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By J.Swindell

How to decorate on a budget and create more space for less

Spring cleaning is often a tiresome yet rewarding chore that can be a sign of positive change. However, it can be costly to transform a home if there is no clear vision of what is wanted or needed. Hiring a professional can get expensive because the client is paying for time spent brainstorming ideas that may or may not work.

Getting priorities together

Since the owner knows their home best, they can determine how space is used to fit their lifestyle. A person may also want to try new colors or details that reflect their own taste. Even minor changes can make a difference, such as adding a vibrant hue like orange, teal or violet to a neutral-colored room.

If a person can use a hammer, screwdriver, super glue and a can of spray paint, they can make simple changes in a matter of minutes. These items can be found at big discount or home stores. Not only can changes be done inexpensively, but some can be done easily, so tasks can be completed in minutes.

Making best use of space and adding color

Make use of wall space by using stackable square cubes. These come either with a drawer or hollowed, in a variety of colors. They hold different types of media, clothing or a stockpile of goods that need to be stored somewhere accessible.

For lightweight objects, old shoe boxes may be cut to your liking and secured with duct tape for extra durability. Finish with spray paint or decorative finishes like antique, marble or terra cotta, that can be found in the paint section of a craft or hardware retailer. This paint comes in various textures and colors and needs just one coat. Once it dries, the box can be applied to a wall or as a shelf inside a cabinet.

Changing drawer knobs (which can be found at hardware or big discount chains) is a fast and inexpensive way to transform storage space. Old knobs can be used inside cabinets and closets to hang things on. Glue the knob to a small base made of cork, plastic or wood and nail it to the wall for security.

Ideas for specific rooms

  • Living room – An area rug in a dark color preserves the floor best, whether it's carpet or hardwood. Large patterned or solid-color quilts are a quick way to add color to walls. Most fabric and home stores carry tools to secure wall art without surface damage. Ottomans that double as storage bins are great for keeping remotes, magazines or small items that shift easily.
  • Bathroom or kitchen – Make use of cabinet space with a tiered shelf organizer that allows all items to be visible at once. Also, items that lay flat, like baking pans or plates, may benefit from a standalone holder that stores them vertically. This creates more cabinet space.
  • Bedroom – Change the mood of the room by painting the lampshade a bright or dark color and try a soft white CFL light bulb instead of the regular incandescent, which gives off a yellowish look. Colorful pillows can be added and old sheets can be dyed to match pillow colors or other room details. A wide selection of dyes can be found at craft and fabric retailers.
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