Tired of looking at the same “stuff” in your rooms? Ready to make some changes, but limited by budget constraints? Here is a list of 6 easy ways to ramp things up without breaking the bank.
Rugs can add a pop of color to a room, cover stains or imperfections and add texture to a space. Watch for sales between mid-December and February, and again between the end of May and the beginning of June. Early September is also a good time to snatch up great deals. Of course, you can also shop second-hand stores and garage sales for surprise bargains as well.
You don’t need to go out and buy new furniture to make a room seem fresh and updated. Simply re-arrange it! If you find that you can’t think outside the box because you are so used to seeing your space a certain way, enlist a friend for his or her opinions. The best way to start the process is to completely empty the room. Then, place the largest pieces first. Consider balance, conversation and other functional areas, focus walls, and ingress and egress in your placement decisions. Add different colors, shapes and textures of accent pillows to your sofa to make it look new.
If you’re happy with the treatments you have on your windows, give them a good cleaning. Whether vacuuming, steaming, washing or sending out the dry-cleaner, just make sure you are aware of the proper care required for your particular treatments. Want a bigger change? Pull down the curtains and put up natural wood blinds or tailored roman shades. Looking for drama? Then rich looking fabrics are the way to go. Windows are one area where a huge impact can be made in a room through color, texture, layering and embellishments.
Plants add color and life to a space. It’s best to go with live plants rather than silk. If your budget is limited, start with a couple from which you can generate clippings to grow your next couple of pots! Speaking of pots, the containers you choose for you plants can add additional color, texture and detail to a room. Want an added benefit of having live plants in the house? They help clean the air!
The subject of lighting can intimidate people, but it’s a very basic and critical component to your space. As with window treatments, you might just need to give your existing fixtures a good dusting or cleaning. But a minor change that can make a big impact in a room is to change out your bulbs. LED or fluorescent lighting is generally best in a kitchen, while compact fluorescent or LEDs work well in bathrooms. Aim for compact fluorescents in living space and bedrooms, but choose bulbs in a more traditional, warmer range (color temperature between 2700k and 3500k).
Pack up or relocate knick-knacks, remove baskets and small furniture and utilize hidden storage space in ottomans or tables. Make sure pictures on walls and on furniture are grouped attractively and not overwhelmingly. Purge if necessary (great time to start that scrapbook you’ve been meaning to create!). Shoot for three or five in your accessories groupings. Want to keep your books? Fine, but organize them by color and they become art rather than clutter. Adding mirrors is a great trick to make a room look bigger and less cluttered. You’ll be amazed at the transformation you can make in 15 minutes, just by removing or rearranging “stuff.”
Happy (and thrifty) transformations!