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10 Little Ways to Spruce Up Your Home (Without Spending a Dime)

By Katie Holdefehr | May 15, 2020 | Real Simple

There's nothing like spending 15 straight hours in your living room to make you suddenly start to rethink that rug or give that cluttered corner some serious side-eye. But as we all continue to social distance, and since many stores are closed, all of these mini home makeovers can be achieved without leaving the house—and without buying anything new. There's never been a better time to shop your home and play with rearranging your furniture and decor for a fresh look. You may just find that you already own everything you need for a serious home upgrade. Here are 10 ways to give your surrounds a new look.

1. Rearrange your living room.
If you and your family are spending more time than usual lounging around the living room, binge-watching Netflix, and working on jigsaw puzzles, it may be time to rearrange the furniture. For optimal TV viewing, angle the sofa and side chairs so every spot feels like the best seat in the house. If you're trying to discourage too much screen watching, position the chairs so that the coffee table (a perfect spot to lay out a board game or puzzle) is the focal point.

To make the space as cozy as possible, you may need to pull in side chairs, blankets, and pillows from other rooms. Soft textiles will amp up the comfort we're all looking for right now.

2. Bring the outdoors in.
As many of us are spending more time inside, consider introducing a natural element to your home. If you have a backyard or can go on hikes, collect a bundle of fresh flower or greenery, or even a branch, to bring a touch of the outdoors in.

3. Shop your home for accessories.
Tired of looking at the same decor as you sit on your sofa for day 10 of self-quarantine? Shop the other rooms in your home for vases, decorative objects, and art. The simple act of taking the candlesticks you've always kept on the dining room table and moving them to the living room TV console can suddenly make them feel new again.

4. Sort through your storage.
If you have an attic or garage that's full of furniture, paintings, and old books, you might not even remember what treasures you already own. Take a peek in storage. If you have kids, take them—they might love to join the excursion. Style is cyclical and trends often come back, so the "outdated" furniture or accessories you once relegated to the basement may actually be back in fashion. Dust them off and work them back into your decor.

5. Upgrade your headboard.
To instantly update the headboard you already have, try arranging a blanket or tapestry over it. If you don't currently have a headboard, try this popular trick from Pinterest: use a small sample jar of paint that you may have around the house to paint a headboard and create a fresh focal point for the room. To get the look, try painting a rectangle, semi-circle, or a circle behind the head of your bed.

6. Rethink your windows.
Nowadays, we're spending a lot more time staring out the window than usual. So why not make it a comfy perch? If you don't currently have a window seat, consider pulling an upholstered bench under the window, or reposition a cozy side chair.

To let the light in, make sure your windows aren't currently being blocked by furniture or decor. And consider making a curtain tie-back out of ribbon or a scrap of fabric you may have on hand.

7. Introduce some mood lighting.
If the overhead lighting in your home is feeling a little harsh, consider rearranging all of the table lamps and floor lamps around your home. Shaded lamps often diffuse the softest light, creating a cozy vibe, so consider adding one to the living room and other spaces you're spending the most time in.

8. Restyle your shelves.
For any room that needs a quick refresh, try this trick: remove everything from the shelves. Dust off each shelf, starting with the top one and working your way down. Then place everything back, but try a new arrangement. If you haven't touched these knick-knacks in months (or even years), this mini move can change the entire room.

9. Refresh your sofa.
If you have alternate throw pillow covers or blankets, now's the time to break them out.

10. Organize your kitchen counters.
If your countertop is looking a little cluttered, it's time to try our editor-in-chief's tray trick. If you have a storage tray (or maybe a serving tray hiding in a kitchen cabinet?), pull it out. Use it to corral everything from mail to medicine bottles. When it overflows, you'll know it's time to cull your collection.

This article was written by Katie Holdefehr from Real Simple and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Katie Holdefehr
Real Simple