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Room Update Ideas for 15 Dollars or Less

Easily and Inexpensively Update Your Space


It seems like I always have a burst of inspiration to redecorate our living room right about the time my husband declares war on our escalating budget. But even on a tight budget, many wouldn’t blink before spending $15. That small amount of pocket change doesn’t seem like it would pay for the gas to get to the home decorator store, but you can really make it count toward giving your room an update if you know what to focus on.

Fresh Tip #1: Think seasonal.

Photo © Sandra Cunningham/Veer

To celebrate spring, add freshly cut flowers or plantings. Think outside of the box (or pot) when searching for plant containers … old baskets, vases, canning jars and mixing bowls can serve as fabulous planters.

When fall rolls around, paint cut tree branches with orange and brown glitter paint and arrange in a large vase. Or paint acorns and pumpkins solid white and showcase on a platter for a striking centerpiece. Adorn with colorful fallen leaves or pinecones, which are free!

As Christmastime approaches, collect boxes of inexpensive glass ornaments and hang from ribbons around your home or arrange randomly in bowls or baskets. Great finds can be found on seasonal items, especially if you purchase them out of season.

Fresh Tip #2: Think about the big picture.

Photo © Guide

When we live in a home, we often overlook the aging and wear caused by everyday activity. Paint can be your cheapest asset, especially if you seek out samples or mismatched cans at your local hardware store. Instead of painting an entire room, accent one wall with a bold color. Stenciling or decals can also add a nice touch. And don’t forget to look up! Painting the ceiling a contrasting shade can update an entire room.

Sometimes it’s not what you add to a room but what you take away that makes it feel fresh and new. Cleaning and/or decluttering often brightens a space more than any amount of decorating could ever do. I know we like being surrounded by our things, but if you can’t move without banging your shins on your coffee table or it takes more than five minutes to dust your bookshelf, it’s time to reduce.

Fresh Tip #3: Think about accessories.

Photo © Guide

Search your fabric store’s clearance bin or remnant rack for deals on fabrics. To make decorative table napkins, cut the fabric into 12-inch squares with pinking shears (or fray the edges), roll and tie with a piece of twine or raffia to add an instant uplift to your table.

If you sew, stitch a throw pillow or two. The bed pillow in the picture cost me less than $5 to make and when coupled with a yard sale art find, updated my bedroom for less than ten bucks.

Don’t neglect the power of senses. Candles, air-filtering plants or potpourri displayed in a large glass bowl can add an element of calmness and well-being. Spending $15 on a fabulous jazz CD and a bottle of wine is sometimes all a room (or a person) needs to feel new again.

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