Sometimes our homes make us feel tired. Perhaps the rooms haven’t changed in a decade, and they’re a mess of dark paint, insufficient lighting and cluttered shelves.
When you are unhappy with the state of your home, it’s tough to love where you live. And if you don’t have the money to redecorate, the situation can feel hopeless.
But don’t throw in the towel! There are plenty of ways to get a fresh, new look without spending a dime.
Just a few simple tactics can provide the change-up you need. And the dog days of August — when it is cooler inside than out — are the perfect time to do it.
Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Use what you already have
That small table that no one notices in the living room would look great moved to the entryway, especially if it held a framed family picture or a vase of flowers from your garden. And when fall finally arrives, turn the table into a celebration of the season, as pictured above.
Sometimes, just shifting things around can make a big difference — such as setting up a chair and table near a window flooded with sunlight and using it as a place to read or listen to music.
2. Embrace change
Maybe you once loved elaborate curtains, textured paint treatments, tons of pillows and shelves full of knickknacks. But it’s OK to want something different.
Don’t be afraid to tear up the wall-to-wall carpeting or tear down a wallpaper border.
3. Declutter, declutter, declutter
How many tables does one room need? Maybe you’re sick of dusting all those vases and figurines. Perhaps one sofa is enough, since no one ever uses the matching love seat.
Removing a few items — or a lot of them — makes a room feel larger. Paring down the visual bombardment also can make a space seem more peaceful.
On the fence about an item? Store it in the garage for a week. If you still feel you can live without it, donate it.
4. Change the way you display
Group and display interesting items such as old toys, or large shells you found while beachcombing.
Make a basket or clear glass bowl interesting by changing out its contents regularly: For example:
- A branch of cherry blossoms
- Fresh fruits or vegetables from your garden
- Pine cones
- Holiday ornaments
5. Amp up the lighting
Either bring in lamps from other rooms or move the fixtures around in their current rooms. Different lighting can create a much warmer effect.
6. Clean your windows
You also can improve the light in a room by removing dust and grime from windowpanes. Clean, clear glass really does make a difference.
7. Slipcover your furniture
Got some pins and a fabric remnant or pretty sheet? That’s all you need to create a slipcover that will make your old furniture look new.
8. Change colors
Whether it’s a single wall or all four of them, there’s no simpler way to change the look of a room than to paint it.
9. Use your best
Grandma’s china or silver should be seen, not locked away. Antique lace is a beautiful accent on furniture or tables. A colorful vintage quilt can be hung on a wall like the folk art that it is.
10. Protect the result
Once your place looks great, work to keep it that way. Train yourself not to leave shoes on the family room floor or turn the kitchen table into a storage area. Resist the impulse to fill up newly cleared areas with new things.
Try the one-in, two-out rule: Any time you want to bring home a new item, get rid of two things you already own. This helps you focus on that new whatever-it-is: Do you want it badly enough to get rid of two other things?
Have any no-cost or low-cost tricks for redecorating your home? Share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page.