13 Zero-Cost Ways to Make Your Home Feel Fresh

There comes a time in the life of every busy person when a décor refresh becomes not only necessary but also imminent. That doesn't necessarily involve a full-blown remodel or décor overhaul, but just like any good spring-cleaning session—you sometimes need to roll up your sleeves to make your home feel new again. Are you hosting the holiday parties this year? Do you have guests staying over for a few days? Don't let your home show that you've been working 10-hour days every week and that your décor has suffered accordingly. 

Because we're all short on time and money before the year's end, we know our wallets don't always follow our hearts' desires. This is why we came up with some fresh home hacks to update your décor without spending a dime or jeopardizing an entire weekend. Keep scrolling for our favorite affordable home décor hacks to make your home feel new again—for free.

Rethink Your Layout

bedroom layout ideas
Fantastic Frank

With a pen, a paper, and a little muscle, you can completely transform the flow of a room. Plan a completely new layout with your existing furniture: Move your sofa by the window, or move furniture away from the walls and closer together. Don't hesitate to bring accent furniture from other rooms or swap artwork from room to room.

Flip Your Rug Upside Down

dining room makeover
Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Amber Interiors

This only works with certain rugs, usually oriental ones, but here's a quick designer tip: Flipping your rug upside down will expose the textural weave and more muted colors of its flip side. So if you're growing a little tired of your rug, take a peek at what's on the back, and turn it around.

Decorate With Greenery From Outside

kitchen design ideas
Fantastic Frank

Get out in the backyard, go for a walk, and find pretty branches to decorate with. Greenery adds life and sculptural elements. All you need is a standard florist's vase and some fresh water.

Strip Something Back to Its Original Texture

traditional living room
Zeke Ruelas ; DESIGN: Ginny Macdonald

If you live in an older home, chances are some things have been painted over and refinished dozens of times—but do you know what lies beneath? Try stripping a door back to its original wood, or do the same with wooden beams or even vintage furniture. Do your research before tackling anything major, but remember that a little patina can go a long way in making a home feel lived-in but fresh.

Use Your Leftover Paint

open plan kitchen
Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: DL. Rhein

We all had those leftover paint cans lying around that are essentially 95% empty but we keep just in case. Why not use some of that paint to refinish a piece of furniture or a room accent? Dip-dye the legs of a chair or paint the mantel or a door for an instant refresh.

Style a Piece of Furniture Before Throwing It Out

reading nook ideas
Amy Bartlam ; DESIGN: DL. Rhein

Context has a huge influence on how we perceive items. This is why higher-end retail stores put so much effort in presentation compared to their discount counterparts. If you have a tired piece of furniture lying around, channel your inner decorator and give it the best overhaul you can: Style it with your ultimate favorite books, mirrors, and vases. You just might also look at it in a whole new light.

Edit Down to a Minimum

white kitchen
Courtesy of Hernandez Greene

Sometimes, when décor feels a little tired, you don't need to add anything to make it better. In fact, you just might need to remove the elements that are making it less than spectacular. By editing down your décor to a minimum, you're able to reintroduce your favorite pieces, and those ones only. The rest can go to storage or charity, and you're left with a fresh, well-edited space.

Hang Your Kids' Artwork

gallery wall
Courtesy of Hernandez Greene

Do you keep your children's drawings and paintings in boxes or binders? Why not frame them instead? Kids' art is colorful and candid, and it makes for great artwork that you can easily swap around.

Think Like a Stylist

decor styling ideas
Courtesy of Hernandez Greene

Hop on Pinterest, gather inspiration of your favorite styled homes, and try replicating the vignettes you love most. Interior stylists often spend very little money on accessories and props to make homes look great for a photoshoot: Think vintage pottery, a couple of trays, and strategic placement.

Re-Cover Your Old Headboard

small bedroom design
Monica Wang Photography

It's possible that you've grown tired of your headboard or you simply feel that your bedroom is lacking a little texture. Why not re-cover it? You can choose a new fabric that fits your and your room's aesthetic and voila, you have a whole new look without the expense of buying a brand new headboard. Otherwise, you could grab a throw or blanket lying around the house, and effortlessly re-cover your headboard by draping the throw over it.

Hang or Display Vintage Objects

vintage home decor
David Tsay ; DESIGN: Brian Faherty of Schoolhouse Electric

Do you have old tennis rackets you don't use or vintage china passed down from your grandmother? Display these pieces around your home or, even better, hang them to create instant art.

Visit Grandma's attic if you're short on heirlooms and vintage treasures.

Rearrange Your Bookcase

bookshelf design ideas
Tessa Neustadt ; DESIGN: Emily Henderson

I can guarantee that even the owners of the most impeccably styled homes in magazines can't keep their houses looking remotely as pristine as they did on the day of the photo shoot. It's only natural for homes to amass clutter and for objects to get displaced. Take a moment to restyle a bookcase or a console table.

Create a Reading Nook

home library ideas
Courtesy of Hernandez Greene

Chances are that you have a lounge chair, accent table, and task lamp somewhere in your home, though not necessarily styled together. Gather them and assemble a comfortable reading nook. Add pillows and a throw to complete the look.

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