You can add plenty of personal style and visual interest to your home without a lot of effort or money; all you really need is a can-do attitude and a desire to improve your home.
Add comfort, convenience and character with the right lighting. Update the chandelier over the dining room table. Add simple plug-in puck lights under kitchen cabinets and inside closets. Cozy up a dark corner with an accent light. Install mini accent lights above wall art or framed family photos.
Frame the views.
Dress up your windows with colorful treatments. Hang the draperies higher than the windows to make the room seem taller.
Put unused space to work.
Give an awkward area a purpose and appeal. Transform a basic bay or boxy window into a reading nook. Or furnish an empty corner of the living room with a game table and storage cabinet.
Be savvy about storage.
If you have a home that lacks closet space, place pegs and shelves in convenient nooks to provide places to hang, store and display everyday necessities.
Make way for shelf displays.
Use open shelving throughout the house to store and display collectibles. In addition to adding storage, the airy shelves can also make a small room feel larger.
Accent with architectural details.
Bring your basic builder’s kitchen to life. Frame windows with wide molding, install cornices on top of cabinets, or add bun feet or carved legs to cabinets for furniture-style accents.
Try wood underfoot.
A natural wood or bamboo floor will last longer than synthetic materials and will transform the character of your interior. Plus, it won’t trap allergens. Use machine-washable area rugs to warm the space and protect heavy-traffic areas.
Add old-fashioned appeal with antiques.
Visit a flea market for vintage signs, furniture and collectibles that will fill your home with friendly charm.
Paint kitchen cabinets.
Can’t afford to purchase brand-new kitchen cabinets? Fake it by using bright paint to take your cabinets from dull to darling.
Reinvent your entry or interior doors with antiqued brass, crystal, porcelain or colored-glass doorknobs.
Install beaded board.
Add dimension and charm to bathroom walls with beaded board. Save money by tackling the project yourself in a weekend and using panels. Panels are virtually identical to authentic beaded board, and they are sold in lightweight 4×8-foot sheets for about $20 each.
Add decorative shutters.
Make your home look good inside and out with decorative indoor shutters. Traditional wood shutters and plantation shutters add rustic appeal. Some even help insulate your cozy spaces.
Claim a plain wall for a showcase.
Transform a blank wall into a storage-and-display showcase by adding stacks of open shelves or cutting out drywall to create a recessed niche.
Enhance the exterior.
The simple and affordable addition of shutters, window boxes and planters near the front door creates a friendlier facade and provides cheerful color. Hang the window box at a height where you can care for the plants. Fill it with your favorite blooms, or add candles for a quaint touch.
Let your garden glow.
Outdoor lights, including floodlights, globes, tier lights and lanterns, are easy to install and are the perfect way to add warmth and color to your front yard. For a touch of romance, use candlelit lanterns to create soft pools of light along a garden path.
Dress up your deck.
Make a boxy builder deck look like a custom addition with decorative metal or glass balusters and post caps that double as planters or light fixtures. Add delightful details with colorful plants, pillows, furniture, outdoor rugs and accessories.