Try These Cost-Effective Hacks To Make Ordinary Spaces Look Special

March 10, 2021

When you are setting up home on a budget, making do is often the order of the day. Aunt Sally gave you a sofa. You got a few odds and ends at junk shops, and Ikea cheapies filled the gaps. Once you have arranged things in some semblance of order, the result is underwhelming. Do not despair! You can make ordinary spaces look special with a few cost-effective extras. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Let It Shine

Lighting sets the atmosphere like nothing else. Think about the location and color of lights and add a little interest with attractive lampshades. Chandeliers are a big statement. Not up to the cost of a crystal-draped giant? A bronze mini chandelier will not bust the bank and looks super-classy. Use table lamps in dark corners and let the light come shining in. Just banishing dinginess will be a huge improvement. If you use lighting to draw attention to elements you really like, you are entering the realms of smart decor despite the presence of Aunt Sally’s sofa.

2. Make Mismatches Into A Statement

You have a weird assortment of furniture and you are going crazy trying to create harmonious matches. You know it is not going to happen, so swing in the other direction and go for startling contrasts. Make a statement. Create contrast. Mismatch boldly. Not convinced? Top interior decorators sometimes deliberately create mismatches as an artistic statement. And yes, that could include the plastic garden chairs you are currently using as indoor furniture.

3. When All Else Fails: Cover It Up

If you are still not happy with the results you have achieved despite your best efforts, the tried-and-tested “chuck a cloth over it” strategy is a winner. Turn a hideous trestle table into an elegant dining-table with a crisp tablecloth, drape attractive throws over tired lounge furniture, and throw a couple of scatter cushions into the equation. Seriously bad furniture is instantly transformed into something rather special.

4. Go Big On Ornaments And Artwork

Lots of little knick knacks make little impact and just end up collecting dust and looking messy. Go big! But inexpensive canvas prints or get creative and make your own artworks and ornaments. A massive modern art painting is easy to create and will transform, not only a blank wall, but an entire room. Canvases are expensive, so how about painting on plywood or even making a mural on the wall itself? Let your creative side out to play and have fun!

5. Have Fun With Fabrics

Turn an ordinary bed into a fairytale creation with netting or fabric suspended from a ceiling hook. You can either buy a premade version or try your hand at making it yourself. Fabric draped over walls also makes for a luxe statement, and if you or your circle of friends and family have spare curtaining going begging, it’s a great way to put it to use. You can even drape the ceilings if your fabric is fairly lightweight. 

Decorating on a budget does not have to be boring, and you can create some really special-looking places with a few low-cost extras. Enjoy the challenge!

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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