15 Simple Ideas to Make a House a Home – Redfin

Your house should make you feel welcomed as soon as you step through the door, but this feeling isn’t something that always happens on its own. Once the movers have left, and the chaos of moving has calmed down, it’s time to start focusing on putting down roots in your new space to help make your new house a home.

There are many ways to invoke the cozy, warm feeling that makes a house a home without a complete remodel or shopping spree. So, whether you just moved into your new home in Boston, MA, or need to personalize your studio in Albany, NY, here are 15 simple ideas you can use so your house can start feeling like a proper home.

Entryway

Entryway

1) Create an inviting entryway 

The front door and entryway can set the mood of your entire home. After all, it’s the first thing you see when you and your guests first step into your space. Make your front entrance more inviting by keeping it clear of leaves and debris and accessorize with a welcome mat and a few potted plants. Adding a bench or a clothes rack will also help keep your entryway neat and tidy, plus it makes a great first impression. Equally, painting the front door can give your house a fresh, new look in one afternoon. Feel free to choose a fun, contrasting color that aligns with your style.

2) Make your home more zen

Turning your house into a home starts with ensuring that you feel instantly at peace when you enter a room. But if you’re having difficulty feeling relaxed, there may be particular reasons why. If the sight of a messy, disorganized room is causing you stress, you might want to start decluttering and letting go of items that don’t bring you joy. Choosing random decor items to fill up empty spaces in your home can make a space feel cramped, and can add too many contrasts between your wall colors or furnishings. When choosing decor, artwork, or pictures, be sure to pick items that have special meaning to you. By identifying the areas in your home causing you stress, you can begin making your home a more zen space.

Brightly lit kitchen

Brightly lit kitchen

3) Improve your living space with home upgrades

Upgrading spaces in your home can go a long way in making you feel more settled. Bathrooms and kitchens are high-traffic areas in a home, so prioritizing home upgrades in these areas can ensure that you’re tackling the places that make the biggest impact. Installing new appliances can give your kitchen a facelift, but if you’re working with a smaller budget, select the most outdated or worn-looking one and replace it. Likewise, swapping out an old showerhead with one that has better water pressure can instantly elevate space and improve the quality of life in your home.

4) Use cozy area rugs to help make a house feel like home

An area rug can instantly warm up a space and make it more inviting. Area rugs can help ground furniture, and an artistically designed rug can also add more interest to a space. When selecting a rug, take the room’s size and arrangement into account. Ensure all of your furniture is on the area rug or at least touching a portion of the rug to give the space a cohesive look.

5) Dressing up empty walls with artwork

Blank walls can add an unfinished element to your house, preventing your house from feeling truly lived in. Displaying your favorite pieces of art can act as the finishing element to pull a space together and make a house a home. And the best part is that it’s a budget-friendly way to complete a room. When selecting your artwork, keep the room’s function, size, and decor style in mind. After that, you have the freedom to choose artwork that you love and will be happily displayed in your home.

For living rooms and areas where guests spend the most time, choose a large-scale piece as a focal point or incorporate multiple art pieces into a gallery wall. Pieces with soothing, cool-toned colors and abstract prints are great additions for areas for relaxation like a den or bedroom.

Dining area

Dining area

6) Bring nature inside with indoor plants

Indoor plants don’t just add a pop of greenery to a space, they can also breathe life into a dull room. Houseplants help us feel more relaxed and can even improve our home’s indoor air quality. They come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, so if you live in a shady studio in Portland, OR with only a few windows, or a home with lots of natural light in Seattle, Washington, you can still find ways to incorporate plants into your decor.  

For home offices or areas with low light in your home, stick to low-maintenance plants like lucky bamboo or succulents. These plants are compact enough to keep on a desk or side table and thrive in shaded areas. To add drama to larger rooms, such as living or dining rooms, money trees or fiddle leaf figs are great statement plant options. Plus, the right planter can add another design element to your home.

7) Keep the clutter to a minimum

Identifying the key areas in your space that you’ll keep tidy will make life in your home more pleasant. It’s easy to believe in the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when decluttering, but actively keeping your living area clean will allow you to fully relax in your space without being constantly stressed by the sight of messy areas. Instead of stowing items that are no longer used in designated “junk drawers,” take the time to go through and pick out items that no longer have sentimental value, use, or have similar functions to items you already have. And if the thought of decluttering your home is too daunting, consider hiring a professional organizing service to help you get your space in order.

