With its themes of growth and regeneration, spring is an ideal time to give your home a fresh new look. But you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune — or any money at all — to pull off an impressive makeover. Here are some easy tips for no-budget redecorating.
Start With a Deep Clean
It’s hard to see the potential of a space beyond clutter and grime. Dive into a whole-house spring cleaning and maybe a little bit of KonMari (or whatever technique works best for you) before you make any decorating changes, and you’ll find it much easier to envision how your rooms could change. In the process of getting rid of stuff you no longer want or need, you might just discover a vase, framed photo, lamp, or other object that isn’t being shown off to its best potential, leading seamlessly into the next step.
Shop Your Own House
Would the side table that no longer matches your living room decor look better as a nightstand? Could you create new groupings of objects with common themes or color schemes as decorative vignettes? Unless you’re an ultra-minimalist, chances are your house is already full of stuff you could simply move around in order to freshen up each room. To gain a new perspective on things you already own, pull them down from their current places, place them all together on the floor or coffee table, and see what pops out at you as potential pairings.
Refinish Pieces in Need of Love
You might be surprised by what spray paint can accomplish these days, even on fabric. If you have a chair, table, or even some old candlesticks that are looking a little tired, you can transform them just by changing their color — no long, involved rehabilitation process required. To change the look of aging upholstery, look for paints that are specifically made for fabrics, some of which promise a result that’s a lot less stiff and uncomfortable than you might imagine. This works best when you’re going at least a shade darker than the piece’s original color.
Upcycle Old Textiles
Do you have any hidden gems in your linen closet, or even among your wardrobe, that could be turned into throw pillow covers or a new set of tea towels? Small projects like these can be doable even for beginning sewers, and fabric glue can sometimes be used in a pinch. Or, you could consider changing the look of your dining chairs by upholstering them with little more than a sheet and a staple gun.
Bring Nature Inside
Bulbs are blooming, buds are appearing on branches, and the grass is getting greener. You likely have everything you need to create a few high-impact bouquets right outside your door. Oversized branches can make a big impact, and sometimes all you have to do is take a walk around the neighborhood to find a pile of cast-off clippings. Alternatively, you could gather up some wildflowers and dry them into beautiful textural bouquets that will last for years on end. You can experiment with this technique by gathering up whatever you think is pretty, tying it together, and hanging it upside-down in a cool, dark, dry space like a closet. Just remove anything that isn’t drying well after two or three weeks.
Find the Best Free Stuff
Does your neighborhood have a Buy Nothing group? This waste-reducing community project offers a way to give, receive, share, and lend items with neighbors, and sometimes you can score big. Participants routinely gift furniture, house plants, decorative objects, and much more, and nothing is expected in return. The groups are hosted on Facebook and exist all over the world.
Of course, the free category on Craigslist yields plenty of gems, as well, so it pays to keep an eye on it. If you have a green thumb, you might even want to check your local plant nurseries, which routinely toss plants that could still be brought back to life by a loving caretaker.