20 ideas for an inexpensive home makeover
Chandralekha Mukerji March 16, 2011LIVING ROOM
1 | Create a focal point
One of the basic and economical ways to give a new look to your living room can simply be by emphasizing on a particular corner or an object. For instance, if the television is the focal point, draw attention towards it by decorating the cabinet with artwork and let whole design (furniture, decorative, etc.)revolve around it, says Vaishali Gupta, a professional interior designer and vastu consultant. This technique can be applied to smarten-up other rooms and won't cost you a penny.
2 | Update your existing accessories
Buying new furniture to match a fresh colour scheme or design can be expensive. Instead, take the refurbishing route to cut costs. "Rather then buying a sofa set, get the upholstery changed, add matching covers or paint a coat or two where the edges have become rough. Also, brighten the worn-out decoratives with polish," suggests Gupta.
3 | Change perspective
Ever thought how moving the couch to a different location, adding a side table or getting rid of the excess furniture can give a refreshing newness to the living space? Rearranging furniture is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to redecorate a room. So play around until you find a pleasing arrangement that suits you.
4 | Get new flooring
If you are tired of the dull old floor, get rid of it. No we are not asking you to replace the flooring or do wall-to-wall carpeting. That's a costly affair. Instead, getting an area rug to cover the floor or creating a colour-coordinated rug mosaic can be an intelligent and inexpensive way to give your living room a new lease of life and color price.
5 | Hit the thrift shop
Exquisite home decors come with heavy price tags. Not if you know where to shop from. There are great deals one can find at a flea market, especially if you are looking for handicraft and other ethnic stuff. All you have to have is an eye for the right thing coupled with a little bit of imagination and you can pick beautiful items at incredible price.
6 | Go green
Having plants in the living room always adds both colour and freshness to the room at a nominal cost. "You can arrange a couple of planters in a corner or add a cluster near the hallway. If you want something more showy, a combination of a miniature water fountain and planters with some ambient concealed lighting is another way to display them," says Gupta. If maintaining live plants is a problem, you can consider the artificial options as well.
7 | Maintain a theme
Do you have mismatched accessories in your bedroom? Making little additions and alterations like changing bedcovers and curtains, adding pillows in a complimentary pattern, using slipcovers on furniture or getting them painted will help coordinating the items in the room to a particular colour scheme at an economical rate.
8 | Alter the lights
Seeing your old room in a new light can be a refreshing change. Altering the lighting system and fixtures is another easy and lowcost way to give a room a whole new feel and color. And if turned into one of the do-it-yourself projects, the costs can further be reduced.
9 | Borrow from other rooms
Feel a need for a sitting arrangement in your bedroom? But buying new furniture would break the budget. How about shifting that extra armchair and the side table from the living room and placing them in the bedroom? "Use extra pieces from other parts of the house to fill out the space and save money," says Gupta.
10 | Be creative
You don't have to be a trained artist, but a little imaginative to create your own style. "Frame interesting pieces of fabrics to create a tapestry, add an elegant mirror on a narrow passage way to make it look double the size of that space, replace curtains with roman blinds or chicks to give your bedroom a different look and feel," recommends Gupta.
11 | Dress up the walls
Plain walls are safe and goes well with an uncluttered modern look. but if your are in a mood to expiriment try interesting wall décor to add style and substance to a dull room. "Just colour one wall or a part of the wall in a different color using texture paint or a wall paper; put some interesting paintings or wall hangings with top lighting and reinvent this personal space," says Gupta.
12 | Start shelving
Are things falling out of your overloaded cabinets? Inadeqaute storage space can make your kitchen space look messy. "A low-cost alternative to adding extra cabinets can be buying racks or mounting selves at handy places," advices Gupta. Keep your cookbooks, jars of supplies and spices and other knick-knacks on them to give a tidy look to your kitchen.
13 | Add personal touch
Have an empty wall in the kitchen? Hang a pinup board to stick recipes, photos, colorful discount coupons or simply create an exciting photo wall. The idea is to have a bright eye-catching decorative for a dull corner at no-cost.
14 | Use your china
Rather than locking up the expensive silverware and fine china to use them only once in a blue moon, display it to all. You can frame or decorate them in a glass cabinet and make an ingenious statement. Similarly, edibles like cookies, spices, fruits and vegetables too can be used as decoratives.
15 | Make a mosaic backsplash
This is a fun weekend project that can give a dramatic face-lift to your kitchen. All you would need is a few broken tiles, some silicon adhesive along with some grout to customize your backsplash. Choose neutral and earthy tones for a classic look although you can also choose to experiment with wacky colours.
16 | Recondition the cabinets
A complete modification of the cabinetry is out of question in a budget makeover. However, small things like painting the existing ones and changing the drawer pullers can create a similar effect at a much lesser cost.
17 | New table settings
This is one of the easiest and rather ignored ways to get a quick new look at a small price. A simple change of tablecloths, napkins holders, interesting salt and pepper shakers or placing a beautiful flower vase can bring a significant difference to the appearance of the place.
18 | Get some colours
Since this is a relatively smaller space, the cost of getting a new paint done is less. If you have an artistic bent, you can even try going beyond the walls and paint the cabinets or do glass painting on the windowpanes. It's a quick and easy way to give your bath a unique look.
19 | Give a decorative touch-up
We often ignore that a bathroom can be decorated as well. Even a niche display of little artifacts can be a highlighter for this small space. "Also, inexpensive changes like replacing the mirror, shower curtains, mats, soap cases, towel bars etc. may seem basic but makes a huge difference to the overall look," says Gupta.
20 | Improve the storage
No matter how beautifully you decorate, the space won't look good if your toiletories are lying around the washbasin. Consider adding to the storage options to keep your essentials in order and clean rest of the clutter. Another common reason which can make the space look clumsy is excessive decoration, so try keeping them with simple items.