If your lived-in spaces are going through a lull style-wise, there’s no need to pull out your credit card. Instead, get creative with what is already in your home. A little ingenuity goes a long way to make your old items feel like new.
Is there a way to rearrange furniture that you haven’t considered before? Or unexpected items you can place in frames you already own? Chances are, the answers are yes and yes.
Read on for five interior designer-approved ways to refresh your space with exactly $0.
Meet the Expert
- Katie Simpson is the senior interior designer at Mackenzie Collier Interiors, a full-service residential & commercial interior design team based in downtown Phoenix.
- Kathy Kuo is the founder and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home, a recognized tv personality, and a celebrated interior designer.
Rearrange Your Furniture
It’s simply unrealistic (not to mention expensive and wasteful) to buy a new couch every time your living room’s design feels stale. Your wallet will sigh with relief if you get creative with a room’s layout instead.
“The simplest way to make a space feel new is to rearrange your furniture,” Katie Simpson of Mackenzie Collier Interiors tells us. “Move pieces from one area to another, changing both the function and feeling of a room.”
For example, swap out your entryway console table for a bench and potted plant instead. Perhaps that console table will find a new home in your dining room as a mini buffet table. While you’re at it, consider moving your bed to another wall and if your couch could be positioned in another direction too. Your impulse to buy new furniture will immediately dissipate—trust us.
Make Marie Kondo proud with a serious decluttering session. “Spaces tend to look chaotic and disorganized the more stuff we keep adding, so an easy way to refresh is to declutter and clean off your surfaces,” Simpson says.
Don’t overwhelm yourself, though. Take the decluttering process one room (or one shelf or one drawer) at a time, asking yourself if you still enjoy certain items, or if both you and the pieces themselves would be better off if they found a new home. Give your most meaningful items a front-and-center spot to display, rotate others out seasonally, and donate whatever doesn’t spark Kondo-level joy anymore.
Rotate Your Decorative Pieces
The vase full of pampas grass that’s been adding height and texture to your fireplace mantel would likely look just as inviting in your entryway. The same goes for your collection of tapered candles. Try moving them—and all of your small, versatile decorative items—to a new, well, home within your home.
"My favorite way to change the mood of my home without spending on new pieces is to rotate all of my decorative accents on my coffee table and shelves,” Kathy Kuo, the founder and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home, says. Trying new combinations of items together results in a new, refreshed, and zero-dollars-needed look.
“If you have books on your bookshelf with artful covers, try placing them on your coffee table or console. If you're currently using a decorative bowl or tray in your entryway, see how you like it in your living room instead," she says.
Forage Your Yard
Whether you’re a full-on green thumb or an aspiring no-longer-black thumb, plants are invaluable to a home’s design. They bring color and life to a space, and with a little TLC, they are constantly evolving. Anyone with a house full of monsteras, birds of paradises, and snake plants knows that a trip to your local nursery can be rough on your budget, though.
Plants aren’t cheap, so instead of dropping serious cash on a new green friend, grab a pair of shears and head outside. Place flowers from your yard or spindly, textured branches in a vase—that’ll bring the texture and color you’re looking for without the price tag of a new plant.
Create a Gallery Wall With Unexpected Art
“Gather your favorite art pieces or accessories from around the house and arrange them in a unique way to create a gallery wall,” Simpson suggests. “This will really make an impact and add a dimensional feature to your space.”
And remember: there’s no rule that says your gallery wall—or any artwork—has to stay static. Routinely switch out what’s in the frames to keep it fresh, and keep it fresh with unexpected items. Uncover your grandma’s handkerchief from the back of your closet to display it in a frame or show off your children’s artwork.