Inspirational living room image in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from Katie Ridder Inc
Photo Credit: Instagram @katieridderinc
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6 Great Ways to Freshen Your Décor Without Great Expense

Whether you are looking to breathe fresh life into a room with minor changes, or dramatically transform it, we all want to maximize our budgets to create spaces that reflect our aesthetic. Just because we cut some costs, however, does not mean we have to compromise style. Not only should you determine your budget before you begin, but it is important to prioritize your desires. For instance, what rooms demand more for your lifestyle? Are you someone who entertains, so the public living spaces take priority? Or, are your bedroom spaces where you would rather splurge?

After over a decade of designing rooms for $1,000 to $2,000 on TLC’s “Trading Spaces,” I definitely learned the art of where to put money in a space and how to create impact with less expense. Read on to learn some tips to stretch your dollar and your imagination when it comes to making changes in your home.

Striped living room image featured in the Atlas Concorde USA blog by William McLure

Photo Credit: Instagram @william_mclure

Rearrange what you have. Sometimes merely rearranging the furniture can make a big difference with no cost at all! A sofa that used to flank a fireplace may now float in front of it. A pair of club chairs from an adjacent room may now take up residence opposite the sofa. Art and accessories can easily find new walls and surfaces for a fresh perspective. Once you rearrange the furniture, you can assess whether new pieces need to be purchased or existing pieces refurbished. In this photo, I like how the designer changed the face of an ottoman with a slipcover and a striped throw. The sofa didn’t have to be totally reupholstered, which can be quite expensive. Rather, they used an accent fabric to address the seat and back cushion, creating a fresh look. If reupholstering chairs or a sofa are not in your budget, throw pillows and perhaps an impactful textile–as new drapery panels or a single window valence–can give your space a lift.

Art over painted chest image referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from Aamir Khandwala

Photo Credit: Instagram @aamir_khandwala

Find a balance of old and new furniture. While purchasing a timelessly constructed sofa that can stay with you for decades is a good foundational piece, not everything in the space has to be new. As a matter of fact, a room becomes stagnant if it looks like it was purchased instantaneously. Pieces should have stories, whether antiques in your family or a great flea market or estate sale find. So many times I’ve found a piece with good lines and painted it with a high gloss finish to enhance its silhouette, adding instant sophistication to a space. Perhaps a piece already has a great patina or aged finish, so simply changing the hardware makes a beautiful update.

Pink dining room referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from Nest Studio Collection

Photo Credit: Instagram @neststudiohardware

A fresh coat of paint always makes a statement. Painting and wallpaper are one of the quickest and easiest ways to freshen up a space. Wallpapers have made great advancements with ease of application. Peel and stick options are also easy to remove leaving no damage to rental properties. However, if you lack the resources or time to take on all the walls, an accent or featured wall can make a dramatic impact. Perhaps your accent is a solid color or you decide to create your own art like the image of the dining space to the left.

If wallpaper on all four walls breaks your budget, consider placing paper on your ceiling only as a fifth wall, like this photo of the hallway below. Remember, technology has made great advancements with color matching. That expensive boutique paint color may now be matched in a less expensive paint by the gallon.

Image of hallway with wallpapered ceiling referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from Porter Teleo

Photo Credit: Instagram @porterteleo

Never underestimate the power of lighting. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but a new light fixture or lamps can make all the difference. Light is critical for enlivening a space. If new lamps aren't in your budget, merely updating the lampshade can change the look of a dated fixture.

A small space can also instantly appear enlarged and brightened with mirrors. I love this entry below where aged mirrors have been affixed to the wall flanking the front door, adding instant character and interest. The glass front doors allow natural light to pour in to what I imagine was a fairly dark space previously.

Image of entryway with mirrors referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from The Design Atelier

Photo Credit: Instagram @thedesignatelier

Update bedding for a simple yet transformative change. For many, the bedroom is the most neglected space in the home because it doesn’t have the priority of a living space or kitchen. If the budget is slim, consider addressing the bedding. A monochromatic look is always sophisticated and sets a restful tone. I love how this designer chose a pale blue headboard and coordinating bedding, yet energized the space with a yellow accent wall. Bringing in plants and flowers immediately lifts spirits and brings in additional color.

Image of yellow wall in bedroom referenced in Atlas Concorde USA blog from John Robshaw

Photo Credit: Instagram @johnrobshaw

Consider using nature for art in the home. Art is a dramatic way to set the mood of your room. Whether a large dramatic piece, or a collage of several pieces, art adds personality to any space. Art does not have to be expensive, as some of the most impactful pieces I’ve seen were either prints that had been framed and hung in a beautiful grouping or elements from nature. I can remember staying with a friend who hung an arthritic piece of driftwood at the end of a bedroom hall where it was dramatically lit with a spotlight. Here is a collection of sea urchins mounted on a piece of shagreen that I can imagine mounted in a shadow box and hung on a wall.

I hope the above ideas have inspired you to think of creative ways to freshen up your spaces, while budgeting appropriately.

Image of sea urchins referenced in the Atlas Concorde USA blog from India Hicks

Photo Credit: Instagram @indiahicksstyle

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