1. Spruce up your front door with a new wreath or metal tin of flowers. It’s a great way to welcome friends and neighbors.
2. Replace your tattered doormat with a wrought iron version. It will last much longer through everyday wear and tear and look great, too!
3. Make your front entry welcoming with a few family photos, a nice lamp, and some fresh flowers.
4. Change the doorknobs in one room to create a new look. Crystal knobs are back in style, and pewter is always a stylish choice.
5. Add some fringe to your existing lampshades or throw pillows for instant panache. Decorative fringe is available at any craft store and can be easily applied with a hot glue gun. No sewing required!
6. Paint your crown molding the same color as the wall for a monochromatic look. Or paint it tan to make it stand out a bit.
7. Re-frame your existing photos for an instant new vignette. Or, update your photo collection by changing out your family shots with more current ones. Create a gallery look by using larger sized mats (preferably in a neutral) with small photos. Hang photos close together in small groupings to finish the look.
8. Rearrange your furniture or move a piece of furniture into an unexpected location. Maybe an upholstered chair in the dining room? How about a small dresser serving as extra storage in your dining room? The possibilities are endless.
9. Slipcover your dining room chairs in crisp white linen for spring. To spruce it up for the holidays or upcoming seasons, you can easily tie thick ribbon around the base of the seat to create a new look.
10. Hang long vertical mirrors over your bedside tables to add drama to your bedroom. Add lamps to the tables to reflect the light.
11. Frame your child’s artwork and place it over the fireplace mantle.
12. Potted flowers or candles add color and ambiance to a fireplace when it’s not in use. Make sure to vacuum out the soot before adding any embellishments.
13. Hang a collection of plates around a picture or mirror to add dimension to a wall. The variety of plates available — at discount and department stores and antique and specialty stores — is endless. Inexpensive plate hangers make this an easy project to complete.
14. Use baskets as decorative storage for books, magazines, and newspapers. It’s an ideal way to control clutter. Baskets can also be used in the bathroom for lotions or in the kitchen for snacks or spices.
15. Change your switch plates and/or outlet covers to create versatility in decor on your walls. You can also paint them the same color as your wall or use brass, silver, mirrored, pewter, or wooden versions.
16. Install a decorative doorbell on the front porch. You’ll be surprised at the difference this simple idea can make.
17. Paint your furniture a glossy black for an elegant look to any room. This is a great way to give old, unused furniture a new life. Or, try your hand at distressing. Kits are available at local stores.
18. Plant annuals near your front entry for a cheerful “hello.” If this isn’t an option, purchase two large flower pots and fill them with a variety of colorful annuals and greenery and place them near your front door.
19. Be a savvy shopper and change your bedspread with a new inexpensive one for a quick update. Keep it neutral to go with any accessories.
20. Hang floor-length curtains over a walkthrough between rooms to frame a space with texture and softness.
21. Add candle sconces to a wall for decorative lighting. It’s an inexpensive way to add mood lighting to a room.
22. Paint your ceiling a neutral khaki to add dimension and softness to a room. This works especially well in rooms painted a color other than white.
23. Paint the rise portion of your stairs a different color than the actual step to add dimension.
24. Invest in a four-place china setting and keep your dining table set year round for a finished look. If you have a little extra to spend, splurge on napkin rings and linen napkins.
25. Stagger pedestal candlesticks along a table or mantle. The candles can be changed out to match the season.
26. Change your towel and paper holder in the bathroom. New accessories in the bathroom can give a fresh, new look.
27. If you’re feeling bold, paint your kitchen cabinets for a new look. Popular colors? Neutral cream, khaki, white, black, chocolate brown, or sage green.
28. Put up new address numbers on your home. Try decorative wooden or tile numbers.
29. Add a dimmer switch to any room to create instant ambiance. And remember, dimmers aren’t just for the dining room — they can be used in any room.
30. Add comfortable, new seat cushions to the breakfast nook or dining room.
31. Have a designer come and scope out your room and share ideas.
32. Add miniature lampshades to your dining room chandelier. You could also hang inexpensive crystals or beads from the fixture.
33. Create an artist studio in your child’s bedroom by painting a square with chalkboard paint. For a finished look, frame it with inexpensive molding.
34. Spice up any room with a fresh coat of paint.
35. Change out the area rugs and runners in the kitchen or bathroom. Add a long runner, if space allows, in front of the kitchen sink for a different look.
36. Purchase a new tablecloth or table runner to spice up your dining area.
37. Add scented fresheners, potpourri, or bamboo reeds to create a fresh, welcoming scent in your home.
38. Add new throw pillows to your bed or couch for comfort and ambiance.
39. Add a new shower curtain and towels to your bathroom.
40. Hang a new picture or display shelf on an empty wall.
41. Add new sheets to your bed. Make sure to have several sets on hand for in between washings.
42. Change out the hardware on the kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
43. Add inexpensive sheer curtain panels to the windows of a room. This will soften the windows and add a touch of elegance to your space.
44. Add a vase with fresh flowers to your dining or bedside table.
45. Cover a regular bulletin board with a thin layer of foam batting and your favorite material. Use a staple gun to secure it tightly. Crisscross decorative ribbon to create picture holders. Hang in your kitchen to display treasured family mementos, reminders, and photographs.
46. Add a cozy throw blanket to your couch or loveseat.
47. Give your home a good cleaning. Nothing spruces up a home better than some Pledge and Windex. Don’t forget to open the windows to air your house out.
48. Add a wooden chair rail to a room. Maybe the dining room or bathroom. Do the work yourself to save money. To create a more finished look, paint the wall below the rail a coordinating color to the rest of the wall.
49. A few live plants can spruce up any space — not to mention freshen the air.
50. A new lamp can brighten any space — literally.
Want More Ideas?
Decorating Ideas Under $50
(Better Homes & Gardens) (Paperback)
Kids’ Rooms Decorating Ideas Under $50 (Paperback)