8) Add scented candles or diffusers

A house filled with inviting smells can instantly make a house feel like home. With various candles, diffusers, and scent plug-ins available on the market, there’s no shortage of ways to make your home smell good. Choose your favorite and fill your home with the aroma of sweet vanilla, sharp citrus, or fresh linens in minutes. For more natural smelling scents, you can opt for essential oils, such as lavender or jasmine, which comes with the benefits of being natural stress relievers.

Layer lighting

Layer lighting

9) Make a house a home by layering the lighting

Lighting plays a significant role in affecting a room’s mood and is an essential design element when making a house feel like a home. If your house feels dark and cramped, you can switch up your lighting by adding and layering light sources to make it feel more warm and welcoming. While brighter lights are needed to illuminate kitchens and workspaces, using fluorescent overhead lighting in living rooms or dens can make the space appear harsh. Instead, opt for ambient light sources that use mellower, warmer lighting. Wall sconces, table, or floor lamps are excellent ambient lighting sources that can cast a warm, cozy glow on any room. 

10) Frame your windows with curtains

Window curtains are great accent pieces in a room. Replacing them is an easy way to switch up the room’s look and add a lived-in look to any space in one easy step. Personalize your windows by adding new window dressings to instantly warm up your home and showcase your style. Not only does adding beautiful curtains or shades improve your home’s appearance, they can also decorate blank walls, separate a room into sections, or even create fun little reading nooks in children’s bedrooms.

11) Showcase family mementos or antiques

Make your house feel like home by incorporating sentimental pieces in your decor, such as family mementos or antiques, to personalize your space. As you plan the display locations for your keepsakes, group related items together to help create a cohesive look in your home design. Items such as wedding photos, important documents, or certificates can be grouped in a gallery wall, while trophies or souvenirs can be displayed on a shelf together.

When displaying sentimental photos, pick frames that can protect the paper from damage or fading from ultraviolet (UV) rays over time. If you’re planning on including antiques or other precious items as decor, consider purchasing shadow boxes or display cases for them. Cases will protect the objects from harm and prevent dust or grime from settling on the fragile objects.

Dining room

Dining room

12) Freshen up your home with a coat of paint

Painting your walls can give your space an instant facelift and can go a long way in refreshing a home. Plus, it’s a great way to customize your home and make it your own. If you’re not ready to undertake an entire painting project, you can pick smaller areas in your home, like a bedroom or powder room. You can even opt to paint a few accent walls throughout your home to warm up the space and give it pops of color.

Living room bookshelf

Living room bookshelf

13) Personalize your shelves with books

A stack of well-loved paperbacks or a decorative coffee table book is a great way to bring personal touches into your home. Books are an easy and budget-friendly way to embellish your decor and can be used as statement accessories to pull a space together. And, the sight of a filled bookshelf can instantly give a room a homey feel. If you have an extensive book collection, use a blank wall in your home to create a book wall by displaying them in a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. You can also choose books with decorative covers or colorful spines to brighten up your decor.

Bedroom

Bedroom

14) Add warmth with comfy bedding

The right bedding can instantly make your room look decorated and homey if you can’t decorate the whole room right away. If your room has a bold paint color, using neutral-colored bedding can add texture while also creating depth and interest to your space. Alternatively, if your room has a neutral color palette, you can play around with different colors or patterns in your bedding.

When creating the ultimate comfy bedroom, one can’t forget the textiles to transform a bare bedroom. Adorning your bedroom with soft throws- chenille or faux fur are great options – and fluffy pillows can instantly add a cozy touch to any space, making your bedroom feel more welcoming.

15) Finally, make a house a home by setting up a hobby area

Whether your hobby is painting, reading, or even solving puzzles, make room for it. Dedicating a space in your home, like a nook or bonus room, for your hobbies will not only make it easier to do what you love, but it allows your personality and interests to shine throughout your home. Not to mention, having an area to yourself can allow you to concentrate on doing what you love all while making your house feel more like a home. 

Source: redfin.com

15 Simple Ideas to Make a House a Home

Your house should make you feel welcomed as soon as you step through the door, but this feeling isn’t something that always happens on its own. Once the movers have left, and the chaos of moving has calmed down, it’s time to start focusing on putting down roots in your new space to help make your new house a home.

There are many ways to invoke the cozy, warm feeling that makes a house a home without a complete remodel or shopping spree. So, whether you just moved into your new home in Boston, MA, or need to personalize your studio in Albany, NY, here are 15 simple ideas you can use so your house can start feeling like a proper home.

Entryway

Entryway

1) Create an inviting entryway 

The front door and entryway can set the mood of your entire home. After all, it’s the first thing you see when you and your guests first step into your space. Make your front entrance more inviting by keeping it clear of leaves and debris and accessorize with a welcome mat and a few potted plants. Adding a bench or a clothes rack will also help keep your entryway neat and tidy, plus it makes a great first impression. Equally, painting the front door can give your house a fresh, new look in one afternoon. Feel free to choose a fun, contrasting color that aligns with your style.

