15 Tips to Update Your Home on the Cheap

Sat, Jul 18, 2015 @ 08:07 AM Dawn M. Smith Home Decorating Ideas


After years of living with the same arrangement of furniture and accessories, we often become blind to seeing the potential for renewing our home fashion. Use these tips to inspire free or inexpensive updates to your home decor!

Use What You Have

1.  Rescue wedding china and other “too nice to use” serving pieces from boxes and display them on mantels, sideboards, and other open storage areas.

2.  Similarly shaped unpolished silver trays look interesting hung as a wall display or feature.

3.  Frame existing scarves or other favorite fabric that has been in storage and hang as eye-catching artwork in overlooked hallways or staircases. 

4.  Redistribute small furniture such as end tables and slipper chairs into other rooms of the house. They may perk up an unused corner or hallway.

5.  Review current placement of large furniture. It might not be in its best position. Form conversation areas by pulling furniture off the perimeter of walls. 

6.  Repurpose furniture that is ignored in your house. Turn a neglected ottoman into a coffee or bedside table by adding a solid serving tray to display a collection or hold night time items.

7.  Declutter and spruce up built-in bookcases. Don’t let the show piece of the room become a dumping ground.

  • Rearrange books in an eye-catching fashion by orienting them vertically, horizontally, and doubling their use as book ends. Or, sort books by color to add interest.
  • Use baskets to camouflage storage materials.
  • Take a step back and view the shelves. Are they balanced visually? Not each shelf has to be filled.

Spend a Little Money

8.  Make a dramatic or slight change with perfectly painted walls. Color makes such a difference, quickly and easily.

9.  If your kitchen’s upper cabinets are good quality and worthy of becoming display space, remove doors and add paint to the interiors to showcase pottery or other attractive serving pieces.

10.  The same idea will work for stand alone armoires or bookcases. Less permanent than paint, removable wall coverings with graphic patterns offer a lot of visual interest.

11.  If you don’t have a very expensive or antique dining table and chairs, consider painting the chairs a complementary color to the wall paint or other coordinating accent color in the room.

12.  Bring small pieces of outdoor furniture inside. Wicker or rattan tables and chairs lend a beachy and casual look to a room.

13.  Shop end of season sales for small, outdoor, three-piece bistro sets that might work in a foyer or other awkward space in the house.

14.  Update an unused fireplace. Fill the space with unique baskets filled with seasonal foliage, display old books, or arrange a collection of antique mason jars or other glassware.

15.  Always check out your local base’s thrift shop. The variety constantly changes with the regularly moving PCS crowd, plus it’s easy access for those living on base. Convenient drop-offs mean more inventory.

If you need more suggestions for a new look, a simple solution is to have a friend whose style you admire come to your house to offer honest recommendations. It’s amazing what ideas your friends can envision for your space. Likely they are solutions you haven’t considered. Return the favor if they are receptive!

Don’t forget to visit MilitaryByOwner’s Resource pages for more decorating and moving advice.

Photo credit: Flickr user Mariposas Furniture

Bloom Where PCS Plants You E-book