractive and well-made area rugs for $1000 or less. For a contemporary and fun look, consider FLOR modular carpet tiles—www.flor.com– they work extremely well in all areas of the house, and particularly well in kids’ rooms and home offices.
- Reupholster a favorite chair: This can usually be done for less than $1000. If you have a chair you love, give it a new look with some new fabric.
If you have a bit more to spend, these ideas can make a big difference:
- Change your interior doors. With myriad styles available, new interior doors will make a dated house look and feel instantly updated.
- Custom window treatments: Dress up a room full of windows with gorgeous new drapes, or top treatments like cornices and valances, or classic plantation shutters. Custom window treatments can really made a room look special and complete.
- Replace outdated and worn carpeting: This will instantly update your home and bring you many years of enjoyment. If you have not looked at carpet lately, you’ll be amazed at the patterns and textures available. There are even “pet friendly” fibers available, taking some of the worry out of using carpet instead of wood or laminate.
- Buy some new furniture: Maybe it’s time to retire the sofa from the 80s, or the chair you had in your college dorm! With all of us spending more time at home these days, comfort and longevity will be key factors in choosing new furniture. A great investment might be a new ergonomic desk chair, And maybe it’s time to splurge on that really comfortable recliner you’ve been coveting. When shopping for new furniture, resist the urge to purchase an entire matching suite of furniture—this is not very creative! Think about coordinating (rather than matching) colors and fabrics. For example—a solid color sofa with 2 matching patterned chairs instead of a matching sofa, loveseat and chair.
Get some design help if you need to—a designer can help make the most of any size budget.