How To Refresh Your Décor Without Spending a Bundle

By Ellen Gefen

There’s a misconception that in order to have a beautiful home you need to spend a ton of money. Actually, the opposite is true. You can refresh your decor without spending a bundle of cash. Your home can express your personality and be elegant as well as affordable.

Often, updating your decor is simply a matter of taking stock of what you have and utilizing it in a new, unexpected way. First, it starts with eliminating any clutter that you might have in your home. After all, even the most stylish of homes can look cramped and chaotic when you have too many things competing for attention. Once you’ve cleared the clutter, you can see your space better to determine what changes you’d like to make.

Here are five ideas for making things you already own work a little harder. Or you might find “new-to-you” home décor that looks like a million bucks (but costs much less!).

Rearrange Your Furniture

You’d be surprised how a room can look entirely different simply by shifting a few key pieces around. Not only can you open the flow to the room by rearranging your furniture, but you might bring new energy to the space, too. Keep in mind that not every piece of furniture has to back up against a wall–you can create visual interest by moving sofas and chairs away from the walls and into your space.

Refurbish What You Already Own

I’ve seen some fabulous antique bergere chairs repainted gold and reupholstered with a bold animal print. DIY faux finishing techniques can transform a traditional bombe chest into a funky, modern conversation piece. New hardware can drastically change the look of case goods, cabinetry, and interior and exterior doors. The point is, if you still love an item, you might want to consider updating it before you donate it. All it takes sometimes is a little paint, some new finishes and a little creativity to breathe new life into an older item.

Repurpose Old Furniture

Just because you have a dresser doesn’t mean that it has to solely hold clothes in your bedroom. In fact, repurposing vintage dressers into bathroom sinks is a popular trend right now. You can also take an unused entertainment center or armoire and transform it into a gift wrap or craft center. If you’ve got an old metal headboard, you can repurpose it into a bench for your garden or porch. Repurposing your furniture will help keep you on budget and also give new life to older items.

Shop in New Places

Sure, furniture stores and showrooms are going to have the latest and greatest in homefurnishings, but who says that you only have to shop there? Shop at yard sales, consignment stores and even on street corners for those fabulous finds that come about once in a lifetime. You might find a mahogany chest at a yard sale for a great deal that you can later strip and turn into something else. The point is, don’t be afraid to think (and shop) outside the box when it comes to dressing up your home.

Turn Non-Furniture Items into Furniture

Not every couch or table started out as one. In my house, for example, I’ve got a coffee table that’s actually a refinished old wooden furniture factory cart, complete with wheels. I also have an umbrella stand made from an antique butter churn. A friend of mine attached several old doors together to make a “screen” for her great room. By seeing items in a new way, you’ll greatly extend your decorating dollars.

When it comes to designing your home on a budget, the only limit is your creativity. You can create a whole new look with just a few brushstrokes and a lot of ingenuity. The best part: everyone will think you spent a fortune. Don’t worry; we won’t tell.