If you’re a keen reader of interior décor magazines and a viewer of home improvement shows, the chances are that you’re always dreaming about what you could do to make your home look better, if only you had the budget. In fact, improving your living space doesn’t need to cost a fortune – there are all sorts of little tricks you can use to reinvent it, creating a space that you’ll love to live in and that will amaze your friends.
Where to start
Some parts of the home are subject to a lot more wear and tear than others. Hallways (especially near the door), kitchens, and living rooms get a lot more active use than bedrooms and dens, so they’re better places to start when you’re ready to make improvements. They’re also the parts of your home that guests are most likely to see, so they’ll make it easier to show off the changes you make. When you choose items for these areas, make sure they’re designed to be hardwearing.
A fresh coat of paint
One of the simplest and most dramatic ways to change your home is simply to paint it. Even a fresh coat of white paint over old white paint can have a surprisingly dramatic effect, and once you start using different colors, you can really give the place a new look. Think carefully about what you can do without having to replace other items. Bear in mind that painting just one wall of a room can make a big impression, and you can also paint items such as cupboards or the back of shelves.
Keeping up with the seasons
Sometimes, a look that works in one season just isn’t right in another. In winter, you’ll want your home to look cozy, so switch from an overhead light to lamps with warm-toned bulbs, and add accessories such as cushions or rugs – easy to store during the rest of the year – in red, plum, or earth tones. In spring, freshen the place up by tying back your drapes to let in more light and decorating your rooms with fresh flowers. Floral throws will help you get into the mood in summer.
Carpets and upholstery
Carpets and upholstery always suffer with age, and they can quickly collect dirt, especially if you have small children or pets. This isn’t only unsightly, but it can also be bad for your health as it enables mites to thrive. A deep cleansing treatment from professionals such as Action Chem-Dry can enable you to revive them, so they’ll be cleaner, look brighter, and last longer. If the fabric on a sofa or chair really has come to the end of its life, it’s not that hard to re-upholster it, and you can find helpful videos online to show you how.
Rethink kitchen storage
Most kitchens don’t have enough storage, and this can lead to them looking cluttered and unappealing. Simply putting some hooks on the wall so that you can hang up pots, pans, and some utensils can make a big difference. You can also mount small shelves and find attractive jars to put on them, where you can store small items – but remember not to use transparent jars for spices, as they need to be protected from sunlight in order to keep their flavor.
A place for everything
No matter how well organized your home is, there are always little things that just don’t seem to have a proper place. Creating a drawer specifically for such items can make the place look a lot tidier, and if you create partitions inside it (which is easy to do just using cardboard), you can keep things from getting mixed up together so that it’s easier to find them when you need them. Chests with lots of small drawers are also useful for this and can look very stylish.
See the light
As homes become more crowded over time, especially with children’s things, they often start to look dark and dingy. If this has happened to yours, you can start to brighten things up by clearing clutter away from your windows. Setting up mirrors around your rooms, especially opposite windows, helps to bounce light around your house and make everywhere look brighter. Adding some plants can create an illusion of brightness because people subconsciously associate it with the outdoors.
Reinvent outdoor spaces
Changing the way the outside of your home looks can make you feel a lot better about it. This could be as simple as applying a new coat of paint to your front door and window frames, but it could also mean things such as fixing up window boxes or hanging baskets, pruning back trees and bushes, or restoring damaged decking and adding some weather-resistant outdoor furniture. A simple table and stools that allow you to eat outside on summer evenings can thrill the whole family.
Getting the family involved
Tell your kids they have to tidy up and they’ll start sulking. Tell them it’s time to put the plush animals to bed and drive the toy cars into their garage and they’ll be much more likely to cooperate. Tidying is fun when it becomes play. It’s also fun when it’s done in a group, and even larger-scale renovation tasks such as stripping wallpaper or tiling bathroom walls can potentially work as a team effort. You can even form two opposing teams and compete to see who can do the best job.
Fixing up your home is something that you can do even on a small budget if you’re willing to put in the effort. It can be a fun family project, and what you create together will strengthen your family bond. It will also teach you new skills, and each project you complete will increase your confidence about taking on more. You’ll develop new ideas as you work, especially if everyone is working creatively together. Soon, your home will be looking better than you ever imagined it could.