13 Zero-Cost Ways to Make Your Home Feel Fresh

David Tsay; Design: Brian Faherty of Schoolhouse Electric

David Tsay; Design: Brian Faherty of Schoolhouse Electric

There comes a time in the life of most busy people when refreshing your home design 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.

Because we're often short on time and money, we know our wallets don't always follow our hearts' desires. That's 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).

01 of 13

Rethink Your Layout

Fantastic Frank

Fantastic Frank

With a pen, 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.

For an elegant vibe in the living room, style your furniture away from the walls: Face two accent chairs toward the sofa, and arrange décor on a coffee table in the center for a focal point. In the bedroom, pull your bed a few inches away from the wall to maximize feng shui.

02 of 13

Flip Your Rug Upside Down

Tessa Neustadt; Design: Amber Interiors

Tessa Neustadt; Design: Amber Interiors

This only works with certain rugs—usually oriental varieties—but here's a quick designer tip: Flipping your rug upside down will expose the textural weave and more muted colors of its opposite side. So if you're growing a little tired of your rug, take a peek at what's on the back, and don't be afraid to turn it around. When you have extra rugs packed away in storage, try layering an older style upside down underneath your current rug for a textured border and dynamic vibe.

03 of 13

Decorate With Greenery From Outside

Fantastic Frank

Fantastic Frank

This tip is not only a great way to bring in vibrance and refresh your space, but also a reason to get outside and feel refreshed yourself. Take a walk around your neighborhood (or into the backyard) and pick a few branches with interesting shapes and colorful leaves. Along with adding a sculptural element to your space, greenery will make the room feel more alive—and all you need is a standard florist's vase and some fresh water to style it.

04 of 13

Strip Furniture to Its Original Texture

Zeke Ruelas; Design: Ginny Macdonald

Zeke Ruelas; Design: Ginny Macdonald

If you live in an older home, the chances are likely that 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 try this method with wooden beams and vintage furniture. Do your research before tackling anything major, but remember that a little character can go a long way in making a home feel lived-in and fresh at the same time.

05 of 13

Restyle Old Furniture

Amy Bartlam; Design: DL. Rhein

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 into 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.

06 of 13

Edit Down to a Minimum

Hernandez Greene

Hernandez Greene

Sometimes, when décor feels a little tired, you don't need to add anything to make it better. In fact, you might just need to remove the elements that make it look less-than-spectacular. By editing down your décor to a minimum, you're able to reintroduce your favorite pieces—and those pieces only. The rest can go to storage or charity, and you're left with a fresh, well-edited space. When you get down to the basics, you'll be able to see clearly which items are necessities (and which ones are cluttering up the room or clashing with the rest of your décor).

07 of 13

Hang Your Kids' Artwork

Hernandez Greene

Hernandez Greene

Do you keep your children's drawings and paintings in boxes or binders? Consider framing them instead. Kids' artwork is often colorful and candid, and it can make for great wall décor that can easily be swapped out anytime. If you're concerned about the room becoming too colorful, start fresh and make an event out of it: Buy paints in a few specific shades you'd like to feature, and plan a family art night for your kids to create a series of pieces that can be styled together on a cohesive gallery wall.

08 of 13

Use Your Leftover Paint

Amy Bartlam; Design: DL. Rhein

Amy Bartlam; Design: DL. Rhein

We've all come across leftover paint cans in storage that are essentially empty (but have been kept around for those "just in case" moments). Use it to your advantage by refreshing a piece of furniture or painting accents in one of your rooms. Dip-dye the legs of a wooden chair, paint your fireplace mantel or even add a pop of color to the frame of an old piece of artwork for an instantly new vibe.

If you have just enough paint left for about one wall (but not an entire room), skip the walls entirely and paint your ceiling to contrast the rest of your space with an elegant style.

09 of 13

Think Like a Stylist

Hernandez Greene

Hernandez Greene

Hop on Pinterest, gather inspiration from your favorite professionally-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. If you're unsure where to start, taking cues from the pros can help you style your space like an expert while decorating with items you already have.

10 of 13

Reupholster Your Headboard

Monica Wang Photography

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 reupholster it? Choose a new fabric that fits 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. This method also works great for tired accent chairs or worn-out sofas to bring older furniture a brand-new look.

11 of 13

Hang or Display Vintage Objects

David Tsay; Design: Brian Faherty of Schoolhouse Electric

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 wall art. If your family isn't big on heirlooms or you simply don't have many antiques in the house, it's also common to find vintage pieces for free at some estate sales, online markets, and on websites like Craigslist where locals in your area can list their unwanted décor for pick-up.

12 of 13

Rearrange Your Bookcase

Tessa Neustadt; Design: Emily Henderson

Tessa Neustadt; Design: Emily Henderson

Even the owners of the impeccably styled homes in magazines don't keep their houses perfectly pristine every day of the year, but that's not always a bad thing. Use extra items to your advantage by stacking up your bookshelves with decorative pieces of all types. It's only natural for homes to amass clutter over time, so let those displaced objects become a focal point when you restyle a bookcase or console table.

13 of 13

Create a Reading Nook

Hernandez Greene

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 up and assemble a comfortable reading nook that can be enjoyed at any time of the day, and use them to refresh an unused corner in the living room or bedroom. Add pillows and a throw to complete the look, and choose your favorite woven textiles to style a comfortable, inviting space that you'll never want to leave.

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