It seems inevitable that when funds are tight, the desire to redecorate overcomes me like a wildfire out of control. Right now, my focus is on the dining room. The dining room table and chairs are older than my marriage, but they’re still in fairly decent shape. While I would love to replace them with a newer, sturdier dining set that complements my current tastes, which have changed over the years, I simply can’t afford the expense right now. So, how does one breathe new life into a tired-looking room without spending the kind of money that would make a thrifty spouse (like mine) pass out?
Here are three easy and inexpensive changes most homeowners can make to spruce up any room:
- Paint — While it may sound cliché, a fresh coat of paint really does help a “blah” room become a “wow” room. Don’t be afraid of bold colors, either, especially in a dining room, bathroom, or guest room. Colors with a little punch to them can add a lot of character to existing decor.
- Plants — Whether real or fake, plants in decorative pots or baskets fill empty space and bring the natural beauty of the outdoors to indoor rooms. Plants offer visual interest, and they solve a number of decorating challenges. Not sure what to put on that high shelf or awkward ledge? Can’t think of what to use for a centerpiece on the dining room table? Plants will often do the trick.
- Area rugs — Placing an area rug in a dining room, sitting area, bedroom, or hallway can make an enormous difference in the look of the room. Area rugs can be subtle or bold in color and design. Either way, they provide a decorative theme in a room, define a space more effectively than furniture alone, and help to dress up the decor that is already there.
In a dining room and in other high-traffic, mess-prone areas, the best choice for an area rug is an outdoor rug. Today’s outdoor rugs come in just as many color options and designs as indoor area rugs. The difference is that outdoor rugs are exceptionally durable and can be very easily cleaned. Small spots can be removed with mild soap and warm water, but outdoor rugs also can be taken outside and squirted with a hose to wash away heavier dirt or stains.
When the primal urge to redecorate threatens to overtake your own good senses, avoid the desire to chuck everything in the room and start from scratch. Instead, try one or more of these easy and affordable decor pick-me-ups. You might find that a small change or two is all that you need to feel satisfied again with your home.