With a bit of imagination and just a little cash, you can upgrade the look of any space in your home. Try a few of these punchy, practical ideas and brighten your rooms in no time. As always, please do not take on a project you might not be able to handle! 

1. Create bold artwork worthy of a modern museum: Just wrap a large artist’s canvas with a patterned sheet or an eye-catching fabric remnant. Pull it tight and staple to the back of the frame.

2. Keep things versatile by covering major pieces, like the couch or an armchair, in a neutral shade or plain white. Then you can add color and verve by changing out pillows and accessories rather than doing a total overhaul.

3. Find chic, unique pieces at flea markets, tag sales or surplus sales. Never been? Pros know to go early; the best pieces are sometimes gone even before the sale officially starts. This is cash and carry, so bring plenty of small bills and a strong back or cart. Have a measuring tape with you so you don’t have to pass on a great deal because you weren’t quite sure if it would fit in your space.

4. Paint a cabinet door or part of a wall with chalkboard paint to create a family message center. (The father and kid in me loves this idea, if you couldn’t tell by now.)

5. Give old pressboard bookshelves a fresh look. You know the kind with that fake wood-grain look that never fooled anyone? Yeah, that’s the one. Cover them in self-stick paper in funky patterns or a quick coat of bright paint and add mod wall appliqués.

6. Turn a funny-looking lamp base or an odd vase into a conversation piece with a coat of flat black paint or high-gloss white paint. The look is hip, and draws attention to the piece’s shape rather than flaws like an atrocious pattern or color. Group several vases for a display with high impact and low cost.

7. Perk up a plain lamp shade with overlapping stencils in notice-me hues. DIY tip: Smaller stencil motifs are easier to hold down on a curved shade.

8. Pep up that tired chair from Grandma’s attic with a simple slipcover. Upholstered monstrosities transform into the comfiest seat in the house with large drape-and-tuck slipcovers. Hardback chairs feel dressier with new seat covers trimmed with wide grosgrain ribbons.

9. Don’t limit paint to the walls. A few quarts can give your floor a serious color boost and a touch of charm. Use a chalk line and a T-square to get perfect grids. Check a crafts store for thousands of stencils you can snag for a few bucks. Be sure to seal the deal with a protective coat of polyurethane.

10. Two words: throw rugs. Three more words: colorful, easy, cheap.

11. A small ceiling fan adds a pleasing element to a living area or bedroom. If you’re handy with a few electrical basics (or know someone who is), you can make this upgrade for under $100.

12. Puny windows are a perennial problem. Solve it with an old decorator’s trick: Hang stationary fabric panels on rods wider than the actual window frame to give the illusion of a much larger window.

13. Fill a large glass vessel (a tall slender vase, for example) with stones for a spa-inspired accent. Pick up pretty ones at a crafts store for less than $3 a bag, or take a walk by a lake or in the woods and pick some up for nothing.


Don’t forget…IAN BUYS HOMES!!! I am always looking to expand my personal portfolio. If you’d like to meet with me about your property, please submit your inquiry HERE! I look forward to hearing from you!