Ok ok ok, I am not an interior designer, but I did go to school for interior design and worked for an architect for 6 years before switching over to space planning for larger organizations.
I have always had a passion for residential design and absolutely love home decor, which is why I started The Happy Home Line, it just makes me SO happy!
So here are my top 5 home refresh tips that are absolutely free.
Honestly every time I feel like my space isn't functioning how I want it to, or it feels stale, the first thing I do is declutter. For a space like a pantry that can be a big job of emptying boxes in containers, getting rid of expired food, and taking out all your recycling, bottles, etc. For a living space it can mean looking at each piece of decor or every sentimental item and seeing if it still serves you in the space, if it doesn't get rid of it or find somewhere else to store it temporarily. I use a portion of my linen closet to store extra home decor items. I also like hiding things like kids toys in baskets or the bottom drawer of a storage unit so that I can reduce the visual clutter when they are not around.
Now that you have decluttered, clean. Nothing feels better than lighting a Happy Home Line candle in a perfectly clean space. Usually if my house feels in a funk, it needs more than a regular clean. Dust high and low, wash walls, binge @GoCleanCo and then go to town. Wash down those light fixtures, wipe the doors and baseboards, vacuum out your drawers. A clean space can totally change your mood. I can totally relate to not feeling you have time for this but I promise it will be worth it, pick one room (maybe your bedroom) so that you have one place you can go to and relax and escape.
Make a list of those things around your house that need repair, and knock them off one at a time. Put the pads on the bottom of your furniture, rehang that broken picture frame, straighten the levels on that sticky drawer. These small things make your home feel like it isn't put together. Patch and paint the walls on the stairs, the corners that the kids beat up, and all those high traffic areas with the same color, you do not have to be in full on renovation mode to paint a wall. (Hopefully you have a can on hand of the right color.)
Knocking off this to do list will make you feel good and accomplished and those small changes will make a big impact to the look of your overall space.
Ok now that you decluttered, have a second look, are you just tolerating some pieces of decor because you spent money on it ten years ago, or it is still functional? If you do not LOVE it, and it bothers you enough to want to CHANGE it. SELL it. Facebook marketplace has made selling so easy, and open to a wider variety of buyers than the old kijiji market. Now bank that money, and save up for the item you want. We put all our Marketplace/Kijiji sales money into an envelope and save it for the year so we can put it into something we want. Three years ago we ended up being able to buy all the cabinets we needed to finish our garage and two years ago the money we made (plus a little bottle money) literally gave me the start up money for The Happy Home Line.
5. LOOK WITH FRESH EYES/TRY A DIY
When we got married we had a real mish mash of furniture, some came from the Bachelor pad and some I had been squirling away as pieces came up from family members since I was young. (I have hand me down furniture from my grand parents all over the house). I painted a side board from my grandma that had the perfect mid century modern lines, when I first moved out, and we still have that piece in our home today. When my husband's office relocated, they had 70/80's style office chairs with great lines that I scooped up for very little, as well as set of glasses that I use as a propogation station. All I did to the chairs was give them a GOOD steam clean. We bought a second hand bedrooms suite when we got married to try to get two people who had previously lived alone into the same space, I liked the lines, but after ten years of marriage, the colours were dated. I pieced out the set, saved the night stands and painted them. With the right lines anything old can be new. Then I used the money I made from selling the other pieces to buy a new bed frame!
I hope this list has given you some ideas on how you can refresh your home with little or no budget. If you have any budget friendly refresh ideas you want to share let me know!