6 Tips for a Budget-Friendly Home Makeover

You don’t have to spend thousands to create a new, designer-inspired look.

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If a home renovation or redecorating project is on your schedule this season but you’re stressed about costs, make sure you’re taking advantage of some great deals and discounts available in your area. Even a few small investments for your home can increase your home’s value. Small, inexpensive home decorating projects can freshen up your living space and create a whole new ambiance. Whether you’re looking to update your main living areas, repaint the entire house, or want to refurbish rooms with new furniture and decor, you don’t have to spend thousands to create a new, designer-inspired look.

Here are six tips for your budget-friendly home makeover:

1. Shop the Vintage Stores

If you’re looking to add a few key pieces of decor to a room on a smaller budget, head to some vintage or antique stores in your area to pick up gently used accent furniture and unique pieces of decor. These are great destinations for bargain hunters and it’s unlikely that you’ll find anything similar to standard items at big-box stores and home goods stores in your area. Items like upholstered chairs, framed paintings, or even some old-fashioned lamps can add some character and personality to any room.

2. Update Furniture as a DIY Project

Slip covers on sofas, new cushions on bar seats, and a fresh coat of paint on tables and desks can freshen up your furnishings without a heavy cash investment. Instead of replacing these key pieces of furniture with new items, set aside a couple of days to update everything and give it a new look. Sofa covers and new pillows can completely change the look of your living room without too much effort—or monetary investment. A few coats of fresh paint in a new color could be just what you need to update tables, chairs, and accent furniture around the home. New color combinations can revitalize your living space.

3. Paint Accent Walls

When you’re working with a tight budget, repainting every wall inside the home (or putting up wallpaper in every room) can be expensive. Pick out just one wall in each room to decorate instead. A pop of color on a single accent wall can really freshen up the living area and even make it look bigger. Think about what colors elicit different emotions—light blue can be calming and a good match for a baby room while orange can be energizing and a good match for a fitness room. Make sure to pick out colors that complement existing decor and also liven up the space.

4. Create More Space with Mirrors

If you can’t afford to shell over the cash for a room expansion, add some mirrors to different wall spaces to reflect the light. Strategically-placed mirrors can end up making a very small area seem much larger. You can use a set of tiled mirrors in a cascading pattern, or set up longer wall mirrors across an empty wall to create the illusion of more space. You can find all types of mirrors at most big-box stores and search online for mirrors that are cut in a unique design or custom-ordered.

5. Be Creative with Shelving

Hanging shelves and wall shelves can serve double duty as a piece of decor and also have functional purposes. Cascading “floating” shelves down the wall of a stairwell or on an empty wall are easy on the eyes and can also be used to display photographs and collectibles. Smaller shelving units can be valuable space savers in a small office or even in a bedroom. Larger book cases and cubicle-style shelves can help keep your living space more organized and also add some more clean lines to a room. Be creative with your use of different types of shelves to balance out a room and freshen up the space.

6. Enhance the Lighting

An expensive lighting system can completely change the look of a room, but you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to create some special effects. A few strategically-placed lamps can add some dimension to a room and enhance the living space. Play with different types of light bulbs to get just the right amount of illumination you want for each room. Light dimmers can also help to change up the ambiance and mood in a certain area.

Sabah Karimi is a frequent contributor to consumer blog Wise Bread and Yahoo! Shine.