7 Ways to Make Your Space Feel Fresh Without Spending More Than $10

published Oct 7, 2020
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After months of staring at the same space, it’s easy to become frustrated with any shortcomings you’ve been meaning to address. At best, maybe you’re just plain sick of the artwork in your gallery wall. Whatever your qualm, you may become convinced you have to start from scratch. It’s an understandable series of thoughts, but what if we told you that making over a room can be gradual, simple, and—better yet—cost next to nothing?

There are plenty of ways to revamp for less than $10—it just takes a little flexibility, patience, and creativity. Whether your living room, kitchen, bedroom, dining room, or laundry room is driving you absolutely nuts, here are some suggestions to freshen up the space, so you can enter another season at home feeling just a little bit more content.

Use Spray Paint 

Sometimes spray painting an old piece of furniture is the easiest, cheapest way to liven up a space, says interior designer Michelle Pulman of @GirlOnTheHudson

“You can find a good can of spray paint for around $5 (I personally love using Krylon brand), and can use that one can to spray paint picture frames, candlesticks, vases, bookends, and other decor objects you might have grown tired of,” Pulman says. “Paint nearly anything gold or black to make it look brand new and luxe.” Or, spruce up a pair of dining chairs with a fun, geometric DIY.

Create a Cohesive Gallery Wall 

Forget what you’ve heard: Gallery walls are far from dead. And they’re a fun, easy, and cheap way to decorate and personalize a space, too. “If you’ve been wanting to hang a gallery wall, but would rather not spend the money on new frames, shop your home for what you might already have and use a can of spray paint to paint them all the same color,” says Pulman. “You’d be surprised at how many frames you probably have lying around in closets or your attic.” Alternatively, you can pick up a few a thrift store. And don’t worry about making them all match—a variety of styles and sizes can bring a lot of visual interest to the installment.

Utilize Leftover Wallpaper 

Have some leftover wallpaper from an accent wall or another project? Put it to use ASAP for a low-to-no cost home improvement project. “Use leftover wallpaper to line the back of bookshelves or the inside of your drawers,” says Pulman. “This won’t cost you anything, because you’re using what you already have, and it makes such a huge difference.”

Both traditional (real) and removable (peel-and-stick) wallpaper work beautifully, but for an especially easy project that you can complete in a few minutes, Pulman says peel-and-stick can’t be beat.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Give Your Drawers a Makeover

When you’re sick of your space, sometimes functionality—or lack thereof—is the real culprit. If you suspect this may be the case, turn your focus onto a commonly overlooked area: your drawers, says Anne Gopman of Organized by Anne, an expert organizer.

“Drawers can be messy and overcrowded,” Gopman says. “Use IKEA drawer boxes to create order and remove the chaos from your drawers.” Whether you attack your junk drawer, pantry, or craft closet, you’ll be surprised at what a difference the mini makeover can make.

Re-Think How Rooms Are Divided

For a slightly more time intensive (but totally free) project, consider switching around rooms in your house. Why can’t your guest room become a home office? Or your basement become your home gym? Consider how you can rearrange not only furniture, but entire rooms of furniture to re-work how things look and function.

Browse “Buy Nothing” Groups on Facebook 

If you’re into thrifting or antiquing, odds are you’ve already utilized Facebook Marketplace for decor. But have you tried Buy Nothing groups? These are groups for people who, you guessed it, are trying to buy nothing, and instead, focus on free and upcycled items. You’d be surprised how many pieces you can find—everything from desks to wallpaper scraps—in these groups from people who are trying to get rid of things.

Build a Clean Slate 

If you want to redesign a space and your mind immediately goes to what you can add to it to make it look different, it’s time to train your brain to react differently. Next time you’re frustrated with a room, challenge yourself to think about what you can remove from the space, first. Eventually, you’ll be left with a clean and fresh slate that will allow you to be truly creative. This costs nothing and helps you avoid building up unnecessary clutter.