2) Make your home more zen

Turning your house into a home starts with ensuring that you feel instantly at peace when you enter a room. But if you’re having difficulty feeling relaxed, there may be particular reasons why. If the sight of a messy, disorganized room is causing you stress, you might want to start decluttering and letting go of items that don’t bring you joy. Choosing random decor items to fill up empty spaces in your home can make a space feel cramped, and can add too many contrasts between your wall colors or furnishings. When choosing decor, artwork, or pictures, be sure to pick items that have special meaning to you. By identifying the areas in your home causing you stress, you can begin making your home a more zen space.

Brightly lit kitchen

Brightly lit kitchen

3) Improve your living space with home upgrades

Upgrading spaces in your home can go a long way in making you feel more settled. Bathrooms and kitchens are high-traffic areas in a home, so prioritizing home upgrades in these areas can ensure that you’re tackling the places that make the biggest impact. Installing new appliances can give your kitchen a facelift, but if you’re working with a smaller budget, select the most outdated or worn-looking one and replace it. Likewise, swapping out an old showerhead with one that has better water pressure can instantly elevate space and improve the quality of life in your home.

4) Use cozy area rugs to help make a house feel like home

An area rug can instantly warm up a space and make it more inviting. Area rugs can help ground furniture, and an artistically designed rug can also add more interest to a space. When selecting a rug, take the room’s size and arrangement into account. Ensure all of your furniture is on the area rug or at least touching a portion of the rug to give the space a cohesive look.

5) Dressing up empty walls with artwork

Blank walls can add an unfinished element to your house, preventing your house from feeling truly lived in. Displaying your favorite pieces of art can act as the finishing element to pull a space together and make a house a home. And the best part is that it’s a budget-friendly way to complete a room. When selecting your artwork, keep the room’s function, size, and decor style in mind. After that, you have the freedom to choose artwork that you love and will be happily displayed in your home.

For living rooms and areas where guests spend the most time, choose a large-scale piece as a focal point or incorporate multiple art pieces into a gallery wall. Pieces with soothing, cool-toned colors and abstract prints are great additions for areas for relaxation like a den or bedroom.

Dining area

Dining area

6) Bring nature inside with indoor plants

Indoor plants don’t just add a pop of greenery to a space, they can also breathe life into a dull room. Houseplants help us feel more relaxed and can even improve our home’s indoor air quality. They come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, so if you live in a shady studio in Portland, OR with only a few windows, or a home with lots of natural light in Seattle, Washington, you can still find ways to incorporate plants into your decor.  

For home offices or areas with low light in your home, stick to low-maintenance plants like lucky bamboo or succulents. These plants are compact enough to keep on a desk or side table and thrive in shaded areas. To add drama to larger rooms, such as living or dining rooms, money trees or fiddle leaf figs are great statement plant options. Plus, the right planter can add another design element to your home.

7) Keep the clutter to a minimum

Identifying the key areas in your space that you’ll keep tidy will make life in your home more pleasant. It’s easy to believe in the “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when decluttering, but actively keeping your living area clean will allow you to fully relax in your space without being constantly stressed by the sight of messy areas. Instead of stowing items that are no longer used in designated “junk drawers,” take the time to go through and pick out items that no longer have sentimental value, use, or have similar functions to items you already have. And if the thought of decluttering your home is too daunting, consider hiring a professional organizing service to help you get your space in order.

8) Add scented candles or diffusers

A house filled with inviting smells can instantly make a house feel like home. With various candles, diffusers, and scent plug-ins available on the market, there’s no shortage of ways to make your home smell good. Choose your favorite and fill your home with the aroma of sweet vanilla, sharp citrus, or fresh linens in minutes. For more natural smelling scents, you can opt for essential oils, such as lavender or jasmine, which comes with the benefits of being natural stress relievers.

Layer lighting

Layer lighting

9) Make a house a home by layering the lighting

Lighting plays a significant role in affecting a room’s mood and is an essential design element when making a house feel like a home. If your house feels dark and cramped, you can switch up your lighting by adding and layering light sources to make it feel more warm and welcoming. While brighter lights are needed to illuminate kitchens and workspaces, using fluorescent overhead lighting in living rooms or dens can make the space appear harsh. Instead, opt for ambient light sources that use mellower, warmer lighting. Wall sconces, table, or floor lamps are excellent ambient lighting sources that can cast a warm, cozy glow on any room. 

