How To: Cheap and Simple Ways to Love Your Home Again

January 25, 2016

simple and cheap ways to improve your house

Feeling uninspired with the home you once loved? Well, you are not the only one. Being the serial re-designer that I am, I often go through phases where I feel bored with my own home (at least twice a year).

After the Christmas decor went down a few weeks ago, I felt depressed with my surroundings. In an effort to lift my spirits, I went out and bought some new home decor. Upon getting it home and trying it out, I immediately felt better about my house. I felt inspired and refreshed…just what I needed for the new year.

If you have fallen out of love with your home, I have some cheap and simple strategies for  rekindling that spark. Don’t give up on the home you once loved.

1.Organize and De-clutter

I know you don’t want to hear it, but clutter contributes to stress. Not only do  junked – up closets or cabinets dampen your mood, they interfere with productivity. How much of your life is wasted retrieving items you have misplaced?  It sucks not knowing where your keys are or where you left your favorite make-up brush. Take a weekend to donate items you no longer use and organize what you want to keep. Decorative storage is your best friend. Not only do I love using wicker baskets, I even found a use for vase…holding all of my makeup brushes.

makeup brush storage

A neat and organized home is the beginning of a zen like dwelling.

2. Burn a Scented Candle

The power of scent is not to be overlooked. And yes, when we are expecting company we may think to light up a scented candle, but you don’t have to wait for a special occasion. I particularly love to burn candles that smell like food items (think vanilla cupcakes and cookies.) Having your home smell of yummy deserts can lift your mood, comfort your soul and add an element of cozy warmth to your nest.

3. Buy New Throw Pillows

I must admit….I have a serious addiction to throw pillows (my husband thinks I should be institutionalized for it). When I went thru my post-Christmas depression a month ago, the first item I purchased was new throw pillows. I was craving a more luxurious feel for my home, so I purchased some down-filled pillows with silk textured fabric. The best thing about throw pillows, is that they are affordable and can instantly transform a room. If you ever get sick of them, move them to another room or make a pillow cover with different fabric. Pillows are typically my first source of inspiration when re-designing a room.

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4. Fresh Flowers

It may be the dead of winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring some organic life into your decor with a vase full of fresh flowers. Hell…you don’t even have to go to the florist…I prefer the cheap flowers at my local grocery store. Through various studies,  science has even proven the mood boosting properties of florals.

And while the kitchen or dining room may be the first rooms that come to mind, don’t over look your bedroom. Waking up to fresh flowers every morning is a great way to start the day….it makes me feel like I am staying at some type of high-end resort.

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5.Create Purpose for a Wasted Space

Do you have areas of your home that are not being fully utilized? Have a dining room that never gets used or an office that just collects dust? I know this was the case for me a few weeks ago. I had a vanity in my master bedroom that I never used until the fatigue of my third trimester kicked in and I wanted to be able to sit down while putting on my makeup.

makeup vanity-3

Once I added a light-up,  make-up mirror and a few accessories, I am so in love with my vanity (that used to simply take up space). Each room of your house should serve a purpose. If it is not, you may want to consider rearranging items or organizing so that you get the most from your home. It could be as simple as pledging to eat dinner in the dining room (instead of in front of the television). Assigning intent to each room really provides a new-found appreciation for your home.

6. Re-Arrange Art Work

Re-arranging the art work you already own is an easy way to “change things up” a bit. Not only does it provide refreshment from the stagnation of routine, it is absolutely free. When I am strapped to a budget, this is one of my favorite ways to bring new life to a room.  I cannot tell you how many times I have moved this abstract canvas around…too many to count.

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7. New Drapes

So this may sound like a pricey endeavor, but if you are a savvy shopper, new drapes don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Actually, I refuse to spend more that $70/window on curtains. I recently switched out my white, Ikea curtains (which were only $34.99 a pair), for these faux silk drapes which I purchased at Hobby Lobby (for $14.99 per panel).

Ikea Drapes- “before”:

how to mount tv on brick

Hobby Lobby Drapes- “After”:

grey transitional living room

Switching out the drapes gave the room an entirely different vibe. The silk texture of the new drapes establishes a more elegant feel and the darker color provides more warmth to the space. In addition to Ikea and Hobby Lobby, you can find very affordable curtains (with ample length of 95” and higher) at Home Goods and Target.com. Even cheaper, make your own drop cloth curtains for about $20 per window.

8. Up-Cycle a Piece of Furniture You Already Own

Do you have a piece of furniture in your garage that could be put to good use after a coat of paint? Add new life to your home by re-purposing a piece of furniture to better suit your style and existing decor. Chalk paint and milk paint are my go-to’s for furniture makeovers. Check out how I transformed this piece of furniture to better suit my aesthetic.

Before:

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After:

Curio Cabinet-2

All it took was a an hour or so and a small container of milk paint. To read the full tutorial click here

9. Area Rugs

You would be surprised at what a properly sized area rug can do for a room. Most people buy rugs that are too small for any given space…making the room appear smaller (and lower-end). Once again you may think that area rugs have to be a signifgant investment, but I recently purchased this jute area rug (8×10) for only $100 at Overstock.

living room-22

Not only does it brighten the space, it makes it appear larger. If you need help finding the proper sized rug for your space, read this article.

10. New lighting

Whether it be a new accent lamp or a new chandelier, lighting is a major element of design. One of my favorite ways to add character to a room is with lamps and chandeliers. If you are patient and diligent, new lighting doesn’t have to require much money. When I felt my dining room was “lackluster” , I purchased these mother of pearl lamps at Ross for only $30 a piece.

interior design

They instantly added interest and texture to the room. All it took was $60 and 5 minutes of my time.

If you want to take it a step further (and you have a husband as amazing as mine to pursue electrical endeavors),  I suggest updating an outdated or builder-grade light fixture. While some chandeliers are expensive, I found this one on sale for only $100.

gray and turquoise bedroomWhere there used to be an old ceiling fan, we now have a more custom, upscale look. Aside from throw pillows, lighting is definitely my favorite way to refine a space. I love how the chandelier really “completed” the space.

If you are feeling uninspired with your current interior, I hope you can take a few tips from this post. Our home truly is our haven and if you don’t love and nurture it who will? As a major component of our everyday settings, home decor has the power to transform our mood.

Now get out there and design some good vibes and fall in love with your home again!

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