Updated: Sep 9, 2018
If you're addicted to HGTV or similar home improvement channels, you're not alone. We all dream of being the next Chip and Jo, right? Many of us binge watch shows like Fixer Upper and Property Brother's, hoping to find design and decorating ideas that we catalog away so the next time we move, buy a new house, or get around to a much needed renovation, we promise ourselves we will incorporate some of these design tips.
The reality is, you don't need to move, buy a new house, or remodel to update your abode. There are a plethora of nearly instant (and affordable) ways to give your home a polished and expensive look.
1. Keep It Clean
A well organized room automatically lends itself to a high end look. You can have mix-and-match furnishings that look deliberate when the space around is tidy. Make your bed everyday, it will make you feel good! If you have a blank canvas, such as white or neutral bedding, adding throw pillows in a variety of colors and textures will provide a fresh, instant update; coordinate with a throw at the end of the bed. For $50, you can update your bedroom and give you happiness when you walk through your room.
2. Change Out Throw Pillows
Replacing tired window treatments that are mismatched, broken, or out of date is an affordable way and fairly fast way to update a room offering a dramatic punch. When you walk into an otherwise bright room with clean lines and the window treatments are dark, dated, dusty, or otherwise unflattering in the space, the whole room can look out of place. Adding white, light bright window fashions is an immediate fashion update for your home.
4. Paint is Cheap!
There's nothing like a fresh coat of paint.
It’s remarkable what paint can do for a space, it’s one of the least expensive, yet most powerful design game changers there is. A friend of mine bought a house that was about ten years old. When she moved in, she thought she could “live-with” the colors. Like many of us, she gathered an endless sea of paint samples at her local home-improvement center as well as saved the better part of 100 paint color samples on her Pinterest board. She's relocating and has decided to rent her house out. When she started her research on what homes in her neighborhood rent for, she was surprised as she sifted through the competition (all build by the same builder), she realized the paint color on her walls is likely the same as the paint color on many of the rental listings as well. That was the deciding factor. To set herself apart to a would-be prospective tenant, she needed to do something to distinguish her house from her neighbors. Paint is not free, but from a design perspective, it's probably the single most dynamic change you can do to a room and likely the most affordable too.
Since she had no interest in lugging around 5-gallon buckets and taping off her ceilings and base boards with blue tape didn’t sound like fun, she decide to hire an experience and "well-reviewed" contractor recommend on a popular home-improvement finder website.
Within about a week and $1500 later, the house was updated and she loves it. The good news is the investment in the updated paint color landed her a two-year lease and was able to rent the house for $300 more per month than many of the other “more dated” rental listings.
5. Voluminous, Weighted Accessories
There's an association, albeit right or wrong with the "weight" of an items lending value. As an example, if you're looking at a pretty chandelier at a distance and get up closer only to realize the crystal tear drops are plastic, to many, this may be off-putting. I believe it is true most of us seek quality (on a budget). When accessorizing a room, choose a few key pieces that are scaled to the size of the room but have a volume or weight to them. A vase is a great example. Choose a vase or ottoman to set in the corner to add interest and texture.
6. Create a Beautiful Statement Artwork Wall
When I tour homes for sale with personal effects all around, one of the things that I always take note of is a tastefully presented art wall; inspired by the homeowners and their interests, travels, or family. There's a balance in creating a focus art-wall for your home while keeping true to your design and not venturing into the" it's too-much" arena. Art-walls can be assembled using a variety of textiles. It could be a collage of photographs, presented in a clean and contemporary way.
If you really like shells and sand, you can capture your travel adventures in an interesting art wall feature. Imagine taking drift wood (found on one of your trips to the beach or lake), mount the drift wood to the wall. As you travel, "borrow" a little sand from each of your favorite beaches and place in a petite glass jar (pick up several that match). Place the matching jars on the drift wood, taking pleasure in the variances in sand color and taking a momentary walk down memory lane. This is a very inexpensive wall feature that will inspire entertaining conversations.