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Home Refresh Ideas for Any Budget

Man refreshes his living room space by measuring his windows for new curtains.
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Does your blah bathroom need some brightening? Could your living room use a little more life? Maybe it’s finally time to bring your kitchen into this decade. Good news: You don’t have to break the bank to freshen up your furnishings.

From instant updates to more elaborate makeovers, we’ve put together a list of ideas, improvements, and fixes to help you liven up your living space on any budget.


Start small

Updating knobs, door pulls, and handles is more affordable than replacing an entire dresser or cabinetry, and it will give your existing furniture a whole new look.

Go green

Nothing breathes fresh air into a room like potted plants or fresh flowers. Take a trip to the flower shop for a sweet centerpiece, or “shop” in your own yard for a natural seasonal arrangement.

Frame something fun

A swatch of textile, a small trinket, or a treasured memento can become wall art. Simply remove the glass from a picture frame, mount the object on a matte board, and hang.

Curate a photo gallery

Find photos you love, convert them to black and white and hang them on your wall for an elevated, art gallery look. Or, think outside the frame: Pin photos to a clothesline, insert them into glass bottles, or even have a favorite photo professionally printed on a piece of wood.

Brighten your bathroom

When it comes to decorating, the bathroom is often the most overlooked room in the home, but it’s also one of the easiest to makeover. A fresh shower curtain and bold new towels are a quick and easy way to bring a bathroom to life.


I love your accent!

As home design trends go, accent walls are on the rise. While some people find them too overbearing, others find they’re the perfect way to make a room pop and create a fresh, new look with minimal cost.

Treat your windows

A new pair of captivating curtains or drapes instantly makes a world of difference. Choose a style that complements your taste, but also the room’s décor style. If you’re particularly crafty, you can re-purpose old sheets and tablecloths to stand in for traditional curtains.

Have a seat

Add a bench or trunk at the foot of your bed. It’s an ideal accent piece, and a great place to sit when putting on your shoes. Plus, if you find one with a lid, it performs double duty as storage for extra blankets or pillows.

Add a rug

If new wall-to-wall carpeting or hardwood floors are too pricy, add a vibrant new area rug instead and breathe new life into your living room.


Built-in shelving

If you buy pre-made shelving units (anywhere from $25 and $150, depending on the size) and decide to DIY, you can transform unused wall space into attractive storage and display space for around $500.

A temporary solution

Okay, it’s not a décor refresh, but trimming $150-200 off your annual heating and cooling bill is pretty refreshing. You can make it happen by purchasing a digital thermostat that automatically changes your home’s temperature. Even more good news: They’re relatively easy to install on your own.

Patio pick-me-up

Pop in some colorfully-patterned planters. Add some metal lanterns. Swap in some fresh patio furniture cushions and a few accent pillows and lay down an outdoor rug for a cost-effective way to spruce up your outdoor space.

Floor-to-ceiling repaint

A relatively easy project with a huge cost-to-payoff ratio. With a few hundred dollars and a spare weekend or two, you can make your entire home look like new.


Whole new light(s)

Browse your favorite home design websites to catch up on current lighting trends, and select the styles that match the décor of your room. A DIY light fixture update can be done for about $1000, but if you decide to hire an electrician, consider purchasing less expensive lighting to offset the labor cost.

Modernize your kitchen

If you choose your projects wisely, and you’re fairly handy, you can make a large impact with less money. Repainting the cabinets, installing a new backsplash, switching out light fixtures, and updating cabinet hardware can all be completed DIY for around $1000.

Upgrade your bathroom

You can switch out your shower curtain and towels, add a glass tile backsplash, install updated vinyl flooring, hang a new ceiling light, update your plumbing fixtures, and even add a custom vanity-all in the neighborhood of $1,000.

A design refresh doesn’t have to be expensive. If a room is looking a bit tired, you can easily wake it up with a little creativity, a little work, and a lot less money than you probably thought.

While there are many online guides and resources available to help you through the projects mentioned above, all DIY projects should be attempted at your own risk, based on your level of confidence in successfully completing them.

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