10) Frame your windows with curtains

Window curtains are great accent pieces in a room. Replacing them is an easy way to switch up the room’s look and add a lived-in look to any space in one easy step. Personalize your windows by adding new window dressings to instantly warm up your home and showcase your style. Not only does adding beautiful curtains or shades improve your home’s appearance, they can also decorate blank walls, separate a room into sections, or even create fun little reading nooks in children’s bedrooms.

11) Showcase family mementos or antiques

Make your house feel like home by incorporating sentimental pieces in your decor, such as family mementos or antiques, to personalize your space. As you plan the display locations for your keepsakes, group related items together to help create a cohesive look in your home design. Items such as wedding photos, important documents, or certificates can be grouped in a gallery wall, while trophies or souvenirs can be displayed on a shelf together.

When displaying sentimental photos, pick frames that can protect the paper from damage or fading from ultraviolet (UV) rays over time. If you’re planning on including antiques or other precious items as decor, consider purchasing shadow boxes or display cases for them. Cases will protect the objects from harm and prevent dust or grime from settling on the fragile objects.

Dining room

Dining room

12) Freshen up your home with a coat of paint

Painting your walls can give your space an instant facelift and can go a long way in refreshing a home. Plus, it’s a great way to customize your home and make it your own. If you’re not ready to undertake an entire painting project, you can pick smaller areas in your home, like a bedroom or powder room. You can even opt to paint a few accent walls throughout your home to warm up the space and give it pops of color.

Living room bookshelf

Living room bookshelf

13) Personalize your shelves with books

A stack of well-loved paperbacks or a decorative coffee table book is a great way to bring personal touches into your home. Books are an easy and budget-friendly way to embellish your decor and can be used as statement accessories to pull a space together. And, the sight of a filled bookshelf can instantly give a room a homey feel. If you have an extensive book collection, use a blank wall in your home to create a book wall by displaying them in a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf. You can also choose books with decorative covers or colorful spines to brighten up your decor.

Bedroom

Bedroom

14) Add warmth with comfy bedding

The right bedding can instantly make your room look decorated and homey if you can’t decorate the whole room right away. If your room has a bold paint color, using neutral-colored bedding can add texture while also creating depth and interest to your space. Alternatively, if your room has a neutral color palette, you can play around with different colors or patterns in your bedding.

When creating the ultimate comfy bedroom, one can’t forget the textiles to transform a bare bedroom. Adorning your bedroom with soft throws- chenille or faux fur are great options – and fluffy pillows can instantly add a cozy touch to any space, making your bedroom feel more welcoming.

15) Finally, make a house a home by setting up a hobby area

Whether your hobby is painting, reading, or even solving puzzles, make room for it. Dedicating a space in your home, like a nook or bonus room, for your hobbies will not only make it easier to do what you love, but it allows your personality and interests to shine throughout your home. Not to mention, having an area to yourself can allow you to concentrate on doing what you love all while making your house feel more like a home. 

Source: redfin.com

New store openings reveal unique partnerships – Home Accents Today

Home furnishings stores have opened in several states in recent weeks. Here’s a rundown.

Clic, a home décor and book store is opening at 85 Lafayette Ave. in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood according to the borough’s Brownstoner publication.

The store is located in the former location of Bird, which shuttered all of its stores in January. It’s Clic’s fourth New York location and ninth overall.

A Home Accents Today Retail Star is opening a new store concept in Bethlehem, Pa., according to reports from the Morning Call.

Plants + Vintage is opening on March 5 as part of a partnership between Steel City Plant Co. and Domaci, which was named a Retail Star in 2020. It will sell pet-friendly houseplants, home furnishings, gifts and more from its 551 Main St., suite 205 location.

A pair of national home décor retailers are moving into the Paddock Shops in Louisville, Ky., according to reports from the Louisville Business Journal.

West Elm and Pottery Barn are scheduled to enter the shopping center at 4055 Summit Plaza Drive. Pottery Barn is moving from Mall St. Matthews while West Elm is opening its first location in Louisville.

At Home is opening in San Jose, Calif., at the site of a shuttered Lowe’s Home Improvement store according to reports from The Mercury News.

The report says the store, which is slated to open later this month, is the first in the Bay Area and is located at 75 Newhall Drive in the Coleman Landings retail center.

The Country Cabin, which specializes in rustic home décor, furniture, gifts and more opened this month in Tyrone, Pa., according to The Daily Herald.

Owned and operated by Heather Caracciolo, the store is located at 908 Pennsylvania Ave.

A longtime retailer opened Gathering Thyme in Rockport, Maine, according to the Penobscot Bay Pilot.

