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9 DIY Projects To Refresh A Room On A Budget

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Kate MurphyGuest Blogger
June 26, 2016 · 4k Views

We all have a room in need of a total makeover. But we also know that such an endeavor could cost thousands of dollars. So let us try setting our sights on a room “refresh” instead. Do a quick Google search and you’ll find countless DIY projects designed to spruce up a tired home. We rounded up the most inspiring and budget friendly projects that will help you inject new life into a lackluster space.


1. Divide a Large Room with a Bookshelf

Source: Contemporary Home Decoration

You loved the large living room when the kids were young and constantly running around. Now that they are past the age of knocking over everything that isn’t tied down, you can properly decorate. But the space is so big, you don’t even know where to begin. Try dividing the room with a freestanding bookcase. Doubling as a decorative accent, it can be used to display not only books, but family photos and collectables as well. See if you already have a piece that could work. If not, check out the Kallax Shelving Unit from IKEA (Click here for IKEA coupons and deals.), which modern and moderately price.

2. Flowers

Can you think of a better way to liven up a drab room than with freshly cut flowers? Pick up seasonal blooms at the local farmers market this summer. You can expect a beautiful selection at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. A colorful arrangement in a favorite vase will brighten up any space. Or divide the flowers into smaller vessels like recycle jam jars and beer and wine bottles. Place throughout the room to create a delightful atmosphere.

Find deals and coupons for Trader Joe's and Whole Foods from DealsPlus!

3. Mirrors

Source: 6sqft

Mirrors have much to offer when it comes to interior design on a dollar. Hang a mirror on the wall of a small room to create a space that feels bigger and more open. Use a floor mirror to create the illusion of high ceilings. A windowpane mirror can be hung in your windowless city apartment to fake an opening into the outside world. Large mirrors tend to be on the expensive side. Search discount and thrift stores for smaller ones that can be artfully grouped together.

4. Frame Up a Bare Wall

Still thinking about what to hang on the bare wall above the living room sofa? Stop thinking and head to the nearest thrift shop. Root through the old frames and pick out enough to fill the space. The more varied in size and design, the better. Next, coat the frames with spray paint in colors of your choice. Hang the frames salon style on the wall. Voilá! A colorful art installation.

5. Houseplants

Source: Love From Berlin

You can refresh a dreary room by decorating with houseplants. There are a variety of ways to approach indoor foliage. Perhaps you would love to see a lonely corner taken over by a large floor plant. Hanging plants add a touch of whimsy to any open room. Need inspiration for displaying numerous small to mid-size plants? Check out these wonderful window garden ideas.

6. Lamp Makeover

Do you have an ugly old lamp collecting dust in the basement? If not, a thrift store find will also work. This simple and cheap DIY project will help turn the hideous thing into an object of beauty. All you need is a can of spray paint, painter’s tape and a new lampshade. Your friends will think you got it at Anthropologie. For full project instructions.

7. DIY Headboard

Source: Lowes

This is a great DIY project for those looking for an inexpensive and stylish way to redecorate the bedroom. There are numerous creative DIY headboard designs and Apartment Therapy has put together a fantastic list of inspiring ideas. We are particularly fond of the rustic headboard made from a reclaimed door and framed wallpaper headboard.

8. Creative Photo Display

Anyway you look at it, framing photos can be expensive. Here’s a cheap DIY project that not only displays all your favorites photos, but lets you make easy swaps as new one images are added to the collection. All you need to make this charmingly rustic photo display is a slice of wood (check your local craft store), a spool of twine, and clips. For a more elegant design, choose a finished wood board and more decorative hanging materials.

9. Make Your Own Art

Source: Vintage Revivals

So you haven’t taken an art class since high school. Not to worry. This DIY art project is foolproof even for the most artistically challenged. You’ll need a large piece of plywood, painter’s tape, and various types of paints (acrylic, watercolor, and gold and/or silver leaf paint). For an idea on how to get started, check out this plywood pinwheel art project. Once you are feeling more comfortable, start experimenting with design and materials. Soon you’ll have a whole series of beautiful paintings with which to decorate your home.

Redecorating a room does not have to cost an excessive amount of money, or be a lot of work on your part. Let this list of DIY projects be your guide to creating the space you always wanted.


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Kate Murphy is a native of Pennsylvania. After receiving a degree in art history, she moved to New York City to test the waters. She enjoys writing about art, culture, fashion, design, and travel. In addition to writing, Kate works with artists, leads, street art tours, and moonlights as an illustrator.

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