We’ve all watched HGTV, our jaws dropping at the stylish spaces, the romantic ambience, or the madly modern flair – and the designers’ ability to almost magically transform the most boring apartment into a pad with panache. We want that! Our homes, even if it’s a rental, MUST feel cozy, comfy, and most of all like a home. But you don’t need a designer’s budget to make your place fun, stylish, and a wonderful reflection of your personality. The secret? A little time, a little patience, and thinking a little outside the box. Oh, and our divinely DiaNoche tips and tricks:
Use Paint To Recreate Your Space
A little paint can completely transform a space. Just remember, while semi-gloss works great in the bathroom (and sometimes the kitchen), it just looks shiny and weird in other rooms. So stick to an eggshell finish. If you’re a renter, ask your landlord if you can paint. More often than not, they are more than happy with you improving the space, as long as you’re not choosing a far-out color like orange or lime green.
If You Can’t Paint Your Walls, Just Paint The Trim
I dare you to walk into any apartment or home and, unless it’s new, the trim looks tired and shabby. It always takes a bit of a beating from shoes, kids’ hockey sticks, or a creative six-year-old artist with a sharpie. Try putting a fresh, bright semi-gloss white on the trim around doors and along floors to give your rooms an instant facelift for next to nothing.
Shop Second Hand
A friend told me once that paying retail is for suckers! Well, perhaps not, but you certainly can save yourself buckets of money buying used rather than new. Check out local used furniture stores, garage sales, or keep watch on sites like Craigslist or Kijiji (just make sure you take a friend if you go to someone’s house to look at furniture—there are all kinds of wackos out there.). I once found a killer solid wood sideboard at a used furniture store (called The Junction) for $350—sure, not peanuts, but for the quality of the piece, it was a steal.
Another treasure trove for an affordable way to spruce up your space is the Habitat for Humanity Restore. You can find everything from cupboard hardware, sinks, light fixtures, and furniture, all cheap as chips.
Mix Up Your Pieces Of Furniture
If you go to a furniture store and buy a matching set, you will pay through the nose! Instead, buy a mix of pieces both for the savings it will provide, but also to keep it stylish and chic! Think about a solid color sofa, but a boldly patterned chair. Combine older pieces with more modern. Be eclectic, be unique. This is your space, so it needs to reflect your personality!
Decorate With Artwork On The Cheap
You don’t have to spend a lot of to have amazing artwork. Shop IKEA, Home Depot, HomeGoods, or right here at DiaNoche! Find a colourful, whimsical, or dramatic canvas from our globally sourced artists!
Another clever option is to use your own photographs. Whether they’re some cool shots from a wander through the city, or from your backpacking trip through Europe, they can turn into a unique piece for your home. You can have them printed and frame them yourself for way less. And you’ll be filled with those exquisitely sweet memories that travel brings every time you see it.
Don’t forget to get matte cut to fit the picture and frame for a polished, finished look. Alternatively, there are countless companies that will take any digital print and will transform it into a gorgeous canvas for a one of a piece artwork.
Really tight on cash? Do not let that art work sit in a drawer! Grab some sturdy twine, and wooden clothes pins and hang your art in the most novel way possible! To add a little whimsy, you can always paint the clothespins in fun colors.
Buy A Large Area Rug
If your furniture is in muted colors, add a punch of color in your rug! But just as important, buy a spongy piece of carpet underlay for a more luxurious look and foot feel (just have it cut about ½ -1 inch smaller on each side than the size of your area rug). Grab a glass of champagne and feel like royalty!
Let’s face it, rugs are pricey, but a worthwhile investment piece that will last you for years. If you truly can’t afford to buy a new rug, check out some second hand stores for a gently used option. If you do splurge on a new piece of floor candy, check out: Home Depot, Overstock, HomeGoods, or Rugs USA. If you’re in Canada, check out HomeSense or Rona. Or, ahem, you could always check out our fun and fabulous rugs… Just sayin’.
These easy to apply decals can really add some personality to a plain old wall. This smarty pants on Etsy created this cool little functional corner combining a decals with hooks for a nifty place to hang your coats.
Beautify Your Bathroom
Add some wow to your bathroom with a vibrant shower curtain. For a more elegant, understated option, buy two shower curtains and hang then like you would drapes on a picture window. Change up the hardware (towel bar, towel ring, toilet paper holder), buy some new fluffy towels, and your bathroom morphs into a picture perfect oasis.
Graduate To A Grown Up Kitchen
- Buy a matching set of wine glasses.
- Buy a matching set of dinner ware.
- Plain white is a perfect choice, casual for everyday, and elegant when it needs to be.
- Change out your cupboard handles to give your cupboards an instant facelift.
Add Plants And Accessorize
Your Sleeping Sanctuary
Your bedroom is a place that needs to soothe and satisfy your soul. So do whatever tickles your fancy. If that means stringing up fairy lights, do it. Create a canopy around your bed with rustic curtain rods, suspended from the ceiling. Put a coat of fresh paint on a cast off dresser. Add inexpensive sheer white curtains for an airy, fresh look. And your bed simply looks unfinished if you don’t have a headboard. So, instead, just paint one on the wall!
Your home is your safe haven in a chaotic world. It has to be a place that welcomes you into its embrace each and every time you cross that threshold. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot to achieve. It just has to feel like home.