Home decorating shows and magazines may leave you drooling, but you can’t spend tens of thousands of dollars on a full remodel of your home. Fortunately, by focusing on the areas you use most and making a few simple upgrades, you can completely revamp the feel of your home without breaking the bank.
Just Add Paint
Start your sprucing up with a trip to the paint store. You might be surprised at what a difference a fresh coat of cheerful yellow or soothing blue paint can make to the ambiance of a room. If you’re not up for painting everything, just paint an accent wall or sand and repaint a chest of drawers or an accent table.
If you have built-in shelves, painting the backs of the shelves adds a gorgeous pop of color. Since the shelves will be partially filled with books and other knickknacks, you can go for a bold color without worrying it will overwhelm the space. Another option? Pick a color that’s a few shades darker than the color of the walls.
Move Things Around
The mirrored nightstand that looks wrong next to your Victorian bed might be just the right touch next to your modern couch. Simply moving art, knickknacks and small pieces of furniture from room to room can breathe new life into your space.
Try rearranging furniture within a room too. Move mismatched armchairs next to an end table to create a new seating area, and turn your dining table so it faces another way. Talk about affordable home decor: These tricks cost you nothing.
Not sure whether you’re more modern or minimal? Take photos of pieces that you respond to in your friends’ homes or on TV. Then take your photos shopping to find affordable furniture that captures the style of your inspiration pieces. For example, if you love the midcentury modern look of “Mad Men,” a knowledgeable staff member at your furniture store can help you pick out a sleek wooden server and low, streamlined armchairs.
And if you know someone whose home looks the way you want yours to look, invite them over to your place to help you brainstorm ways to make it better. Bring them along furniture shopping too. Sometimes it just takes an extra pair of eyes to find the perfect piece for your home.
Choose Accents That Pop
Sometimes it’s the most affordable pieces in a room that make the biggest statement. Give a nod to the past by topping a faux-vintage end table with framed photos of your ancestors, or add mirrored end tables and angular modern lamps to a room decorated with Victorian furniture. The resulting style will be uniquely your own.
When choosing accent pieces, think of what designers calls the 60-30-10 rule. That means 60 percent of the room should be devoted to a primary color (typically the wall color), 30 percent should be a secondary color (typically the furniture color), and 10 percent should be an accent color. So if your walls are blue and your furniture’s brown, ditch your blue and brown accents and instead add pillows, throws and lamps in a bright shade like red.
How will you design your space to make it pop?