1. Consider adding wallpaper to a room that needs a little perk up. You can also use a wall border, which is much less expensive, to decorate the lower or upper sides of a wall. Alternatively, you can create borders by painting or stenciling designs on your walls or by removing existing borders to give a room a new look or feel.
2. Find some mirrors and place them in your home where they reflect light. This will make the room you place the mirrors in appear larger. Your home will also seem as if it receives more sunlight. Do not place mirrors throughout your home in areas where they detract from the room’s appearance or in places where they reflect unattractive objects (like your garage or driveway) unless you want this.
3. Try restoring old furniture or antiques rather than buying new furniture, which may be expensive but less valuable than your used item. You can do this inexpensively with the help of a local Home Depot or home improvement store. You may need to sand and finish, then stain a dresser, for example, to improve its appearance. In cases where you need to cover water stains, consider placing a strategically positioned crocheted cloth or another decorative item, such as a lamp.
4. Cover stains up rather than re-carpet your home. You can hire a stain removal specialist to improve the appearance of your carpet. So many people have stains on their carpets and must find a way to decorate them without spending a fortune. Let’s face it. Once a stain is there, it is often hard to get rid of, no matter how much you wash it. You may wash it, so it appears to go away, only to find it reappearing a few weeks later. Fortunately, no stain is impossible to hide. And hide it you will IF you want to save money. Most bargain interior decorator’s tactfully used furniture and throw rugs to cover up hard-to-remove stains. If you have young children, buy inexpensive remnants to place throughout your home so you can easily remove and wash them if they become stained.
5. Try letting more light in your home. If you have curtains, remove them. Try blinds, or try a bare window. Just be sure you keep your window clean. You may want to paint or stencil on the window using paints you can find at any hobby store. This creates the effect of stained glass without spending money. Some people find they can use the stick appliqués on a bare window to create the appearance of stained glass. These appliqués are inexpensive, and you can usually find them on the Web. They are great for decorating children’s rooms, as many have cartoon themes.
6. Consider adding some plants or a small, inexpensive fountain in your home to add a subtle ambiance and calming appeal. If you do not have a green thumb, go with something easy to grow and hardy, like a bamboo tree (some believe this even brings prosperity and luck to your home. You can buy something other than a one thousand-dollar fountain. Instead, try getting a small yet attractive $15 fountain online. Throw some rocks in it and let it go. You may feel more at peace in your home. Fountains are also very useful for improving the ambiance of a home office.
7. Use fabrics to help improve the look and feel of tired furnishings. Fabric stores sell beautiful fabrics and slipcovers inexpensively. Far less expensive is it to use a cover or recover an existing sofa than to buy a new one. If you are not handy with a needle and thread, look for slipcovers that can instantly change the look and feel of your sofa (and even hide stains).
8. Try painting one or more of the walls in your room or many rooms to give your home a fresh start. You can buy paint inexpensively, and you do not have to hire a professional painter to do the work (though you can find some college students handy at a painting that are likely to charge less than “professional” painters). Use light and bright colors for rooms you enjoy during the day and calming colors like blue or dark green for rooms you want to relax in. Make sure the colors you select match the furniture you have or the upholstery you use in your home. Some people find good painting is all they need to decorate their homes in a new and meaningful way.
9. Try using lamps with no shades or decorating plain shades you have at home. This will add color and intensity to any room. You can buy colored bulbs that add an interesting look and feel to almost any room and make any lamp look wonderful instead of lacking when you do not use a shade.
10. Use even more paint to create a mural on a wall or a sponge you dipped in the paint to add texture to a wall’s surface in your home. You can practice this ahead of time by applying the paint to a piece of old wood or a wall you plan to repaint anyway. There are endless ways to decorate using paint, so give the paint a try. Do not simply consider paint as something to use as a cover for an entire wall. Instead, consider it an accessory where plausible. Some people, for example, buy inexpensive stencils and decorate the walls of a room in their home by applying paint to the stencils. This is especially fun for a young child’s room or playroom, where you can stencil paint your child’s name, the letters of the alphabet, or fun numbers.
Remember, small changes often make a big impression on you and the people visiting your home. Start small, and see what you think. If you want to move on, you can.