10 DIY Tips for Redecorating on the Cheap

It’s tough to re-feather the nest during hard times. That’s why the home design industry is struggling not to be nailed shut while weathering the storm. But you can make subtle changes to your decor that won’t add up to big spending. Here are a few tips we recommend:

1. Reface Rather Than Replace Cabinets

Innovative companies can work with your existing wood and reface those cabinet doors with sustainable woods rather than trashing and starting anew. Read this post for more tips for the kitchen cabinet facelift.

2. Swap Decor with Family and Friends

You don’t need a piano and I don’t need that daybed in the TV nook, so let’s trade and recycle our stuff and get what we really need. It’s a match made in eco heaven when it doesn’t cost you a dime to swap decor, especially with people who have a good eye like you do, and are low on storage space. It’s how they did it in the olden days before widespread consumer waste and climate change. Here’s more.

3. Baby Steps Can Equal Full Grown Changes in a Room

Rearrange the furniture, buy a few new pillow covers, paint a wall. These easy fixes will refresh your pad without sinking lots of cash. As you’ll discover in this handy how-to post, it can all be done for under $30.

4. Repurpose Excess Upholstery Materials

Those fabric rolls are not doing anyone any good just sitting in the closet. Cut them up and redirect them to your interiors for pillow covers, framed art, bedding, even wall coverage like the picture shown above, if you have enough for adequate padding. See these great ideas for repurposing your excess.

5. Clean Before You Replace

Perhaps that rug can come clean with eco spot remover techniques. Why rip it out if it’s still useful? Another option is to cover a damaged section of the carpet by layering with a small, affordable area rug, one made of eco fibers that won’t cost the same as new carpeting or a large are rug. Go shagging for answers here.

6. Seasonal Accents Make Great Distractions

A collection of seasonal organic blooms and greens from your garden, lanterns, greeting cards, photos and tablecloths – they all can act as happy distractions in a room that is begging for a redux. Don’t have a garden? Head to the farmers’ market, the flea shop, the vintage shop in your hood, and spend little to stage your spaces with renewed charm. Head over here for inspiration.

7. Paint can Perk it Up

Even a dingy clawfoot tub can look ultra modern and cool by finding the right low VOC paints and giving the bath a new coat. You will find sprucing up furniture with paint can be a great cheap fix that refreshes your spaces.

8. Be a Thrift Shopper

It’s no wonder second hand shops in cities nationwide do well during hard times. These are outlets that actually offer discounts while more upscale sights like 1st Dibs are peddling vintage treasures that cater to those with lots of spare cash. Do some research and check out the shops in various neighborhoods to find out where nifty castaways are being parked.

9. A Room of Her Own

Sometimes just carving out one room of your own in your dwelling can suffice until you have a bigger budget to fix up the place. Are you craving that Project Runway sewing room? How about a closeted dressing room out of a spare bedroom? Having a blast doing just one space for yourself can be very rewarding, even if it is a multi-use corner for working, painting and reading. Own it with visuals on the walls and a fun rug that speaks to you. Experts say you will accomplish the most in a space you gravitate towards.

10. Spa Makeover

So you can’t afford to tear out the old tile and tired tub to make way for stone and steam. Use zen decor touches and nurturing elements to turn your blah bath into spa bath: Ideas include indulgent, organic towels; sensuous beeswax candles in an array of holders; yummy creams and oils displayed in a vintage tray; and my favorite Nob Hill Day Spa element – a large pitcher of spring water filled with sliced cucumbers or lemons and a pretty glass.

Image: Elle Decor

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.