23 Totally Free Ways to Decorate with What You Have
A fresh perspective can totally change how you look at a room. Experiment with different furniture arrangements to transform the space without swapping out any of its elements. Try flipping the living room sofa to face the other direction, or rotate chairs around the room until you land on the ideal placement. If you don't like the final layout, you can always move the pieces back.
Turn Objects into Wall Art
Frame Family Pictures
Print out family photos and other favorite memories to hang in a personalized wall display. Gather up the frames you have and paint them the same color for a unified look. Here, basic black frames with white mats lend this gallery wall a polished look.
Hang Curtains Higher
If your drapes have enough length, consider moving the curtain rod closer to the ceiling to give the room a greater sense of height. Before you make the move, measure your curtains to make sure they will still graze the floor if you reposition the rod. If you need a little extra length, try hanging the curtain from drapery clips.
Pillows can be pricey, and if you're getting tired of yours, try swapping out the cover instead of buying new. Using the old pillow as an insert, zip or button it into a different cover for a fresh look. If you're handy with a needle and thread, consider making your own pillow covers. You can even use a sweatshirt or T-shirt for fabric.
Add Pattern to Shelves
Upgrade ho-hum shelves with a boldly patterned backdrop. Wallpaper, fabric, and wrapping paper remnants are all perfect fodder for lining the backs of bookcases or built-ins.
Take your bracelets and necklaces out of hiding and hang them along a bedroom wall. Mount simple hooks or hardware knobs inside an empty frame to define the arrangement. The colorful jewelry will add visual interest to your walls and keep items from becoming tangled.
Fill Your Fireplace
Spruce up a non-working firebox with an eye-catching fireplace filler. Using books from your home library, line the inside of the firebox with a stacked arrangement. For a streamlined look, wrap the volumes first in white paper. Birch logs make a rustic, farmhouse alternative.
Accessorize with Collectibles
Embrace eclectic style by bringing a few family treasures out of the attic. Thoughtfully select one or two interesting pieces, rather than an entire curio cabinet. Too many collectibles can read as clutter, but a few prized pieces integrated into your existing decor will come off as charming.
Repurpose Glass Bottles
Display a collection of bottles, vessels, or vases in a similar colorway for vintage-style appeal. Instead of sending glass bottles straight to the recycling bin, check to see if they have an interesting shape or color. Clean them out and save them until you have enough to create a pretty ensemble for a centerpiece or mantel.
Display a Poster
Skip the frame and use a wooden pants hanger to display a poster instead. This hanging technique works well with smaller posters that are just slightly wider than the hanger itself. Wider posters may flop over at the corners.
Add a No-Cost Cushion to a Bench
Try this trick to soften a wooden bench and instantly add style. Fold a colorful blanket over the seat to use as a cushion. Secure belts around the seat to hold the blanket in place.
Bring Outdoor Decor In
Move outdoor pieces inside for an easy addition to your indoor decor. Garden stools work just as well indoors as they do on patios and porches for extra seats and surfaces. Bistro chairs and other outdoor seating can also relocate inside.
Remove Cabinet Doors
Remove doors to turn basic cabinets into open shelving. Check inside first, as they may need a fresh coat of paint or a good cleaning. Remove doors and fill any holes with putty, and paint or stain to match the cabinet box. Display favorite dishes, utensils, and cookware or large jars filled with pantry staples, such as flour, pasta, and rice, inside the newly exposed cabinet.
Decorate Your Coffee Table with Books
Books are good for more than reading. Bring hardcover books off the shelf to create an interesting tablescape or mantel arrangement. Removing dust jackets can reveal a beautiful cover with eye-catching colors or designs.
Dress Up Basics
Even decorating basics can look extraordinary with a little embellishment. Wrap rickrack trim around a lampshade, hang picture frames with ribbon, or attach decorative veneers or trim to plain bookcases. Here, vertical stripes of rickrack dress up a plain white table lamp and lengths of rope draw back curtains.
Display Your Finds
Incorporate mementos from vacations or special occasions into your decor. Dig out these small treasures from storage to create a meaningful display that integrates your personality and life experiences into your home. Whether it's a collection of shells from a beach vacation or a framed wedding invitation, even the simplest of items become display-worthy when they recall a special memory.
Beautify Office Supplies
Turn office staples into accessories you actually want on display. Wrap file boxes or magazine holders with small scraps of wallpaper or wrapping paper to add a quick dose of color and pattern to your home office. This trick also works with desktop items like pencil holders.
Hang Kid's Art
Kids' finger paintings, construction paper creations, and carefully colored drawings are cherished works of art. Instead of stowing away these masterpieces, put them on display in pretty frames. Change up the gallery occasionally with fresh artwork or rotate a few favorites.
Hang a Plate Display
Turn a hodgepodge of plates into a fun display. Use items from your own collection in various colors and sizes (or gather inexpensive thrifted pieces). Plan out your arrangement before you start hanging to avoid making unnecessary holes in the wall.
Swap Out a Throw Blanket
Throw blankets can add style and a softer touch to any furnishing. Bring a blanket out of storage to add an extra layer of color to a living room or bedroom. Fold a throw over the back of a sofa or the edge of a bed, allowing any pretty edge detailing, such as trim or fringe, to be visible.
Refresh your shelf display by incorporating objects from around the house. Whether it's a serving platter you love but never use or horse figurine you found in the attic, anything with an interesting shape or design can be a candidate. Look for objects that have commonalities, such as white finishes, to create a more unified display. And resist the urge to add "just one more" item. If you have a large collection, rotate objects in and out from time to time, rather than displaying everything all at once, to prevent the vignette from looking cluttered.