I don’t know if you’re like me, but I’m a ‘right now’ girl. If I get an idea, I want to do it right away. If I think I need something, I want to get in the car and go get it. In my defense, after raising three children, I am a very patient person but when the need for change strikes, I’m on it! So to me, the best decorating changes you can make need to be ones that I can do NOW and cheap! Here are my Top 5 Cheap Ways to Making Big Changes, quick!
1. Move it (free) – In the last post we talked about switching things up when they aren’t working. Sometimes, even when they are, you just need a fresh look. The quickest way to do this is to move the furniture around in a room. Actually, if life were perfect, this would take place each season. In the winter, the cushy chairs could be pushed a little closer to the fireplace, in the spring all things moved away from the window so fresh breezes can stream in, summer would see area rugs rolled up and rooms become more casual for when the kids are home more and activity abounds and autumn would bring the cozy blankets back out and the side tables pulled close for a cup of cocoa nearby while enjoying a good read in a comfy chair. So think of how you are currently using your room and get moving! Don’t be afraid to put something away, move it to another room and create a different traffic flow in your space.
2. Paint it ($5-50) – We all know that color has power and nothing changes a room so drastically as color! In it’s cheapest decorating form, paint, it can make a huge impact. Paint a whole room (investment a gallon of paint and an afternoon), stripe a wall (a pint of paint and some masking tape) or just do one focal area. Do you have a piece of furniture that is a huge feature but is just “blah”? I’m sure if it could talk to you, it would scream, “PAINT ME!” Too scared to take the plunge and paint a whole piece? Paint the inside! The inside of a hutch with glass doors would pop, paint behind the bookshelves to add some depth or just paint the top of a table or the legs. The point is, pick that one thing that is noticed in a room and give it some quick WOW with color! After all, it’s only paint and if you ever want to, you can just paint it again!
3. Clean it (free) – This seems so pedestrian (I’m obsessed with that word right now) but sometimes things just need to be cleaned. And if the frog is too big to eat in one bite (meaning it’s too big a job to get done quick), go with the old saying of how to eat an elephant? Bite by bite. If you stare at it, nothing will happen. But if you move it all over to one pile (one room or one small area at a time), then go ahead and make the room look how you want it to, you should have a little motivation from loving the change to go back to the pile and throw out what you don’t need, donate what is still good and clean what’s left. Sometimes just removing clutter and items that don’t HAVE to be there will immediately add ‘breath’ to a room and you can see more clearly what can be changed.
4. Swap it (free) – There is a couple ways you can swap. First, swap your own stuff, from room to room. Move around throw pillows and accessories. Let a piece of art gain a new spotlight in another room. Pull up an area rug and move it to a new place. Walk around your house and grab stuff and take it with you to a new spot. Don’t freak out (or let anyone else) you can always move it back, but the point is to experiment! Don’t forget the book shelves and swap out the stuff for a new look. Secondly, if you have a friend who is needing a change too, swap some home decor with her. Obviously make it clear whether you are ‘loaning’ to each other for a season (until the next change needs to be made) or ‘giving’. We don’t want any chick fights to happen over decorating.
5. Plan it (sky’s the limit) – Most of us are on a budget, especially these days, so make a plan. Decide what one thing would make the biggest change in the room and then save for it. Once achieved, scout out what the next item is you need or change you want to make and then plan for it. Sometimes certain items need planning ahead, like furniture that requires an 8 week build time so while you are waiting, plan out what other changes you can be doing in the room so when it shows up…MAGIC, PRESTO…the room is pulled together! You never plan to fail, until you fail to plan!
Lastly, the point I’ve been trying to make the last few weeks and will continue through this journey is to NOT be afraid of change. And try to look at your home with ‘new eyes’ so you can make it the best it can be. You never know, you just might like it! Be happy, Jill