No or Low-Cost Décor Changes

This living room is organized in a conversational way instead of at right angles or in an L-shape. Sofas facing one another with the chairs on the end create a cozier feel. The fireplace focal point is still easily seen from the seating areas.

With the Fall quickly approaching, many people start thinking about sprucing up their homes before the holidays. Sure, a brand new kitchen with shiny appliances would be nice, but what can you do if you are on a limited budget?

One of my favorite HGTV shows is Design Remix. The show re-works homes on an almost-zero budget. What’s remarkable is how they are able to create a new look just based on what they find around the homeowner’s house. I thought I’d give you some ideas today on changes you can make to your house that are low or no-cost.

Move it around
Tops on the list of no-cost decorating is re-arranging. Sometimes just moving furniture to new positions makes all the difference. This doesn’t cost anything but your time and energy. To make things easier, consider applying furniture slides to the bottom of the furniture. This will enable you to move the furniture just by sliding it. I use “Moving Men” furniture sliding pads. They’re phenomenal and make moving huge, heavy pieces easy for me to do by myself.

Another low-cost idea is to paint an accent wall. Just pick a wall, any wall, and slap up a coat of color.
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You’ll be amazed at what it can do to draw attention, define a space, and add some nice drama to the room. For another no-cost option, look at your room and do your best at making it look like a room in a magazine. Clear off the tops of everything, hide trash cans, de-clutter, and try to make it look as “picture perfect” as you can. You don’t have to buy more things, just make the room as it is look as good as it can and as uncluttered as possible. I promised one room in my house was going to look this way, and you know what? It’s my favorite room. Interestingly, it almost always stays looking picture perfect, too.


You may also want to put your focus and attention on one room. This is what ‘design-in-a-day’ services often do. They select a room to re-do and then cannibalize from everywhere in the house to create the perfect look in one room without spending any money. One of the quickest fixes these services do is to create a conversation area.

All too often furniture is arranged at right angles instead of opposite one another. For instance, try placing sofas and chairs to face one another with the TV or fireplace at one end of the grouping. This enables you to still see the fireplace or TV and sit in a welcoming and conversational area. I almost always do this first when I come into someone’s home. Next, take items from other parts of the house and put them into your focus room until you find a look that’s right. Accessories make all the difference. Consider switching lamps, artwork, rugs, knickknacks, and accessories from other rooms to your focus room to complete your look.

All these tips and ideas are simple, low-cost, or no-cost ways to change the look in home. You’ll be amazed at what a little time and attention do for your rooms. And, you’ll see that it often doesn’t require any money to make your home look great.

Show me your home!
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column on building your own home and some of the lessons I’ve learned from the houses I’ve built and remodeled over the years. Well, that column got quite a bit of response. Many people had strong feelings about building a home and were excited to see this topic covered. Some even wrote about some of the great experiences they had and how great their homes turned out.

One reader wrote to me about the dance and Karate studio she and her husband made for their kids out of a bonus room over the garage. It made me wonder… do you have a room that you’re especially proud of? Maybe it’s one you converted, or one you built, or one you redecorated. If so, I’d like to see it.

You’ve taken lots of peeks inside my home, now it’s your turn. I’d really love to see interesting and unusual large rooms, like the dance studio. I’d also like to see your before and after’s (be sure to take pictures before your next decorating endeavor to send in to this column). So come on and show off your stuff Victoria (or Hallettsville, Cuero, etc.). Email me with your stories — and don’t forget to send pictures.

Harry Potter coming soon

My daughter loves Harry Potter and I’ve given her a bedroom that looks straight out of the Hogwarts castle. It’s sophisticated, yet dreamy, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Look for it at A Harry Potter Bedroom

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