- Treat Your Windows
Old, outdated curtains can ruin the look and feel of a room. There’s a better way to open up a room than tearing down walls—get a spacious feeling and re-dress your windows. The right sheers can provide a fresh look, instantly. Replace old window coverings with bright-colored draperies. Opt for energy-efficient curtains to save money in the summer and winter months.
Maybe you prefer shades or blinds. Discount blinds don’t necessarily have to be cheap. You can find custom window treatments to fit any budget. Just be sure to dress up your windows—they ensure your home looks elegant and well-designed.
- Harness the Lights
Brightly lit homes are inviting and airy. A variety of light sources can add depth to a room. And you can do it without breaking the bank—look in thrift stores for different lamp bases. You can replace lamp shades pretty cheaply from places like Target or Walmart.
Recessed lighting offers a clean, streamlined look—whether in a bedroom, kitchen, living room or den. The look can transform boring ceilings with a few simple upgrades. Plug-in sconces or pendants can be used in place of recessed lights.
Placement is key. For example, use floor lamps to illuminate corners and reading areas.
For just a few bucks, you can install warm LED strip lighting on top of a bookshelf or under a mirror to add interest and dimension.
- Add Fluff Pillows
Replacing your older throw pillows are an easy way to accessorize and provide a cozy, layered feel to a room. Choose a larger size than the standard 12- to 18-inch square pillows. A 24-inch, overstuffed down-filled pillow has a more casual, loungey feel. And a few placed on your furniture provides an inexpensive way to add style, drama and color to a room instantly.
You might be able to keep expenses down by going to a local fabric store and making your own—or just buy crisp, new covers for your current ones.
- Go Big with Artwork
Grab attention in your living room and bedroom by hanging unique art pieces on the walls. Check out thrift stores and estate sales for pieces that fit your budget. Or try here. Things like family photos or DIY art can make a house feel like home. The larger the piece, the bigger the impact.
If cost is outside of your budget, fake it by clustering smaller pictures on a gallery wall.
- Add an Area Rug
Add brightness, color and texture to a room with an area rug, without investing in a large carpet. Get a rug that’s big enough for all of your furniture to sit on the rug. Don’t be afraid to use non-rectangular shapes. Round rugs are great for circular seating arrangements. Longer rugs are best for passageways and entrances.
Think of the rug as an accessory, just like your ottoman or coffee table. It shouldn’t take over your flooring, but complement it instead.
Since a rug serves to anchor the room, the color and style of your rug can establish the mood or enhance the existing space. Darker colors help a space look cozier and snug, while lighter colors make a smaller space appear larger.
- Add Molding
Classic crown molding is a type of trim used where the tops of walls and the ceiling meet. It is also used at the tops of cabinets to add a special touch. Other applications include using it around columns, doors and windows.
Accent any bare walls by adding molding to the baseboard, chair rail or ceiling. You don’t need an ornate or gaudy trim—a simple, single-shape, single-depth molding will make a room look finished with added dimension.
- Refresh Wall Colors
New paint is a quick and easy fix for any outdated look. Use fresh, natural-looking neutral tones—they pair well with anything. Lighter paints make your rooms look clean, airy and more spacious. Limit the use of bold or darker colors for accessories. You could even try painting the trim and ceiling to match for a luxurious look in a small space.
Light blue hues in the bathroom work well as the color complements white countertops and cabinets.
If there’s one room in your house where you want to feel calm, happy and relaxed, it’s the bedroom. If you have an abundance of natural light, dark paints make a space feel cozy, which is the ideal environment for sleep.
Don’t go overboard on color. Sprinkling just one or two accent colors throughout the home will add zing, but still be cohesive without going over the top.
Painting interior doors classic black is a non-so subtle change. It creates an expensive feeling, without causing much damage to your wallet. If you choose this option, however, be sure to add some black accessories to the space to tie the overall design together.
- Transform with Tile
After graduating from Wall Painting 101, you may want to take it up a notch and install backsplash tiles. Choose from porcelains, glazed ceramics, glass mosaics, and natural stone tiles. Even simpler—use the peel-and-stick variety. Use tile to add polish on kitchen walls, above a bathroom vanity or around a fireplace. Click here for a tutorial.
If tiling a backsplash is too intimidating, consider creating an accent wall with bright colored paint.
- Add a Mirror or Two
Placing a floor-length mirror in your entryway, bathroom or master suite will reflect a good portion of the room, and give the illusion that your space is larger. A mirror can open your space with reflection and light.
Mirrors can also provide either contrast or balance when used correctly. They can unify a space or serve as the focal point. However, it’s important to make sure that the scale and proportion are harmonious with the setting.
Here are a few guidelines that you should follow when hanging mirrors around your house.
Resources: Better Homes & Gardens, Money Talks News, Realtor.com®, Architecture Lab, The Nest.com, Scripps Networks, LLC, SparkCharge Media, LLC, FOX News Network, LLC