Low-cost projects that make your home look like a million bucks
If you have big design dreams but are working with a small budget, no fear – you don’t have to sacrifice style and professional-looking results.
Try these budget-friendly decorating tips from designer and contractor Amy Matthews of the DIY Network’s “Sweat Equity” and “Bathroom Renovations” to help get you the priceless design you’ve always wanted without breaking the bank.
• Shed a little light: Give your kitchen an instant and inexpensive makeover simply by replacing outdated fixtures like faucets, lighting and hardware. You can also add a tile backsplash or under-cabinet lights to really dress up your kitchen. Not only are these functional and design-oriented, they really help deliver a big bang for your buck.
• A little dab will do: Before you commit to a paint color, buy samples and try them out on the wall. See how the color looks during the day, at night and under various types of lighting.
• Something old, something new: Add one special piece in the living room that makes a great conversation starter. This could be a lighting fixture, a piece of furniture or a unique rug – something signature to your style. You can find great pieces by shopping at designer sales and discount showrooms, or uncover treasures in your own house. Rummage through the attic or basement to rediscover pictures, vases or your grandmother’s antique chest. You’ll be surprised with what you may find.
• Accent on accessories: Fancy towels aren’t just for your guests’ bathroom – treat yourself to new towels in the master bathroom and quickly transform it into an updated and inviting space. For your living spaces, changing couch covers seasonally will keep your decor fresh and make it look like you purchased new furniture. Try brown microfiber for fall, white linen for summer and sage green in the spring.
• Bring the outdoors in: Take a hint from nature and get inspired by the seasons and the beautiful hues outside. Once you’ve decided on one or two colors, buy pillows, lampshades and other accessories to place throughout your bedroom. Experiment with patterns, warm colors like red and orange, or calm hues like moss greens and sage. Branches and flowers are inexpensive and can also add instant charm to any living area.
• Soak up the sun: When landscaping, buy smaller and younger plants that need time to grow. They’ll be ready in a couple of years when you’re ready to sell your house. Fresh cedar mulch or rock landscaping are other great ways to improve curb appeal – they’re inexpensive and will really make your yard pop.
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