Sometimes we just need change. Our environments affect our emotions big time, and changing things up can spur creativity and relief when feeling stuck or stagnant. Redecorating a room, or a whole house, can change the energy of a space in major ways. You can make a house look and feel completely different with just a few small changes.
Cheap but Not Nasty Decorations
Redecorating can cost a fortune. You can take a big hit with a big purchase like a furniture item even at somewhere like IKEA, and small purchases over time, like for throw pillows or paintings, can really add up. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit and stare at the same rooms forever. There are plenty of ways to redecorate your home on a budget. In fact, you hardly have to spend anything at all to make major changes that will leave your home looking like a completely different place.
Rearrange The Room
Before you spend a dollar on anything, why don’t you try rearranging things first? It’s free, and you might be surprised what a difference that changing the layout of a room can make. Small changes, like moving an end table or an armchair to the other end of the room, can actually be quite noticeable and pretty refreshing. Try switching your paintings around, swapping out vases, and changing your table and bookshelf ornaments. Maybe that mirror in your hallway would look great in your living room instead.
If you want to make bigger changes, you might want to enlist some help. Call a friend over to help you move furniture around. It can be helpful to measure the room and all the pieces of furniture so that you can make a detailed room plan before you start moving anything. Moving furniture can open up a room and create space, or divide a room up into several different sections. You can morph your house into a completely different place just by moving the furniture around.
Paint The Walls
It might seem like an obvious suggestion, but there’s really no understating how much a fresh coat of paint can do for a room. Light colours can make rooms seem instantly bigger, airier, and more cheerful. White or light coloured walls are a great touch for small rooms, or those without windows. On the other side of the spectrum, darker colours can make rooms seem warm, cozy, and inviting. Assess what kind of lighting you’re working with before you decide which way to go.
And don’t think you have to settle for just one colour—what if you paint just one wall a new colour? Or all of the walls different colours? Go for a spectrum or even paint a mural! You’re not limited to a single colour—in fact, you’re not limited just to solid paint colors for your walls at all.
Wall stickers do wonders as an alternative to paint, or as a complement and companion. They are great in kids rooms, since they can be changed out conveniently as children grow older and grow out of preferences. Of course, it’s not just children whose tastes change. Wall stickers are wonderful because you don’t have to commit the way you have to do with a coat of paint. This makes them the perfect solution if you’re not allowed to paint, or if you’re just someone who likes to redecorate a lot and you anticipate making more changes in the future.
There’s just so much you can do with wall stickers. Small wall sticker decals add flavor and flair to bedrooms and bathrooms. Quotes can bring meaning and inspiration to any space. Big ones can act as centerpieces in a room, drawing attention to themselves like giant art pieces. You can use geometric patterns like stripes to create room-widening visual effects, or even use a sticker to cover a whole section of a wall like wallpaper. Pair sky blue paint with some nature stickers, or a peach coat with pastel or watercolor flower stickers. Wall stickers let you take paint, and then think bigger.
They’re just so versatile. They can be small and fun and frivolous or big and dramatic and somber. They can replace expensive art pieces, and they can add massive value to a room without the permanence of paint or even nail holes. And the best part: if you get sick of a wall decal or sticker placement somewhere, you can just move it somewhere else and try again!
Find Some Free Art
Some people buy art to hang in frames, but if you’re on a budget, why not make use of all the free art available to you? Websites like WikiCommons and Flickr’s Creative Commons are full of free images, contributed with limited or no copyright restrictions by their creators. Search through these resources for gorgeous nature shots, cityscapes, and artistic photography.
Use your own pictures! Print out pictures of your family and friends and hang them around your house. You can use frames and set them on tables, or you can go without and make interesting patterns with the photographs themselves. Your own Instagram can be a fabulous source of free art, since those photos have probably already been edited, and you already know you like all the pictures.
Open your mind to unusual and alternative art. Frame wallpaper, or cut it out into shapes and patterns. Make a collage, a dream board, or a vision board. And keep your eyes open when you’re walking down the street. You never know what someone might throw away. You could find the painting that brings your whole room together on the sidewalk someday.
Don’t Forget The Curtains
Curtains are often-overlooked home details that can subtly add to or subtract from the decor. Ugly curtains can stifle a room, but you might not notice that they’re the source of the problem. If you have regular white curtains, it might be worth trying something different. Even if they’re not detracting from the feel of the room, they aren’t adding anything, either. And if you’re decorating on a budget, you can’t let any style opportunity slide.
