Decorators share easy ways to update your home for free


    One way to break the monotony of spending so much time at home is to change the look of your surroundings.

    Money is tight for many of us and we still spend a lot of time at home. But you have many options to spice up the living room by now working, eating and watching TV for countless hours.

    When you’re tired of the looks of your surroundings, read on to find ideas on how to freshen up your home that don’t cost anything – and you can forego leaving your home.

    “Shop” what you already have

    “I always tell people to shop at your home,” said decorator Stephanie Everhart, owner of So Be It Interiors in St. Petersburg, Florida. “Redesign your rooms with the items you already have.”

    Joseph Marini, interior designer and owner of At Home With Joseph, is also an advocate of keeping original pieces when renovating. Moving a room with the same furniture can make a huge difference.

    “Say you have a sofa and two armchairs that are kitty corner to the sofa,” said Marini. “Take them and stand them opposite the sofa or stand them next to each other at right angles to the sofa. Just changing the angles of furniture can give a room a whole new look. “

    Reevaluate your current layout

    When people spend more time in their homes, they also realize what makes them happy and what doesn’t, Everhart said.

    The dining room, which is only used five times a year, could become a second seating area or a home office. Remove the sheets of paper from the table or fold the pages down and place them against a wall. Add a wing chair or bench from other rooms, pull a lamp out of the attic, and a desk or end table that stands in the garage. You now have a new reading room.

    Everhart realized that her china cabinet took up an entire wall. She didn’t want to display any more plates and crystals, so she got rid of it. Now she has a whole new wall space to hang the religious art she collects on.

    10 more free ways to update your home

    Here are a few more suggestions from Marini and Everhart:

    1. Create a welcoming outdoor area.

    Whether in your own garden or on a shared staircase, fresh air is good. Bring potted plants to an outdoor space from the inside to enhance the seating area. If you don’t have patio furniture, move a kitchen chair and side table outside for a few days if rain isn’t included in the forecast.

    2. Try a different way of making your bed.

    Fold the bedspread or bedspread to the bottom third of the mattress and place a blanket over the top. (Think hotel style.) If you typically place pillows against the headboard, lay them flat on top of the stacked bed.

    3. Break out the paint and brushes.

    “If I get bored of furniture, I don’t mind painting it,” said Marini. “Take some paint that you have lying around. Most furniture can be painted very nicely with two coats. If it’s really, really shiny, you can sand it down. “

    4. Lean towards window treatments.

    “One thing I always find that refreshes a home is labor-intensive washing,” said Marini. “Take the curtains down and wash them, dry them and iron them. It makes you feel like you’ve achieved something. “

    5. Bring the outside in.

    You don’t have to have an elaborate rose garden to create a centerpiece and fill a vase on the bedside table. “Just go out and pick some green from your bushes or trees if you don’t have flowers,” said Marini. “This always refreshes a room and gives it a personal touch.”

    6. Repeat your bookshelves.

    Everhart shared a few ideas including:

    • Use a spare gallon of paint to paint the back of the shelves.
    • Arrange books by color. “I love pulling these sleek jackets out of books so you can see the real color and texture of the books,” she said. “It’s really nice to see your spine. Especially older books. “
    • Place some books vertically, but stack some on their pages. Now you have some space for a picture frame or a favorite memento. “Your bookcases must have items that tell the story of your life,” said Everhart.

    7. Tag collections by collecting parts in one place.

    If you have two candlesticks on the dining table and several are in a drawer, arrange them together on the mantle of the fireplace.

    8. Reorganize a room by replacing a piece of furniture.

    Everhart pulled out all the small appliances, like a saucepan and a long-forgotten George Foreman grill, that overcrowded her kitchen cabinets. “That made putting dishes and bowls away a lot easier, but I didn’t want the toaster and blender and everything on the counter,” she said.

    “I went into the garage and found this wooden cabinet in that godly olive green color. I painted it white and put it in my kitchen where I had this little marble table on four legs that served no purpose. “

    9. Update photos.

    Put a smaller photo in a frame and use fabric as a background.

    10. Cover a chair again to give it a new look

    You can do this if you have a stapler and a few feet of fabric (or even a fabric shower curtain).

    You can find more tips on home decor at Everhart (SoBeItInteriors) on Instagram and Facebook and at Marini (AtHomeWithJoseph) on Instagram and Facebook.

    Katherine Snow Smith is a freelance writer and editor based in St. Petersburg, Florida and author of Rules for the Southern Rulebreaker.


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