By Tina Jepson
If you’re anything like me, you have grand plans for your humble abode. After all, your house is not just your sanctuary, it’s also the place where friends and family gather, decisions are made, and life is lived. It deserves some attention and love.
But what if you can’t afford a major renovation? Or what if you’re saving so much for a home repair that you don’t have what you need now to make your space work for you and your family. No matter your circumstances, it’s important to remember that realizing the potential in a home doesn’t have to mean shelling out tens of thousands of dollars.
In fact, all it takes is a few hundred dollars and a sunny Saturday morning to get the job done.
Here are five ways that you can transform your space, even if you’re on a strict budget.
1. Refresh your Paint
Let’s face it, you probably have at least a half-dozen or so cans of paint in your garage. Whether they are as old as your house or are fresh and ready for application, start by taking inventory and attempting to match each can to its respective place in your home.
Then, tackle one room at a time, using a good quality straight-edged 2.5-inch paintbrush. Touch up any scuffs, scratches and ensure the corners match up to the ceiling evenly. If you notice holes or popped nail, be sure to fix and fill these in with a simple stick spackle before painting.
If you’re feeling like a major change is in order, then pick up a new shade and refresh your bedroom or living room. Whether you go bold with an invigorating orange or trendy with a soft blue-gray, It’s amazing how transformative a $30 can of paint is for your space and your soul.
2. Switch Your Light Fixtures
Run, don’t walk, to your local Habitat for Humanity or Goodwill and head straight to the back where all those lamps, lights, and fans are hanging. You are bound to find some hidden gems here that average around 70 percent off from retail prices.
Even if you can’t afford to replace the entire light fixture, try switching out older globes for more modern designs or spray painting the fixture black or silver to make it stand out in the room.
3. Replace Wall Plates & Light Switches
Although you may not consider light switches and outlet wall plates to be substantial, they definitely play a role in the overall feel of your house. If your wall plates are a dark ivory, black or gold, they may not mix with your modern appliances and other decor.
Thankfully, this is an easy fix. Every hardware store has many options for sprucing up your plates. Choose plain white or go elaborate with a detailed metal depending on how far you can stretch that budget. You’ll be amazed at how easily you can refresh your walls with new, clean plates.
4. Add Some Greenery
You can’t deny that a bit of green can go a long way in transforming your home and your attitude.
Strategically place a hanging leafy green plant, such as a philodendron or spider plant in a corner of your kitchen. Add a fern or some hanging variegate ivy in sunlight-filled bathrooms. You can also put a bamboo shoot or two in a pretty glass jar and place on your windowsill or end table. Small splashes of green are the perfect complement in houses of every size and shape.
5. Apply Principles of Feng-Shui to Your Space
Since your end goal is creating a harmonious, comfortable living environment, there is no better way to accomplish this than my simply rearranging your furniture and adding some positive imagery.
The Chinese believe that how you live has a direct impact on how you feel and what you attract to yourself. So if you’re feeling down about your house, start by moving your couches away from under windows so that you can see your front door (if possible) but still are close enough to encourage comfortable conversations. Next, make sure light can make it through your curtains or blinds. And last, don’t forget to hang photos of people and places that make you happy.
It’s amazing how quickly you can go from feeling down about your house to be excited when you walk in the door. A bit of paint, greenery, new fixtures, and a new layout are the key to a low-cost and low-stress home transformation.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.bigstock.com and www.dreamstime.com