Spring Renovation Challenge: How to Redo Every Room in Your House for Under $500

Penny Wrenn
Posted

cheap home makeoverNow that spring has officially arrived, you’ve probably started going through a mental checklist of the rooms in your home that could use a little pick-me-up.

But why stop at spring-cleaning—why not go for a whole home makeover? ’Tis the season to get revitalized, after all.

What’s that, you say? You don’t have thousands of dollars at your disposal to give your walls, floors or furniture a face-lift? Fact: You can make big improvements—no matter what your budget.

That’s why we challenged three interior designers to show us how you can inexpensively (and easily!) spruce up four major rooms—the living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom—for $100, $300 and $500.

Ready, set … renovate!

The Living Room

If You Have $100 to Spend …

At about $30 a gallon, a fresh coat of paint is a cost-effective way to give any room a face-lift. “I like a light color on the wall—a soft gray, green or blue—and then a slightly darker shade of that color on the ceiling,” says Kimberly Ward, an interior designer and blogger at PinkEggshell.com who believes the accent ceiling is the new accent wall. For another $25, buy a few yards of eye-catching fabric that complements the new color, and drape it across your curtain rod as a valance.

There’s also a cost-free way to create added dramatic change: Move some furniture around. For example, position the couch so that it faces a window instead of the TV.

If You Have $300 to Spend …

“My rule of thumb is at least seven sources of light,” says Cathy Hobbs, an interior designer and alum of HGTV’s Design Star. “This includes not just lamps or overhead lights but also windows, mirrors and reflective surfaces, like a shiny decorative piece.”

Your choices for shedding more light to revamp a living room are endless, from creating a statement wall with a trio of inexpensive mirrors or springing for two gorgeous lamps. And remember that the lighting should be beautiful, as well as functional, so consider upgrading a standard overhead fixture with a more stylish pendant. Another lighting upgrade that Ward swears by: dimmers, which can “change the mood dramatically.”

If You Have $500 to Spend …

Choose a color or theme that inspires you—maybe you dig an ultramodern vibe or you prefer a global retreat—and pepper that inspiration around the room with different fabrics and patterns. “I always start with a rug,” says Ward, explaining that it’s easier to match accent pieces to a rug than the other way around.

She suggests shopping for one in the $250 to $300 range, and then playing mix-and-match with curtains, a new throw or toss pillows for the couch. Textiles make a more lasting impression than tchotchkes ever will—and your living room will look insta-chic.

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