Winona Elmore, who had previously owned a flower business, opened the store on Feb. 6. It specializes in dried flowers, wreaths, bundles of herbs, repainted furniture, crafts, candles gifts, and more.

Lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama opened a Tommy Bahama Home store at Market Street in The Woodlands, Texas, in January according to Woodlands Online.

The 10,000-square-foot showroom, located at 9595 Six Pines Drive, Suite 1140, is the brand’s third home showroom concept. In addition to Tommy Bahama-branded décor and furniture, it also offers product from Lexington, Barclay Butera and more.

Source: homeaccentstoday.com

Little Fiddle Trees: Perfect Houseplants for Small Spaces – BH&G

Little Fiddle Trees: Perfect Houseplants for Small Spaces | Better Homes & Gardens

this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines.

Source: bhg.com

The Best Houseplants for Low Light

Even if you don’t have a lot of direct sunlight, you can still grow plants in your apartment.

It would be nice if every home had clear southern exposure. But while plants, shrubs and trees all need light for photosynthesis in order to get nutrients, there are some houseplants that are better for low light than others.

What do we mean by low-light?

“Nothing can grow in the dark. But if you can read by the natural light you have in your apartment then a plant can survive there,” writes Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, a.k.a. The Houseplant Guru, author of “Grow in the Dark: How to Choose and Care for Low-Light Houseplants.”

If it’s really dark in your place, you might want to consider investing in grow lights, calibrated specifically for indoor growing. You can get super-efficient, Earth-friendly, LEDs that last longer than fluorescent bulbs.

If you want to go the natural-light route, there are plenty of options for leafy, colorful plants that are easy to care for and thrive in low-light areas. It’s just a matter of finding the right ones.

Here are some of the best houseplants for low light.

1. Pothos, Epipremnum aureum

pothos

The golden pothos is a variegated plant (has more than one color). Its green leaves have splashes of yellow. “If new growth is missing the secondary color, chances are your plant needs more light, whether natural or artificial,” Steinkopf writes.

Pothos is great for hanging baskets, and you can train the plant to grow around the windows, on a topiary frame or even on a cone. If you don’t want it to trail, trim it at the soil level and plant that stem back in the pot. Beware, though, that pothos has calcium oxalates, which is toxic to cats and dogs.

2. Chinese evergreen, Aglaonema

chinese evergreen

These are really popular now, and there are so many new cultivars in pink, red and green. “It’s drought tolerant so if you go away for a week you don’t have to worry,” Steinkopf writes. Note: This plant is toxic to pets.

3. Spider plant, Chlorophytum comosum

spider plant

There are several types of spider plant, but the plain green ones with white long spindly leaves and white flowers look great in a hanging basket. If their leaves are falling over, you may have to find a little brighter area. They don’t need much attention except some watering when the soil is dry. No worries if you have pets — spider plants are not toxic for them.

4. Prayer Plant, Marantha leuconeura

prayer plant

The variegated leaves in lemon-lime with red splotches or red stripes, fold upward at night. Hence, the common name. Keep this plant in some light so it maintains its color, but don’t put it in direct sun or you might see some burnt parts on the leaves. Check out the many YouTube time-lapse videos of the prayer plant doing its thing. Namaste, indeed. And, it’s safe for pets.

5. Moth orchid, Phalaenopsis

moth orchid

This tall slim plant sends out flowers that can last for more than a year. If it has some decent light — East sun is enough — or lives under a grow light, it should send out spikes the following year. You might find these in the grocery store in a cache pot, one pot inside another, which doesn’t have a drainage hole.

“I like to remove the plastic pot, water the plant and drain it well. If you let the plant sit in the water in the cachepot, the roots may rot,” suggests Steinkopf. Repot this plant every two years, and give it some fresh orchid bark or moss. These are non-toxic to pets.

6. Bird’s nest fern, Asplenium nidus

bird

This fern always looks ready for a fancy party with its ruffle-edged swirling leaves. The bird’s nest fern thrives in the East sun, not in the full sun. Be sure to water the plant all around its center. If water collects in the middle, the plant may rot. Ferns normally grow in the jungle on the sides of trees, which allows rainwater to just wash down. These are non-toxic to pets.

7. ZZ plant or Zanzibar gem, Zamioculcas zamifolia

zz plant

“This might be the best low light plant there is,” Steinkopf writes. “It will do fine in a north window, and if you’re a forgetful waterer this is a good choice. You can almost forget about it.” The ZZ has an underground stem so the part you see is the leaflet. The whole plant is thick and fleshy and stores a lot of water and so do the stems.

