When you’ve done enough jig-saw puzzles, re-read many of your favorite books, watched too much Netflix and cooked or baked up a storm in the kitchen, you’re probably ready for something else to keep busy these days. Why not redecorate a room or two? We have some tips on how you can do revitalize your living space without spending a single penny!!
Do what Nate Berkus does
One of the things famous interior designer Nate Berkus said most often on his 2010-2012 TV show was “shop in your own home.” It’s even easier than it sounds….and costs you nothing. Move a framed print from one room to another, exchange bedroom pillows for the living room ones…take artificial flowers out of one vase and stick them in another…then position them in a totally different location. Grab a basket you use for one thing and repurpose it as a holder for books next to your favorite chair, or beauty products in the bathroom. Arrange a grouping of anything – candles, photos, books – in a new order and/or in a new location. Change the photos in frames to different friends or family members.
Here are some more of his (and our) no-cost tips if you’re ready to channel your inner interior designer.
Perk up the kitchen.
Clear up all horizontal surfaces by storing everyday items out of sight for a change.
Get the toaster into a cupboard and Then create a ‘pretty vignette’ using a tray to hold a framed photo, a couple favorite ceramics or found objects, and a plant. Have any left-over seeds from last year? Start some herbs in a sunny window.
Change the lighting in a room.
Most people don’t have enough lighting in their homes, say Berkus.
Every space needs three to five light sources. Think about moving your table or floor lamps around. Pull a rarely used lamp out of a spare room and add it to improve the lighting in your most-used room. Adequate lighting can literally brighten up any room.
Create a workable work space.
If you’re working at home these days, is the kitchen or dining room
table your only option? Or is there a corner by a sunny window you can block off from the rest of the room with a plant or bookcase? Paint a board or old door to put on top of 2 file cabinets as a workspace…or grab any leftover paint and repaint an old desk an all-new color.
Move that sofa.
Maybe you have a traditional layout or maybe you’re limited on space. But stand back for a minute and look at your sofa. Where else could it go to give your living room or great room an all-new look? ‘Frame it’ in front of a window? Set it on an angle (and move the TV accordingly)? Change the artwork above or near the sofa? Exchange it with pieces from another room or re-arrange it from random placement to linear, or linear to random? Swap the location of one easy chair for the other? Forget about symmetry. Unless you’re in love with traditional interior design asymmetrical layouts can make any room more interesting.
Perk up the bathroom.
Get organized and clear all that ‘stuff’ off the counter or the back of the toilet.
Grab an interesting bowl or fun basket for most of your everyday essentials; put the rest out of sight. Dump some (even old) potpourri in a pretty bowl. If it doesn’t have a scent any longer, perk it up with a few spritzes of your favorite cologne. Berkus even likes to put Q-tips in a container – so think gorgeous small cut-glass bowl or even a fun mug.
Switch things up.
What do you have that could be used for something else? A nightstand used as a side
table? A single-pot decorative metal plant stand with a tray affixed to the top as a nightstand? An old dresser as a TV stand? An armoire as a home bar? “Keep experimenting and reevaluating,” Berkus recommends. “Nothing needs to be set in stone.”
Color it different.
Got any leftover paint from a prior project that might just also work on a new wall somewhere else? Even if it’s just a small wall section along a cupboard, door or window. Get out the paint brush and give it a try. After all, it’s only paint…and if it doesn’t work, you can change it once you can get out paint shopping again.
Live with things you love.
Get the pieces you love out on display. Incorporate pieces into your decorating that have personal significance for you – whether it’s a family heirloom (what are you saving it for anyway?), or a souvenir from a memorable trip. If it makes you smile or brings up a fond memoryevery time you see it, get it out of the closet and put it where you can enjoy it.
You’ve got time, so let’s clean.
Giving your home a really good cleaning is another move that will make your home a lot more gorgeous – and costs nothing. In addition to vacuuming, mopping and dusting the bookshelves, think “simplifying”. You can start now setting aside for sale or donation those items that don’t really turn you on any longer or fit the look you want today. This is also as good a time as any to get out the paint brush and touch up woodwork and walls.
According to Berkus, the best interiors are those where people took risks and didn’t look over their shoulders at who might judge them for doing what they’ve done. Interior design is always evolving, so let your home be your own on-going experiment in what brings you joy.