Interior designers reveal 12 ways to make your home look better without buying anything

Susan Howell
Interior designers reveal 12 ways to make your home look better without buying anything
scandanavian inspired apartment wicker lights hanging wooden chair gray door shelving shelves decor plant white walls

There are a few ways to upgrade your room at no cost.Shutterstock

  • Insider asked three designers to share their best decorating tips that didn’t cost money to follow.

  • To spruce up your space try moving pillows from one room to another, and color-coding bookshelves.

  • Interior designers also suggested using leftover paint or branches from outside to decorate with.

First off, decluttering your space can make a huge difference.

living room clutter shelves

Decluttering can make your space look lighter, too.Shutterstock

Javier Fernandez, an interior designer at Transitional Designs, said decluttering would change the look and feel of any room.

“Look at your dining room,” he said. “Is the dining table stocked high with mail and projects that you had planned to get to? Well, there’s no time like the present to clear and organize it.”

Give the carpets in your home a deep, thorough clean.

bedroom sloped angled ceiling small rug

You may want to scrub the rugs by hand.Shutterstock

Washing your carpets is another free way to spruce up your space, Courtney Turk, the owner of and interior designer at Courtney Turk Interiors, told Insider.

“Get your hands dirty and scrub your rugs,” Turk said. “By giving your rugs a deep clean, it will refresh your home and also help to prolong the life of your carpet as well.”

Read More: Interior designers reveal the 10 things worth splurging on in a home

Rearrange some items you already have and turn them into decorative, or useful, accents.

bowl of lemons fruit kitchen decor plant

Fruit can look beautiful and purposeful when placed in a bowl.Shutterstock

Once you’ve decluttered, consider adding streamlined accents. These types of carefully curated accents can accentuate a room while keeping the space clean and uncluttered, according to Christina Nielsen, an interior designer at Christina Nielsen Design.

Nielsen suggested placing a bowl of fruit or a stack of lemons on top of some cookbooks in your kitchen or adding a small plant or floral arrangement in your entryway.

These accents can be practical, too.

“If you have a console table in the foyer, make sure everything is easily accessible,” she said. “Create a spot for your keys — I love leaving a little dish out for this.”

Organize your bookshelves and try sorting them by color or separating them with pretty knickknacks.

blue living room round table blue couch fireplace bookshelves window rug

You can organize your books by color or size.Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

If you have shelves that are filled with books, try displaying them in a more untraditional way, Turk suggested.

“Stack them on top of one another, and add in a few favorite pictures or vases you may have stored away to create some depth and character on the shelf,” she told Insider.

You can also place books of similar colors together and try to create variations to display them, she suggested.

Go “shopping” in your home to find items you may not be using or could be displaying somewhere else.

blue room living room

Maybe some items from your attic should see the light of day.nicolamargaret/Getty Images

Sometimes the best “shopping” is quite literally done in your own home, Fernandez said.

“Check the attic, storage room, and closets. You’ll likely find something you put away a while ago,” he told Insider. “Now, with fresh eyes, you can see how it might work in one of your rooms.”

For example, he said, a den or a living room can be easily transformed if you hang up different curtains or change the wattage on your light bulbs to create mood lighting.

Read More: Interior designers reveal 9 affordable tricks to make your home look more expensive



Try angling your furniture differently or positioning it in a new way.

bed bedroom headboard white sheets pillows clock lamp

Try moving your nightstand to the other side of the bed or angling your couch in a new direction.Shutterstock

Rearranging your accent pieces and furniture is one of the quickest and easiest ways to change the look of a room, according to Fernandez.

“Adjust the lines of your room by angling your sofa and chairs differently, making sure natural light is the highlight here to enhance the spatiality of a room,” Nielsen added.


Use leftover paint to breathe new life into a room.

painting wall

You can also use paint to create an accent wall in your room.Getty Images/Paul Bradbury

“Just about everyone I know has some leftover paint sitting in storage,” Fernandez said. “In my opinion, there’s nothing like a fresh coat of paint.”

If you don’t have enough paint to freshen an entire room, you can just paint one wall as an accent. Or, he added, you can use painter’s tape and a bit of precision to create a pattern on the ceiling.

Use branches and wildflowers from outside to add natural decor into your home.

branch flowers outdoors vase decor centerpiece

While walking outside, you may be lucky enough to find some fresh wildflowers to bring back to your home.Shutterstock

Flowers can help brighten up a space and bring nature indoors, Fernandez said.

“Gather some branches and florals [from] outdoors for a seamless and cost-effective way to update your home instantly,” Nielsen told Insider. “In the spring, a large array of cherry blossoms are my favorite.”

Read More: Interior designers reveal 10 things you should get rid of to create a more peaceful space

Try adding accents and new touches to pieces you already own.

painting mason jar craft crafting paintbrush art

A bit of paint can upgrade a piece of decor.Shutterstock

If you want to get crafty, try using some of the leftover fabrics, buttons, and lace you may have found while decluttering.

These adornments can be used to revamp curtains, throw pillows, or blankets, Fernandez said.

“Taking a simple ribbon and adding it as trim to your existing curtains will immediately change the look of them,” Fernandez told Insider. “Go through the bag of spare buttons, take out the colorful one, and go to town applying them to that old throw pillow.”


Rearrange your pillows or move them to a different spot.

throw pillows couch

Your couch throw pillows may look even better in your bedroom.Shutterstock

Moving your pillows from one room to another is also a way to update your home’s look, Nielsen said.

“Rearrange them on your sofa, swap in a pillow from another room, eliminate some pillows to create a sleeker space, or stack pillows on top of your bedding (preferably all white) for a crisp effect,” she told Insider.


Find a new way to hide your wires and cables to create a neater space.

living room tv couches red walls green couches

You can also use electric tape to keep some wires in place.Shutterstock

Another great way to neaten up your space is to hide the unsightly cables and wires that may be sticking out of your television or internet router.

“By doing so, it immediately upgrades the space from feeling disheveled and incomplete to put-together and high-end,” Turk said.

There are numerous hacks you can do to remove them from sight, like hiding them behind your furniture, tucking them into a drawer, or using cord covers.

Swap out the photos in your frames.

photographs stack of photos pictures memories

You can also take a walk down memory lane as you flip through old photo albums.Shutterstock

Another great way to update your space is by swapping out photos in your picture frames with newly printed ones or old ones that you’ve had stored away.

If you have extra wall space you can also create a gallery of your favorite photos, Fernandez added.

Read the original article on Insider

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