8. Peace lily, Spathiphyllum

peace lily

“It’s amazing how little light it needs to still flower. It can be a water hog, but lower light means less water needed,” Steinkopf writes. The lily adds some drama and elegance with its white flag, called a spadix, which protects the actual flower, the spike pointing upward in the middle. Like an orchid, the flower can last for months.

And, peace lilies are happy to be divided up so you can plant them in other pots for pops of color in other parts of your apartment.

Tips to keep your low-light houseplants thriving

  • When it comes to watering, remember this mantra: Check on a schedule, but don’t water on a schedule. Put your finger in the soil up to the first knuckle, if it’s dry, it’s time to water. Keep it splashing on until water comes out of the drainage holes. Don’t just water in the same spot. Water all the way around the plant thoroughly so the root ball gets moistened.
  • For max light, make sure your windows are clean — especially in the winter. And, if you’ve got removable screens, take them out in colder months when you don’t use them since screens block your light.
  • If you can, rinse your plants in the sink every so often. Plants make food via photosynthesis through whatever light hits their leaves. Dusty leaves mean fewer nutrients.
  • If you want your plant to remain a certain size, keep trimming as it grows. Don’t wait until it gets to a certain size and chop it at once.

Get planting

Even if your apartment is in an urban jungle, you can create your own mini jungle by choosing the best houseplants for low light. You not only will add color, texture and visual interest to your interior spaces, but you might just boost your mood and productivity.

Source: rent.com

34 Affordable Ways to Refresh Your Home in the New Year

Woman with plant at home
Undrey / Shutterstock.com

With a new year now underway, there’s no better time to give your home a makeover and get off to a fresh start.

While you may not have the budget to do a major remodel, there are still ways to make your home look good on the cheap.

Following are some great options for sprucing up your digs without spending an entire paycheck.

1. Add indoor plants

Woman reading a book
Nomad_Soul / Shutterstock.com

Whether fake or real, plants add pops of green throughout your home and freshen your space — sometimes literally. Live plants can improve the air quality by removing impurities, as we explain in “9 Houseplants That Remove Toxins From Your Indoor Air.”

Place potted plants near windows throughout your home if you have a green thumb. If you don’t have the time or inclination to care for real plants, look for realistic-looking artificial plants.

2. Create a cozy corner

Halfpoint / Shutterstock.com

Consider creating a corner that lets you relax and recharge. Find a quiet space and add a comfortable chair and a small table. Don’t forget a fuzzy blanket and comfortable pillows.

If you enjoy reading, put a small bookshelf and a reading light in the space to make it easier to get lost in your favorite book.

3. Declutter

Kitchen countertops
Anna Andersson Fotografi / Shutterstock.com

Getting rid of clutter can change the look of your home. You may not realize how having extra stuff on every flat surface and mountains of pillows affects the look and feel of your rooms.

Go through every room in your home and try to clear off most surfaces, leaving only essentials such as lamps or a clock. Remove extra pillows and blankets and get a feel for the room before adding anything back.

Add to your decorating budget by selling items you don’t need. If you don’t clear out enough clutter to hold a yard sale, check out “6 Safe Ways to Sell Your Clutter During the Pandemic.”

4. Swap out your hardware

Woman in front of kitchen cabinets
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Adding new hardware to your cabinets is an easy way to change how your space looks and feels. Cabinet hardware is inexpensive — you can even buy it on Amazon if you don’t want to drive to your local home improvement store. It can completely transform the look of a room.

Unless you plan on drilling new holes, your new hardware will need to have the same dimensions. So, before you pick out new handles and drawer pulls, remove one of your current ones.

Measure the screws and, for pulls with multiple screws, the space between the screws. Or, take a piece of your current hardware with you to the store.

5. Change the artwork

Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com

After a while, you stop really seeing the art on your walls. It becomes just a part of the decor. But your wall art can set the tone for a room or tie into your color scheme. Mixing things up can breathe new life into a room at a fraction of the cost of remodeling.

If you have framed photos, swap them out for more recent ones. Look through photos from recent vacations and outings and find a few images of nature that you like. Consider blowing them up and framing them to accent your walls.

6. Remix your accessories

Nikodash / Shutterstock.com

Accessories can add a pop of color or an interesting element to a room. Consider switching throw pillows between rooms or pull out any accessories you have in storage.

Add a new throw blanket to your sofa and experiment with arrangements for lamps, candles and other accessories.

7. Change up your lighting

Woman changing light bulb
New Africa / Shutterstock.com

Make sure you have sufficient lighting in all of your rooms to fit your needs. Add lamps to brighten up dark corners or shine a light on frequently used areas.

