The design industry is a high-art and often high-price industry. But who has time for that? For the rest of us, when we want to design on a budget. When some of us need to redesign our home we have to do it with limited funds. This often happens when we move to a new home or simply want to “make a change.” There isn’t always a ton of extra cash lying around, so affecting our surroundings sometimes requires a little pocketbook creativity. I’ve compiled a variety of low-budget and dazzling ways to add brilliant new features to your otherwise bland current surroundings. Guests will think you’ve stumbled on a bit of cash or are possibly dating an interior designer. Sound good? Here’s what to do:
Color-Plated Walls – $45
Even if you have a dull living space you can always add some color to bring your walls to life. Even if you’re working with dull, off-white walls you can bring your room out of the creative stone-age with the simple application of PLATES. This is a fun and easy fix to fill a day off. Hit up those local thrift stores and you’ll definitely be able to pick up plates for $.95-$2 per plate. Choose a wall to start your project on and measure it to see how many plates you’ll need. Remember, you don’t need to cover every inch of the wall or even go from floor to ceiling. The trick to great art is to work with what you have; try out some cool designs that take up more space. Your objective is adding color in a creative way.
As for your color scheme, that’s up to you! Either go with plates of a relatively uniform color or go with white plates of various designs. If you have darker walls, offset it with lighter colors. I usually hang these using nails with wide heads (4 for each plate), but for some extra cash you can use invisible plate hangers. Once you draw out a design plan you’re ready to start arranging. Get creative and you’ll have a fancy new room in under a day!
Bookshelf Back Colors – $12
Finding it hard to add some color and variety to your room’s scheme? For those of us with little wall space but plenty of storage compartments like bookshelves or shelving units there is an option: back those books up! No, I don’t mean transfer them to a digital format, I mean you should go out and buy some cool wrapping paper and poster tape to make your room come to life. It’s going to involve removing all of your books and items from your bookshelves, but it’s well worth the half-day of work to get your surroundings to match your inventive personality.
Be sure to use rulers! It’s easy to mess up your sizing if you just eyeball it. Use a razor to even out the edges if you measured improperly and have excess paper when you line it up in the shelf. See? You just saved time and money by avoiding the stress of buying new shelves or painting old bookshelves. You’re welcome.
Roll of wrapping paper: $7
Poster tape: $5
Light Up Your Light Fixtures – $25
All too often we gather lamps from various buying binges at different times. I’ve never bought a set of lamps for my place to keep the styles consistent. So while it is difficult for them to be all styled the same, it’s fun to add some color variety to my house with the simple task of painting my lamps! I have a variety of sizes – some tall, some short and on my nightstand – but they all are able to be improved in under a day. Gather up the lamps you want to re-create and remove the lampshade and light bulb. Get some masking tape and wrap up the socket end and cord before you paint it otherwise you’ll be stuck with lamps that probably don’t work anymore – very counterproductive.
Next, choose your color and paint type. Me, I’m more into bright acrylic paint because it’s shiny and makes me feel like my decor is made of gemstones. I’m rich! You may go for more of a matte look or pastels, it’s up to you. Take the lamps outside, give them a few coats, and voila! You have new lamps!
Spray Paint: 21$
Scotch Tape: $4
Frame It In Style $35-45
Another way you can improve the style of your space is to add some fancy frames to your wall. There are a variety of ways to arrange them, but the simple fact is that geometric shapes are pretty appealing to the eye. To this end, hanging empty frames to your blank wall actually create a pleasing pattern and can add color and texture to your overall aesthetic.
Another upside to frames – they can go over almost anything! Be it a thermostat, a clock, or even a light switch, almost everything looks good when it’s framed. Try it out! you’d be surprised. The best part of this is frames are inexpensive! Hit up any thrift store or bargain department store and you can find frames (or just old paintings) for cheap. For an added touch, you can give old frames a touch of spray paint and customize the color to your own choosing! My suggestion is to use two nails on the inside of the empty frame, which will provide stability relatively invisibly.
6-7 Picture Frames: $35-40
Mirror Shard Wall – $36
This next one is just an exceptional way to beautify your surroundings. Buy yourself a mirror from the thrift store (or if you have one handy that you don’t need anymore you can save money) and get some aggression out by busting it. Simply roll it in a blanket or towel and gently hit it with a hammer or mallet. You want the pieces small enough to give you enough materials but not so small that they’re difficult to handle. Buy yourself some PVA adhesive, and get to work on your wall! Glue your shards into shapes or take the time to fill the entire surface area of a smaller space. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle with no definite pattern. This will give an edgy sheen to one corner of your room and break up a the monotony of a boring room.
Mirror: $30 (new)
PVA Glue: $6
Roller Paint Wallpaper $55
If you want to rejuvenate entire walls, there is an easy way to do it way cheaper than painting the whole thing. With the purchase of a stencil roller, you can paint intricate designs on to your entire wall with about half the paint you’d use otherwise. You can turn your boring wall into a work of art. Less paint = less $$$. Patterns are way more interesting to look at than a single-color wall. There are tons of patterns online for you to choose from, go wild!
Patterned Roller: $25
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