by Andrea Stock
With the home makeover and house-flipping craze, you may be ready to get on board and give your house a little facelift. But where do you start, especially with little to no money to spare? Here are a few helpful hints to update a room or your entire house without breaking the bank. ItŐs as easy as 1-2-3!
1. Visualize It
Beginning to remodel a room or even your entire house can be as intimidating as staring at a blank canvas. The options are limitless. But don't despair! The easiest and best place to begin is with an inspiration piece.
An inspiration piece can be anything such as framed art, a toy, a flower, a bedspread, a vase–anything that you have or find that visually or emotionally stimulates you. Whatever your inspiration piece may be, use it as your starting point to determine your design style (i.e. country, modern, traditional, European, colonial) and your color theme by pulling out colors that highlight or complement it.
Another way to get your creative juices flowing is to skim through magazines, surf online, or visit home improvement stores. Take note of styles, colors, furniture, or accessories that you like. Jot down ideas or cut out a picture of it and file it in an accordion file or in a notebook using page protectors. Organize the clippings by category (i.e. paint color, flooring, etc.) or by room and use a sticky note to mark which ideas you can afford to do with your current budget. Prioritize the other ideas for next month, next year, or as the budget allows.
Low Budget Ideas
Be thrifty. Once you discover which elements fit within the design style or color theme of your inspiration piece, try to find similar items at a thrift store.
Discover discounts. Shop clearance sections and end caps where you can often find deeply discounted items for the home. But be careful not to buy something just because it's on sale. Keep in mind your inspiration piece.
2. Color It
A simple and inexpensive way to take your pad from drab to fab is with a splash of color. From walls to windows, floors to furniture, nothing transforms a space like a new hue.
Spice up your kitchen with "warmer" colors like reds or yellows. Maybe you'd like to turn your bathroom into a tranquil retreat? Stick with "cooler" colors such as blues, greens, and whites. Go for the gold with dark browns and metallics that will add a touch of formal to the family room. Neutrals (tan, black, and white) are always a safe choice, but don't be afraid to throw in a few highlights. Just be careful not to overdo it.
Low Budget Ideas
A stroke of genius. Opening a can of paint is the best way to breathe new life into any room or house, regardless of your budget. Use it on all the walls to set the mood or a single wall to create a dramatic accent. Update worn furniture with a coat of paint that will work with your design color scheme. The possibilities are endless!
Fibers for the optics. Dress up windows with curtains. Give your couch or chair a new look with a slip-on cover or a few throw pillows and a blanket. Besides adding color, fabrics can be an inexpensive way to incorporate interest, texture, and pattern.
3. Decorate It
Adding accessories to your home may take some time, but the items you do incorporate should be meaningful as well as aesthetic. When choosing which pieces to integrate into your home, a good rule of thumb to go by is whether or not you like it.
Consider pieces with Scripture or inspiring verses–something that will encourage you and your family. Remember, you're the one who will be enjoying it everyday. And chances are, if you like the looks of it, it will fit in your decorating style anyway.
Low Budget Ideas
Go shopping–in your house. Switch out decorative items or furniture from other rooms in your house. Search your attic, basement, or closets for hidden treasures. You may need to dust off, polish up, or re-paint a few things, but you never know what jewels you may uncover.
Do the shuffle. Rearrange decorative items, update family photos, and regroup your furniture. Furniture should be arranged so that it is conducive for talking and walking. For living rooms and family rooms, find a focal point such as a window, a fireplace, an area rug, or the TV, and work around it. Be sure to leave a clear pathway between rooms, one that won't interfere with the conversation groupings of the room. (Warning: This will most likely involve moving couches away from the wall.)
Just picture it. Make your own art using items you already have at home. Frame a piece of fabric, a picture from a calendar, a postcard, or a special card that's too pretty to keep in the shoebox with the others.