If your home is overdue for a makeover but your wallet is begging you to wait, don't worry: There are plenty of easy and affordable ways to update and add style to your living space.
"Regardless of the economy, many of us still desire some kind of change or pick-me-up in our homes' decor," says Kelli Ellis, of TLC's Clean Sweep and HGTV's Takeover My Makeover.
One of Ellis' favorite decorating tips doesn't cost a dime: " 'Shop' in your own home!" she says. "Before hanging the same picture in the same place, look around your home for another piece of art you love and give it a new audience and life by hanging it somewhere new."
Repurposing items you already own also is a favorite tip of Shannon Kaye, who hosts DIY Network's Fresh Coat. "A sideboard from the dining room may make a beautiful entertainment center in the family room. Or, turn a single bed into a luxurious daybed for the sunroom or living room," she says.
Here are some other easy ways to jazz up your rooms:
- Add plants. "My absolute favorite way to freshen a space is to add life to it-literally. Bring in plants," says Genevieve Gorder, of TLC's Trading Spaces and HGTV's Dear Genevieve. "Whether you choose two beautiful topiaries framing your fireplace or a row of succulents potted in antique teacups beneath your kitchen window, plants breathe life into any stale space."
- Give cabinets a facelift. "Kitchen and bathroom renovations can be expensive," notes Kim Myles, of the HGTV series Myles Of Style. Get the most bang for your buck by improving what you've got. "Repainting all of your cabinetry faces and switching out the pulls can have massive impact, and costs less than $100," Myles says.
- Choose simple window treatments. Changing window treatments is one of the easiest ways to update a room. "Avoid those fussy valances and upholstered cornices," Kaye suggests. "Opt instead for clean panels hung as close to the ceiling as possible, to make your room look spacious and modern."
- Don't overlook lighting. "One of my favorite lighting tricks is so simple: Add a dimmer switch," Gorder says. "One easy switch change can bring instant ambiance to your room. You can have bright, fluid light when needed and soft mood lighting when the purpose of being home is relaxing at night with a glass of wine or a cup of tea."
- Edit your accessories. Nothing makes a room feel staler than clutter, so choose accessories wisely. "Pull all of your accessories out of the room, and then only replace the things you love. It doesn't cost a thing, and it streamlines the entire space," Myles advises.
Room makeovers can be fast, easy and budget-friendly. "My motto is, use what you've got," Kaye says. "I'll bet if you look around a bit you'll realize that you really do have plenty to work with."