Looking to make a few quick and easy updates to the look of your home, but don’t have much cash? (Um, who isn’t?!) To get you started, we’ve gathered up the top 10 things you can start doing today to freshen up and de-clutter your place – without spending a fortune!
1) Fridge Makeover
Clearing magnets and clippings from your refrigerator door will have a huge visual impact on the look of your kitchen. In less than 5 minutes, you can go from messy to neat. Tidy up by getting rid of old invitations, business cards and take-out menus. If you’re feeling bold, remove everything stuck to your fridge and hang a pretty bulletin board near your kitchen workspace. Use it to attach important items of note. If you don’t have free wall space, attach inexpensive corkboards to the inside doors of a few kitchen cabinets.
2) Contrasting Bookshelves
Add a splash of color and a sophisticated look with this trick: paint the back wall of a bookshelf in a bright, contrasting color. Simply remove the back of the bookshelf and paint it. If that’s not possible, cover the shelves with painter’s tape while you paint the back. Or you can choose to also paint the inside walls of the shelves. Just leave the outside in the original finish for contrast.
3) Wall Revamp
Artwork can quickly go stagnant but with a few simple swaps you can keep your walls looking fresh on a regular basis. Every six months, either rotate existing artwork or swap out whatever is in the frame with something new.
If new artwork isn’t in your budget, look no further than things you probably already have. Calendar art, greeting cards and gift wrap all make for great, frameable pieces.
4) Lighting Refresh
Update the look of old light fixtures and sconces by replacing the shades.
In the spring and summer your house may not need as much light, so try swapping out to a lower wattage. (Be sure to check the recommendations on your fixtures before this step and always stay within the wattage guidelines).
5) Soft Goods
These super easy “soft good” updates will make a world of a difference in your kitchen and bath. Use a real rug, not a bathroom rug, in front of your bathroom sink. Replace your shower curtain and any accent towels.
In your kitchen, replace the rug, dish towels and pot holders.
6) Fresh Scent
Bring in a fresh scent by planting fragrant plants near your exit doors or under frequently opened windows. Gardenias, lavender, and jasmine are great choices or ask someone in your local garden center for advice.
If you don’t have a space to plant, you can still bring in a floral aroma with candles, diffusers or fresh cut flowers. To save a few bucks, look for inexpensive bouquets and split into smaller vases and jars around your house.
Doormats often get the doormat treatment: overused and neglected until they become an eyesore. Why would you give such treatment to the first and last thing you and your guests see when entering and leaving your home? Instead, purchase a new one every season or rotate four every Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter.
8) Brighten and Whiten
White adds a sense of brightness and freshness to any room. Try using white wherever you wish to add this feeling. Try bathroom towels, lampshades, candles, picture frames, throw pillows and bed linens.
9) Mirror, Mirror
Mirrors reflect light and, when used correctly, can create fantastic visual drama. Large options can be pricey, so visit your local thrift store or purchase inexpensive, unframed panels. Hang them across from or adjacent to windows to add depth to a flat space. Or, set them under or behind accents for an instant play on light.
10) Bring in the green
Plants are the definition of fresh. Check out our list of recommended house plants and just remember to water!