These stylish updates and swaps make a big difference without a big price tag.
If you’re starting from scratch and decorating a new or new-to-you home, then you know quite well that design can get pricey. However, if you’re simply looking to elevate your existing, furnished space, then there’s no need to break the bank. Small touch-ups and accessory swaps can make all the difference in the world—no costly renovation required.
“Elevated design trends on a budget can transform your home with small yet impactful details,” agrees interior designer Jasmine Crockett.
Meet The Experts
Jasmine Crockett is an interior designer, content creator, and founder of Joy Meets Home in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ashley Hanley is an interior designer in Richmond, Virginia.
Chad Graci is an interior designer for Graci Interiors in New Orleans, Louisiana.
To rouse rooms in need of a slight face lift, professional designers rely on stylish, cost-effective detail updates and quick fixes. For example, interior designer Ashley Hanley reveals that in her own recently purchased 1930s home, she is keeping a tight budget to creatively refresh dated 1990s finishes, including some temporary fixes to tide over until she is ready for a more complete remodel. Whether your home is pending makeover or just in need of a little TLC, here’s a handful of ways to uplift your home design for under $100.
Apply A Fresh Coat Of Paint
“I am a firm believer that paint can make the largest impact in a space,” says Hanley, with several other designers in agreement. A can of paint can seriously transform a space when lathered onto walls, ceilings, floors, tiles, or cabinets. Use the same paint color that’s already there to reinvigorate dreary old coats, or opt for a new, simulating shade.
“Consider repainting a room with a fresh, on-trend color to instantly breathe new life into your space,” says Crockett, also advocating for a refreshing accent wall. “Choose a bold or contrasting color and paint an accent wall to create a striking focal point.”
Replace Cabinet Hardware
“Replace old cabinet knobs and pulls with new, stylish options. This simple change can instantly modernize your kitchen or bathroom,” says Crockett, with interior designer Chad Graci voicing his approval. “To showcase updated hardware, ensure it complements the existing color scheme and style, making it stand out as a subtle yet noticeable upgrade.”
Build Open Shelving
“Install open shelves in your kitchen or bathroom to display dishes, cookware, or decorative items,” suggests Crockett. “This not only adds storage but also contributes to an open and airy feel in the space.”
For the price of wood shelves, some elbow grease, and a few other supplies to secure and stabilize the beams, you can have your very own DIY floating shelves.
Try A New Lampshade
According to Graci, one’s choice in lampshades can have an unexpectedly significant impact on a room. Because of this, switching out the shade on your lamps or sconces is a small swap with the power to make a big impact. If you’re unsure of what to replace your current shades with, be advised that pleated lampshades are all the rage right now, and consult our expert guide for help.
Purchase New Towels
Grubby towels can be an unfortunate sign of wear and tear that will drag your space down to appear more timeworn than it is. This goes for both tea towels in the kitchen, as well as hanging hand and bath towels in the bathroom. Rejuvenate your space without draining your savings by upgrading your towels, Graci recommends.
Swap Out Throw Pillows
Both Graci and Crockett laud throw pillows’ capacity to revamp a room. If you’ve already got throw pillows, keep the inserts but head to the store for new covers at an affordable price in a pattern you adore. Just this small substitution can shift the palette or motif of the entire space.
These days, no home would be complete without some sign of life to infuse natural beauty into the home. Often designers opt for fresh florals, branches, greenery, pressed flowers, or Crockett’s favorite: indoor plants. “Incorporating indoor plants can breathe life into your space, all for under $100,” she says.
Peel And Stick On Wallpaper
Wallpaper can be pricey, but in a pinch, much more affordable removable wallpaper can take a space from drab to dramatic. Hanley says that peel-and-stick wallpaper was the most impactful adjustment she made to her new home, though it was also the most difficult. If you're not interested in paying for labor, DIY wallpapering can be a tricky and precise art.
Additionally, because peel-and-stick wallpaper is renter-friendly and intended to be temporary, you can easily change your mind or use this as a method to do up your space in anticipation of further redecoration. Crockett also offers wall decals as a statement-making alternative that may be more easily installed.
Bring In Mirrors
Mirrors, Crockett says, can open up a room and make it seem larger. While some mirrors may be expensive, others stun without costing such a pretty penny, especially if they’re placed correctly. “Use them strategically to draw attention, making sure they reflect light effectively to create an inviting atmosphere throughout your home.”
Install A New Faucet
“A new faucet in the kitchen or bathroom can bring a fresh look and improved functionality,” reveals Crocket. “Many budget-friendly options are available.”
Create Cozy Lighting
Lighting can make all the difference in a room, so fine-tuning your lighting may transform the space without even touching any furniture or decorations. You may not even need to change the light fixture, but rather the quality and potential of your lighting design. For a positive lighting adjustment, Graci says that he “cannot stress dimmers and warm light bulbs enough.”
Arrange A Gallery Wall
To totally reimagine a blank or unimpressive wall, Crockett recommends crafting a gallery wall. While it’s true that art, especially large-scale wall art can be expensive, she recommends using pieces you already have and supplementing with family photos that are both priceless and inexpensive. “You can purchase affordable frames and create a stunning visual impact,” she says.
Sink A Skirt
“A fun update that I [used] was a custom sink skirt,” raves Hanley. “It’s a great project that you can easily tackle at home for under $100. All that you need is some leftover fabric, a simple iron on hemming tape and velcro!”
When discontent with the state of your space, try rearranging your furniture before resorting to anything more drastic or expensive. If just reorganizing doesn’t soothe the need for change, Crockett recommends devoting time, effort, and money to the pieces you already own instead of splurging on something brand new.
“Give old furniture a new lease on life by refinishing or repainting it,” advises Crockett. “Sanding and painting a worn-out coffee table or chair can revitalize your living space for less than $100 in supplies.”
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