Switch up your lighting by changing up lamp shades or moving lamps around. If you’re up for bigger changes, consider swapping out hard-wired fixtures, such as entryway ceiling lamps or a dining room chandelier.

8. Install new door handles

A handyman replaces a door lock
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

Door handles are an often-ignored detail in most homes. However, having just the right hardware can change the look of your house.

For example, if you have old brass-colored door handles and you switch to a new modern look, your doors could get a facelift for less than $100.

9. Rearrange your bookshelves

remote job
Aleksandar Karanov / Shutterstock.com

Updating the contents of your bookshelves can have a big impact on the look of your home. Here are ways to do this on a shoestring:

  • Group books based on color.
  • Position knickknacks off-center on a shelf.
  • Mix up how books are displayed: Place some in horizontal stacks and use them as bookends.
  • Make a pyramid of books and add a favorite display item on top.
  • Mix framed photos and art with the books.

10. Add new storage options

Iakov Filimonov / Shutterstock.com

New storage options can add color and function to your home. Colorful baskets or boxes on bookshelves or side tables can hide remotes and other unsightly items.

Adding a storage ottoman or bench gives you more functional seating and a place to hide extra blankets or pillows. Spending a little on key organizing essentials can be money well-spent.

11. Change switch plates and outlet covers

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It’s the little details that can make a difference in the feel of your room. If you have old or yellowed switch plates and outlet covers, consider updating them with a new look.

Most hardware stores sell them for just a few bucks, so you can update the look of your entire home on a budget.

To add pops of color or extra polish, look for ceramic or stainless steel switch plate options at hardware stores, on Etsy or at Walmart.

12. Give your home a deep cleaning

vacuuming
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Nothing beats the feel and smell of a clean home. If you want a great way to update your home in the new year, don’t just wipe the surfaces and give the toilet bowl a quick squirt of cleaner. Instead, consider a deep clean.

Dust the top of cabinets, wash windows inside and out and give baseboards an extra scrub. Throw your pillows and pillow inserts in the washing machine. Don’t forget comforters and blankets.

When you’re done, your house will smell and feel squeaky clean.

13. Add some trim

Woman painting trim
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Crown molding can change a home from ho-hum to elegant. Check out this tutorial on the This Old House website showing how to install crown molding.

If adding crown molding seems a little too advanced, start with window and door trim.

Measure three times before making a cut or installing your trim. If you don’t have the tools, some hardware stores will cut the molding you purchase if you give them the dimensions.

14. Spruce up your couch

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Couches are big pieces of furniture that take up a lot of real estate in your living room. An easy way to update the look of your home is by adding a pop of color to the area.

This can be in the form of colorful accent pillows or a new throw blanket. If your couch could use a little more help, consider adding a slipcover.

15. Repaint a room

Couple painting a room in their home
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If you’re looking to make a big statement on a small budget, change the color of a room. With a few tips, you can paint like a pro. Repaint a main area such as your living room or a smaller space such as a bedroom.

Look through design websites and magazines for inspiration. Before you commit to a color, get a sample of the paint (most are $5 or less) to test it out. Put it on a piece of wood and hold it up to the wall to see how it looks in your space. Home Depot is one place to find paint samples and wall colors.

Keep in mind that a paint color when it’s dry can look different than it looks in the can. Also, the shade can look darker or lighter depending on the lighting in your room.

16. Paint your front door

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First impressions matter: What better way to make a good one than refreshing your front door?

The color you choose will depend on the trim and color of the rest of your house. Consider going with a bright and welcoming shade such as blue, yellow or red.

Some paint colors even can boost the resale value of a home.

17. Add container plants

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Dress up your porch and yard by adding new plants. You can use seeds to start your plants in the spring or dig up a few perennials from your garden and arrange them in pots.

Look for a discount area in your local nursery where you can pick up plants and pots for half-price or less. Container plants are a great way to add a splash of color to your home. You can easily move them around and group them for a bigger impact.

18. Paint photo frames

Woman hanging artwork
New Africa / Shutterstock.com

If you have photo frames throughout your house, consider changing them up. Buying new ones can be pricey, so consider painting them instead.

Don’t stick to safe and boring options such as black and white. Instead, opt for a few bright colors to add interest and brighten up your home.

19. Add some contrast to bookcases

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If you’re not ready to commit to painting an entire room, consider sprucing up your bookshelves. Add a pop of color to the back panel of your bookcases by either painting them or using colorful paper. This can be contact paper, gift wrap or wallpaper with fun shapes and designs.

If you want to do a trial run, cut cardboard boxes to fit the size of each bookshelf opening, and cover or paint it. Place it at the back and add your books and accessories as usual. This will tell you if you like the look before you make a permanent change.

