Cheap Ways to Spruce up Your Space

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Cheap Ways to Spruce up Your Space

Beth Fitzjarrald · Mar 2, 2015

painter with paint roller

It’s almost spring – which means it’s time to spruce up your space. If you’re like me, spring cleaning means something new for walls, artwork, and decor. As a renter, I always try to balance adding my personal touch within my rental agreement and keeping within my budget. Try a few of these ideas to add some pizzazz to your space!

Strategic Painting for Free!

Most home stores will provide free or very cheap tester cans so you can see which color works best for you. Pick out a few shades of a single color, or several complementary colors, and add a different pop of color in strategic locations. If your lease doesn’t allow painting, you can focus on your furniture. Paint the back face of open book shelves or cabinets for a punch of fun in any room. For even more subtle spice, paint just the sides of dresser drawers. Only you will see the color when you open the drawers!

If you can make alterations to the rented space, you can use those paint testers to paint just the sides of doors. Especially against white doors and walls, this can really up the personality!

No Paint? Stick it!

If you can’t paint your home and aren’t game for coloring your furniture, removable wall decals are very inexpensive and great for people who change their minds often. Just peel and stick, and peel off when you’re ready for something new – or when it’s time to move. Designs ranging from trees and birds, glow-in-the-dark night skies, inspirational quotes, and more are available at home stores or online.

DIY Cheap Curtains

Bare windows are a bore. But fancy window coverings can cost more than I like to put into my short-term rental space. Floor-length curtains are a quick way to add some “chic” to any room. If you have the ability to sew a straight line (by machine or hand), you can make your own curtains for almost no expense. Find a clearance or even second-hand duvet cover with a great pattern, cut, seam, and hang! If you have a space where you don’t need as much length, you can similarly cut and hem second-hand bed sheets or any other large, flat fabric.

Modernizing light fixtures

Shiny golden light fixtures really age a space (90s anyone?). Before you think about changing fixtures, though, be sure to check your rental agreements. If you can alter the light fixtures, think about “modernizing” existing fixtures to feel new, instead of shelling out big bucks for fancy new fixtures. All you need is a few screws and some spray paint! White or black coatings are classic, or splurge for metallic paint to chose a subtle bronze or nickel style. Check out this tutorial for more details.

Spend Small to Accent

If you’re going to spend a little, chose wisely. Think about the color scheme you’re already working with for large items in a given room (walls, furniture, existing rugs) and chose a color or two that will pop in the room. Think of this like matching a new tie with an existing shirt and suit. Your tie is your accent piece. Resist the urge to stay neutral – pick a bold hue and/or a daring design that can tie together with several small items. Standing or table lamps, throw pillows, vases, candles, or wall hangings can all accent your space. I like to choose my concept, then pick up a couple items second hand, and finally splurge on one feature item new.

For just a few dollars and a few hours, you can make your home feel fresh and fun again.

 

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