Upgrading your interior decor can be a bit of a pain; a financial one, first and foremost, but it doesn’t have to be! With a little creativity and time on your hands, you can beautify your home on a shoestring budget. A little paint, a wallpaper, or an inexpensive piece of furniture can go a long way…

Step 1: The Walls

zellox.com Wallpaper

PC: www.zellox.com

If you’re aiming at making changes on a large scale, target the walls first. A fresh layer of paint can transform an entire room. A versatile, fresh choice is always plain white. If you’d like to get a little more adventurous without making it too harsh, try a warm camel, lavender, or mint.

Even more creative is putting up your own wallpaper. Start with one wall for a pop of color. A part of the room that people often forget about, but end up having to look at a lot, is the ceiling. Painting the ceiling in a pale yellow or light grey can add a unique, yet not overpowering, touch to your apartment.

Step 2: The Lighting

Bed Fairy Lights

PC: www.alluvia.co

One of the easiest, cheapest, and quickest ways to transform a room is to install new lighting.

“Lighting provides personality, atmosphere, and drama”, says Sara Story, interior designer and founder of Sara Story Design in Manhattan. Create a cozy reading space by putting a warm lighting fixture above a couch or chair.

Accentuate different parts of your apartment with small lamps or get fairy lights and put them around a mirror or arrange them on a dresser. If you don’t want to invest in entirely new lighting, put colored shades on your existing ones. A different color will change the ambiance of the room.

Step 3: The FurnitureKitchen Chairs into Bench

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Hit garage sales or Craigslist for this one. An affordable, but unique coffee table or floor lamp can act as a statement piece and upgrade a room immediately. Don’t be afraid of buying pre-owned furniture pieces. Even if they have obvious signs of usage, you can bring them back to life and create a great piece for your home.

Also, consider upscaling or repurposing the furniture that you already have. Reupholster your couch or put a new layer of paint on your old kitchen chairs. While purchasing new fabric isn’t that expensive, ranging generally from $11 to $40 per yard, the labor itself costs the most. That’s why doing it yourself will save you a serious amount of cash.

There are countless ideas on Pinterest on how to repurpose old furniture as well. For instance, three old kitchen chairs can become a new, beloved bench.

Step 4: Arts and Crafts

Pallet table hirerush.comPC: www.hirerush.com

Three words; do it yourself. There are lots of DIY ideas online, most of them targeted at the budget-conscious. For example, beautify wooden shelves or chairs by putting accents in golden spray paint on them.

You can also make your own pillow cases with old tea towels or any other old piece of fabric you have around. You can even make your own drapes out of drop cloth. If you’re really into craftsmanship, you can try building your own coffee table out of a pallet.

Step 5: Finishing Touches

Fairy Lights notonthehighstreet.com

PC: notonthehighstreet.com

Finally, when you’re done outlining the raw structure of your beautified home, get down to the details. Buy a few pillars of candles and cluster them on your new coffee table. Find nice wall art or posters to hang up. Purchase expensive-looking, but affordable plates, silverware, and glasses to display. Put up fairy lights around a mirror or arrange them in a large mason jar as a cute light installation. These little things will give your home an instant upgrade!