Do you have the winter blahs? Do you need something fresh and new in your life? How about changing up a few simple things in your home to give you that bright perspective and chase away the winter blues?
You don’t have to knock out walls or spend a fortune to make some easy modifications that will go a long way toward giving your home the look you are dreaming of during the dark winter days. You can add a punch of color with new pillows or throws, or scout out bargains and use your creativity to repurpose items you already own to dress up your surroundings and experience that sense of accomplishment as you perk up your home.
Here are some simple tips to spruce up your home and rid yourself of those winter doldrums:
1.Invest time instead of money. We’ve all heard the phrase, time is money. Anything worthwhile usually takes time, effort or money. If you are trying to decorate your home but are on a slim financial plan that makes those budget designers on TV look like spendthrifts, then be willing to invest the other two elements: time and effort. Find decorating blogs and books online, or go to your library and pour over their collection of home designer magazines. Spend the time to find elements that speak to you and will make your target room(s) have just the right feel.
2. Look for bargains. Don’t ignore flea markets, estate or yard sales and thrift stores in your search. They may have that one set or piece at an affordable price that will give you just the look you are trying to achieve in your design. Even in the winter, local papers and online lists will provide indoor flea market and community sale information. Also, the best bargain is something you already own. Find clever ways to use an object you’ve hung on to but don’t really need. Try looking at it in a new light.
3. Start with the basics. Paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to switch up any or all your rooms. Again, apply time to this one by browsing around home and paint stores to find just the color–or color combination–that works for you. For an extra crisp look in your painting, be sure to use painter’s tape to give you that sharp, professional finished look.
4. Take it piece by piece. Don’t feel you have to redo your home in one go. Once you have established your master plan, start simply. You may have it in the budget to replace one lamp, so start there, but don’t feel like you also have to buy new end tables. Buying one item at a time will not only be easy on the wallet, but can fit perfectly into your overall design.
5. Don’t discount shortcuts. There are obviously some shortcuts you don’t want to take when it comes to your home, but all shortcuts aren’t bad. Buying slip covers instead of replacing all your furniture can be a cost-effective strategy to make your existing pieces work. (Not to mention, you can take them off and wash them for a fresh look once a month!) Another shortcut that works is to update your kitchen with appliance panels that fit right on the front rather than replacing the entire costly item. With over 200 colors to choose from in home improvement and appliance stores, you are certain to find just the right hue to match.
6. Keep the finished product in mind. As you buy your pieces, be sure they fit in with your scheme. Even if it is a steal of a deal, it is no bargain if it does not match your theme. You may find some wonderful vintage hardware for your kitchen cabinets, but if the look you want is sleek and modern, those classic pieces will look out of place.
7. Change the lighting. This one element, like paint, can make a great deal of difference to a room. Changing your light fixtures may be all the sprucing up your home needs. However, if you require more light, consider making this one of your larger investments. Perfect lighting makes a home more comfortable, usable and will show off all your unique pieces.
8. Get window treatments. Think this one through. Find the look you want, but take into consideration your needs for window covering. Do you need to have complete window coverage to keep out nosy neighbors? Then be sure to get blinds or thick drapes and not just sheers. If your plants need sunlight, make sure your window treatments allow enough sunlight into your rooms or it will cost you more to replace your greenery!
9. Accessorize. Those little extras will make your look blend and be the ideal complement to your design. Finding the right vase, picture frame, pillows and flower arrangements can elevate the look of each room. Check the clearance aisle in your favorite stores. Cute and usable accessories can be found for cheap in these aisles!
10. Use plants. Don’t forget to figure plants into your design. They do so much to brighten up any space. Potted flowers on your kitchen windowsill, a Ficus tree in your entry way or living room, and homey plants strategically placed will make it look inviting and finished. Who knows, maybe you’ll even discover you have a secret green thumb. (PS-leave the fake stuff at the store. It adds so little…except dust…to your design.)
[author] [author_info]About the Author
Margo Smith graduated with a B.S. degree from BYU. She resides in the Wasatch Front and cherishes the splendor and solidity of the Rocky Mountains she knows as home. She looks at the world around her when compiling articles about a plethora of subjects from home decorating to various ways one can apply for pell grant in college to women’s concerns.
Image Credit: Alvimann