If you are one of the thousands of Americans who are feeling the itch for a change right now—change your hair, change your wardrobe, or even change your home—well, you’re not alone. After all, it is spring, the season that is the very symbol of change. All around us leaves are growing greener, the sun is growing warmer, and flowers are, well, growing; and so it is only natural that we should want to spruce things up too.
Unfortunately for those of us who aren’t trees (probably most of us then), change can be expensive, especially when it comes to changing your living space. But it doesn’t have to be.
So check out these ten ways to spruce up your home for spring—without breaking the bank.
1) Paint: Paint is just about the least expensive but most impactful way to change up a room. When painting a wall, especially if it is just an accent wall, don’t be afraid to be creative! Be bold, use color, texture, stripes—you could paint a mural if you want! And don’t feel restricted to the walls. You can paint cabinets or even furniture for a new look. Starting as low as $10-$15 per gallon (Lowe’s Valspar Signature Collection), you can feel free to spread the color, and maybe even do it all again in a couple of years. Check out this step-by-step video on how to best paint your room.
2) Add some molding or trim: This is a relatively inexpensive and easy way to take a room from dull to downright fancy. If you add the molding yourself, expect to only pay about $40-$120 for a 10×10 room, compared to $300-$500 with professional installation. Check out this video guide to installing molding on your own.
3) Add/Replace Lighting: Add a couple of lamps, change a ceiling fan, or buy a cheap chandelier, and not only will the space look brighter, but you’ll also have a new decorative element in the lamp itself. To get more bang for your buck, try shopping on Craigslist and then install the fan (or lighting) yourself. Check out this video from the experts at Lowe’s to find out how.
4) Add/Replace area rugs: Rather than replace your wall to wall carpet or that scuffed up wood floor, save some money and simply cover it with something new. If your space is too light and you want something dramatic, bring the colors down a bit with a nice, dark color. On the other hand, if your room feels too dark, brighten it up with a lighter color. Again, you can save a lot of money and find something more one of a kind by shopping at Craigslist, a local thrift store, or Goodwill; or you can check out these sale rugs at Walmart.
5) Hang some Artwork: Changing up or adding some new art to the walls can be an inexpensive way to add color, texture, and overall atmosphere to a room. Make the artwork yourself to keep it personal—and inexpensive! And don’t worry if you’re not artistically inclined; your piece can be “abstract!”
6) Buy “New to You”: Check out thrift stores, garage sales, or even your local Goodwill for some great finds on gently (or as I like to say, “lovingly”) used furniture. You’re sure to find things that are truly unique in places like these, rather than something that your neighbor might have as well (no offense, IKEA.) Check out this post on shopping for furniture at thrift stores and some of the beautiful things one thrifty shopper has done with her finds.
7) Rearrange the furniture: You don’t need new, or even “new to you” furniture in order to change up a space; simply rearrange the furniture you have. Check out this article on implementing some of the elements of feng shui on a budget, and feel free to play with your arrangement!
8) Add some slipcovers: Okay, so you’ve rearranged your furniture but you’re still not crazy about that stained, boring couch. Slipcovers are a great option and are far less expensive than getting the whole thing reupholstered, which can cost as much as $2,000. Compare that to Walmart’s selection at just $40-$300 and the choice is clear.
9) Fix what needs fixing: Simple things like replacing a burnt out bulb can add light to a room; patching up chipped paint can make a room look more polished; and repairing cracks or holes in the wall can have the place looking new again. Check out these posts on home maintenance and some simple home repairs that you can do yourself to save.
10) Clean up: This is the easiest and perhaps most overlooked way to spruce up your space. Clean it! Invest some time in scrubbing the floors, de-cluttering your surfaces; spend some money steam-cleaning those carpets, and observe the almost magical transformation! If you simply hate cleaning or don’t have the time to clean your large home, treat yourself to hiring a cleaning service once or twice a month. For a 4-bedroom home, the average price for a cleaning crew is about $80 to $120, which is clearly more than simply doing it yourself; your decision will just have to lie on the price of your time… and how much you really hate cleaning.
Do you have any tips or tricks for sprucing up your house on a budget? Share your ideas below!