10 Frugal Ways To Love Your Home Again

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Even before spring arrives I begin making changes around our house in anticipation of sunnier, warmer weather. It’s also my way of pushing ahead to the next season, even though it may be weeks before it’s officially on the calendar.  I’m ready for change to take place around our home after a long winter.

A couple I know have recently become disenchanted with their home. After decades spent in the same house boredom has set in. They are wondering if it’s time to sell and look for a new house that will bring them excitement and contentment again.

I have felt like that way, and when I do I know it is time to stoke the home fires and spiff things up a bit.  Here are a few frugal-minded, simple changes to consider before making any rash selling or moving decisions:

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Lighten the feel and get rid of clutter.  Grab a storage box and tackle every room in your home to get rid of unwanted clutter.  Collect out of season items and pieces you’re tired of and donate, repurpose or sell. Clear tables, shelves, counters and floors to see each room with fresh eyes. Decide if less is more in each room. Editing is often the only change needed to freshen a space.

Shop your home. Add character to your home with what you already have. Sort through your decor and visualize it in a new way or place in your home. Consider the season. Layer lighter items in a soft color pallette for spring and summer and strive for an airy, fresh appearance. Bring out heavier, darker items for the cooler months to add warmth.  If you see too many black or brown accessories consider painting them white or cream to bring in light. But don’t take away all the black. Black or dark items ground a room, so be sure to keep at least a few to avoid a stark white room. Add a green houseplant to the living room and/or kitchen.

Rearrange furniture. Move sofas, chairs, tables and area rugs to a new position for an instant change. Group pieces together in a different combination for a whole new feel.

 

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Exchange furniture and accessories.  Interchange pieces in an unexpected way. Add a dresser and mirror to your hall or entryway. Trade lamps and throw pillows between the bedroom and living room. Gather framed photos from around the house and corral on one wall as for a gallery collection (I have quite a few on my Pinterest “Gallery” board if you would like inspiration ideas). Create a different purpose for jars, stools, baskets and other accessories.  You can see how I repurposed an old picnic bench into upholstered seating here. Determine if you want to energize or relax a room by how your family spends time there.

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Borrow art from the library. Yes, from the library! Our local library offers art for rent and other art for purchase. Beautiful paintings and sketches crafted by local artists are usually available to patrons at most libraries.

 

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Make a trade. If you have a friend or close relative who enjoys decorating on a budget too, ask if she would like to make a trade.  My sister and I have done this several times and it has worked great!  Another fun idea is to host a swap meet with friends and trade or exchange stuff you no longer want.

Use up old paint.  If you’re like me, you probably have several gallons or cans of old paint sitting in storage. Use them to update a tired piece of furniture, accessory, or to make a wall statement. Mix small batches together to customize a shade you like. Purchase inexpensive samples sold at stores like Lowe’s and blend with leftover paint to make a new hue.

 

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Copy designers and catalogs. Browse home decor books written by popular designers. View websites like HOUZZ or Pinterest and peruse home magazines for inspiration. Catalogs from stores like Pottery Barn are free to keep and packed with decorating ideas to emulate.  You don’t have to make a purchase to satisfy your craving for change, instead enjoy what you have in an updated way inspired by the professionals.

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Create vignettes for big impact.  According to the dictionary: “A vignette is a brief, but powerful scene. A good vignette leaves you wanting more.” This is the perfect explanation for juxtaposing accessories in an interesting and off-beat way. Rotating frames, children’s art, and other collectibles in small doses instead of putting everything out at once lessens clutter and draws the eye to what you really want to showcase in your ensemble or vignette.

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Contrast color and texture.  Try adding a nubby, knitted throw blanket to the back of a solid fabric sofa or chair. A patterned or grass-woven area rug gives dimension to wood floors. Place a shiny ceramic jar next to a muted clay pot. Mix antiques with modern pieces for playful tension. A room with too much texture can look busy and heavy; too many solids and similar tones can appear blah and boring. Vary your textures through fabrics, throw pillows, curtains, area rugs, accessories, frames, pots and baskets.

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Because we are human, phases of boredom and discontentment will probably always come and go — even in a brand new house. But by making budget-friendly and smart changes, we can take a fresh look at our homes and see them as a blessing to enjoy once again.

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