- Get rid of one thing. Many people think they need to buy something new to transform a room, but if you don't get rid of something old, you aren't creating the elbow room you need to bring new stuff in. Before you start shopping, choose a piece of furniture or an accessory to donate to your local GoodWill or Salvation Army. The bigger the piece, the more space it opens up for change.
- Mix things up by rearranging. Tiny floor plans may not have the flexibility to handle too much rearrangement. On the bright side, living in a small space means there's less furniture to move around, so you can try new things without investing too much sweat equity. And since everything counts in a small room, just moving a couple of chairs or re-arranging some knick knacks can make a big difference.
- Deep clean your home. Cleaning all the surfaces in your home can have a huge impact on how you feel about it. Make sure to wash the windows, which can completely change the light in a room, and move furniture to sweep up dust bunnies and clean the floors underneath. Not to get too new-agey, but it's a great way to open up your home's flow and re-energize a space for no money.
- Change your bedding. Your bed is probably one of your biggest pieces of furniture, and—to borrow a term from the art world—the bedspread is a major color field. By changing the color, pattern, or style of your bedspread, you're introducing a whole new element into your decor.
- Add some living things. We say it all the time, but it doesn't hurt to bring the point home again here. Plants and flowers are inexpensive, they don't take up a lot of space, and they add color, scent, and texture to a room. Plus, you can easily change a bouquet out once a week to keep your home feeling fresh.
Photo: Anastassios Mentis / Carl and Laurent's Bright White Live/Work Loft