[image via remain simple]
Over the last few weeks, and almost months, that we have been house hunting, we have seen a lot of different properties. All different shapes, sizes, styles, and in many different conditions. Some places were move-in ready, and others needed a lot of work. Since I am always up for a project, I started imagining how some of these places could look with a little TLC. A place that looked half-way abandoned could be cleaned up, and with a few small changes could be absolutely amazing. Many places have potential, you just have to see it. Even the homes that are move-in ready can still be altered in small ways to better reflect who you are, not the last family that lived there. With that, I came up with a list of things you can do at a low cost, or even a $0 budget, and could make for some great results.
- Outside, weed, prune, or remove current vegetation as needed, and clean up trash.
This all costs nothing, just some time on yours hands and knees. An optional addition would be to plant new vegetation or place potted plants around for some new curb appeal.
[image via house and home]
- Out with the old.
It’s very common when moving in to a new place that the window coverings were left. If they aren’t your style, if they are an eye sore, if you don’t like them, take them down! Even if you can’t afford to replace them just yet. This also goes for your own items as you move in. I have decor and accessories that I have had since high school. Some of it I still like, and some of it I don’t, but I keep it anyways. Moving this round, I am promising myself to get rid of things that just don’t excite me anymore. There is a quote I remember reading that basically reads something like, “don’t have anything in your home that you don’t believe to be useful or beautiful.” I believe that to be such good advice! So often we hang on to things just because we don’t want to feel wasteful for getting rid of items that are in great shape. Find a way to remove that guilt.
- It’s true…paint!
The cost of this will obviously depend on how much paint is needed and the size of your project. But if the only thing bothering you is the current paint colors of your home, it still is truly the best and cheapest investment to make you love your home. If you still don’t have the cash, then start small, or with an area that most effects you, or the area in the worst condition, or the area that makes the biggest impact with the home, such as public spaces (living room, kitchen, etc). But maybe your bedroom is the most important to you, so start there. Paint or stain can also work for other changes in your home, such as cabinetry or trim. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of white paint on trim can do for a space.
[image via breathe happiness]
- Look up and down.
Floors and ceilings are such a large area of our homes, yet they are most often ignored. Changing all of the floor material is obviously a huge cost, but there are temporary fixes you can do that will make a big impact. Use area rugs to cover up large sections, or if the floor is an odd color, look for a paint color that will make the current flooring look at least a little better, for now. Consider the ceiling as well, would a fresh coat of paint in white or a focal color add a kick of style? Can changing out a few of those outdated light fixtures make a room upgrade to a whole different style? These little details make a huge difference.
[images via blood and champagne]
- Add your personal items.
You may be surprised by how much more a place will feel like home when you add your belongings. Use what you have, and use what you love! One problem we are facing, moving from a small apartment to a large house, is we don’t have all that much stuff to put throughout our new space. My plan for this will be to focus on the main spaces we use — the living room, kitchen, and bedroom. Even though we will have all this extra space, I still plan to get rid of those items that just don’t work for our style anymore. I don’t want to use things just for the sake of “filling up” our house. An additional tip here, if you have a little cash, is to set a small budget and go thrift shopping or hit some yard sales. Look for larger pieces rather than knick-knacks which will only make a big, empty space look bigger, emptier, and just awkward. And, most importantly, only buy what you love, again, not just trying to “fill up” your house. Lastly, it’s amazing what a few plants of different sizes can do for a space.
- Do it yourself!
Look for some inexpensive projects that could really add to your space. Maybe i’ts a picture wall or a focal wall with old pieces of wood. Again, use what you have as much as possible to cut down on costs. Look for new ways to use old items that have grown tired of their original purpose. Don’t go straight to placing that one vase on the same bookshelf it was in your last place. Change it up! Look for new life.
[image via sfgirlbyay]
- Go as you go.
Add to things along the way. You don’t have to do it all at once, but you most certainly can if you are ready and if it’s affordable. So much of design is the process. Rearrange things, add items you find in your travels or shopping adventures. Build and always edit. Your home should reflect who you are, which means it should always be evolving, just like you. In the last few weeks that I have been sent to measure people’s homes for a new design, I am most impacted by the homes that I walk in, and feel like I know the person. I see their passions and hobbies, their personal life and their family photos. If I can understand who you are through your home, I think you are doing a pretty great job!
Do you have any additional tips? Share in the comments!