20. Paint furniture

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Painting furniture can take it from boring to spectacular. This works best with pieces made of wood, since the paint will stick to it better. Don’t forget to sand it down and strip any lacquer or other shiny coating before painting.

Doing a coat of primer can make your paint go on more evenly and make it more durable in the long run. Start small with a side table or a chair before moving to bigger projects such as a dresser or bed frame.

21. Add path lighting

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Upgrade your walkway or garden by adding path lights. This will make the area safer come nightfall and add a little romance.

Look for solar-powered lights, since they don’t need additional wiring.

22. Paint exterior shutters and trim

Busy House Painter Painting the Trim And Shutters of A Home.
By Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock.com

Bring the exterior of your home to the next level by adding a fresh coat of paint. Depending on your home’s design, a little paint can go a long way.

You can refresh your current color or switch it up to another shade within your home’s color scheme.

Short on time? Focus on street-facing trim for maximum impact.

23. Make a new headboard

Woman making a bed
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Change the look of a bedroom by adding a new headboard. This project can be done for less than $50 while dramatically updating the look and feel of the room.

Either refurbish an old headboard or search for free and cheap materials to keep costs down. DIY Network has six ideas for simple headboards anyone can make.

24. Change your house numbers

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Your house numbers can set the tone for your home. From classic to sleek and modern, they are more than the numeric display of your address.

Search for new house numbers online or at your local hardware store. And, for something unique, check out Etsy for handmade options.

25. Add a chair rail

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Chair rails add elegance and upgrade the look of a room for less than you’d expect. They are easy to install, but require close attention to detail so they are level throughout the room.

Increase the architectural drama of a room by painting the wall above and below in two different shades of the same color.

26. Paint the ceiling

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Most people paint their ceiling a boring white, which is why going for something different really stands out.

Consider a neutral color such as a soft blue or gray to draw the eye up without overwhelming the room.

27. Add mirrors

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Strategically placed mirrors reflect light and can make a room appear much larger than it is. If you have a small or dark room that needs pizazz, add a decorative mirror to brighten it up.

Or, add several small mirrors to a dark corner in a main area, such as the dining or living room. Update the look of an outdated bathroom by swapping out the mirror over the sink with one that has an ornate or fun frame.

28. Switch out your window treatments

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Add drama to your space by swapping out your window treatments.

Switch up your drapes for a new pattern that ties into your color scheme. If you have blinds, consider adding fabric curtains in some of your rooms for added impact.

29. Rearrange your furniture

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One of the easiest ways to make a change on a budget is by switching your furniture around. This could be as simple as rearranging your couch and chairs, or grouping furniture in a way that encourages conversation.

Consider moving some furniture from a bedroom and using it to mix up things in your main living areas. An armchair or a side table from a different room can change up the feel of a room and add a new element.

If you have a friend with an eye for design, ask for ideas on how to freshen your space.

30. Try a theme

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Going with a theme can take a room from boring to fun. Whether you opt for the French country look in your living room or a nautical theme in your bathroom, choosing the right accessories is key.

Go with a color scheme to tie everything together and blend it with the rest of your home.

31. Paint kitchen cabinets

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If you want to make a big change in your kitchen and you’re on a small budget, paint the cabinets. It will take time and attention to detail, but the end result will be worth it.

Don’t forget to make notes as to which cabinet doors go with which cabinet to make it easier to put back together once you’re done painting. Also, group all the hardware for each cabinet in a plastic bag and label it so you’re not hunting down screws when reattaching the doors.

Considering remodeling? Check out the “19 Home Renovations That Give Owners the Most Joy.”

32. Change rugs and flooring

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The floors set the tone for a room, so switching them up can shake up the feel of your home. Consider adding a soft rug to a bedroom to warm up your feet as you get up in the morning.

Or add an area rug to a living area to define the space and bring in more color and texture. If you’re up for a bigger change, consider refinishing hardwood floors or removing existing flooring and staining the concrete underneath.

33. Add display shelves

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Mix up your wall decor by adding display shelves to an empty wall. Shelves are easy to install and can display art, photos, small plants, favorite pieces from traveling adventures and much more.

34. Update your kitchen backsplash

home upgrade
Andrey Burmakin / Shutterstock.com

If you don’t have a backsplash in your kitchen, adding one can make a big impact. Even if you’re not handy, there are many backsplash options such as peel-and-stick designs you can add with little skill.

For those who have basic DIY skills, consider installing a tile backsplash that will last longer and protect your wall from water, food grease and damage.

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Source: moneytalksnews.com