Experiment with different textures and styles, too. Hanging gauzy, lightweight curtains that let sun in but maintain privacy can completely change the feel of a room. Using bamboo blinds instead of the plastic ones can bring your bathroom up several levels of class. Try hanging two sets on a window of different, complementary colors, or a neutral color translucent set inside of a heavier accent color. Do long curtains look elegant in your bedroom? Do you want to match the paint on the walls, or try a contrasting color? A small curtain change can make a big difference.
Roll Out A Rug
You’ve only got one floor, so you better make sure the rug on it is doing its job. Do you have a rug? If not, you should seriously consider getting one. You don’t have to carpet a whole room to experience the benefits of a full floor rug. Carpeting is complicated and needs professionals. Instead, you can roll a rug out, giving you the freedom to DIY (which is cheaper, too) and to change up the look of the room whenever you please.
If you don’t want a full-floor rug, there’s always accent rugs and medium-sized rugs to use as centerpieces. Throw an accent rug down in a doorway to give a room some separation, or in front of a piece of furniture like a bookshelf to add character and interest. Stick a round rug under your kitchen table to pull the room together, or in a hallway to add style to a bare floor. Attention will naturally gravitate towards where you put your rug, so they can be great tools together with wall stickers and other kinds of wall art to create energetically themed areas.
Experiment a little with color and patterns. Light colors, like wall paint, can make rooms seem more spacious, while dark colors make them cozy. Solid colors are simple enough to pair with anything, but a rug with an interesting pattern can be the perfect detail to liven up a home. A rug with an interesting pattern is basically a piece of art for your floor, adding color and creativity to any room.
Make Old Stuff New Stuff
If you’re sick of your old stuff, instead of replacing it all, why not just make your old stuff new? Throw a coat of paint on your furniture. Something like red or blue or another bright color will set a bold and modern tone. Black is hip and sleek. White is bright and classic-looking and can make any knickknack or piece of furniture look vintage and classy. Don’t stop at paint, either. You can cover your lampshades with fabric for a chic new look, experimenting with different shades to see how the hue of the light changes.
And while you’re rejeuvinating old things, it might be fun to change up the way you’re already using things. Throw a table cloth over a storage trunk, and you’ve got a coffee table. Take those decorative plates that you never use down from the cabinets and hang them on pegs or nails in your kitchen. Maybe your couch blanket is beautiful enough to hang as a tapestry, or your kitchen chair works better as an end table. Don’t be afraid to see things with new eyes to repurpose them in cool new ways.
Reuse And Recycle
Reusing your recyclables as decorations will increase, rather than reduce, the style of your home. Collect, wash out, paint and decorate supplies like glass bottles, jelly jars, coffee tans, and cookie tins. You can use them as flowerpots, coin jars, office supply holders, and so much more.
Those teacups and candy dishes you’re sick of? Use them as soap trays for the bathroom, or as a key receptacle on your kitchen counter. Start paying attention next time you’re taking the garbage out, because you very well might be throwing away something that can be re-purposed as a style element.
It is just amazing how much you can do with an old T-shirt. Sew them around pillows to turn them into funky, hip, and vintage-looking throws that add character to any room. You can choose funny slogans, band T-shirts, or even just solid color shirts. Your old, worn-in T-shirts will make for the softest, most comfortable pillowcases out there. And if you don’t want to use the whole graphic or logo, you can always cut up shirts to knit into a quilt. A t-shirt quilt thrown over the back of the couch would be a really fun addition to a room.
You can also frame T-shirts as though they were pictures. There are some really beautiful printed tees out there these days, and it’s never been easier to put real art on the front of a shirt. So why not use your art shirt as just that – art? Stick a graphic tee on the wall as an art feature, or hang up a band T-shirt as a memento of a great concert. Using T-shirts as art gives you all the sentimentality and nostalgia that wearing them would, with decorative perks.
These simple decorating tips are, of course, about redecorating on a budget. But if you have anything to spare, consider splurging—even just a little—on one single piece of décor that really matters to you. With some careful planning, this one investment can transform a house made out of found supplies into a home truly and tastefully tied together.
This one splurge can be anything that makes you happy and looks great in your house. Maybe it’s a nice set of thick towels in an accent color that makes your bathroom pop. It could be a plush Turkish rug, the pattern as the centerpiece of your entire room. A piece of artwork or furniture like a couch or a bed is always a practical splurge option, as these get the most use from residents or visitors, and it makes sense to spend well on something you’ll spend a lot of time using. Whatever it is, you deserve to own something that makes you smile when you walk through the door. Don’t be afraid to splurge on something that makes you feel proud to be home, and that reminds you that home is a castle, decorated exactly the way you want.