Whether you’re flipping through the glossy pages of Architectural Digest or thumbing through Apartment Therapy’s Instagram account, it’s hard to hold back those feelings of jealousy. From fresh design details to perfectly imperfect abodes brimming with character, it only makes sense that you would find inspiration and want to re-do your own space. The problem? It can be costly to revamp your living room, makeover your kitchen or add that bougie light fixture to your entryway. But we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to bleed cash to make your home more beautiful. We asked interior design experts to weigh in on some super easy and highly affordable DIY home decor projects.
Swap out your kitchen knobs
At approximately $3 to $8 per cabinet door, this quick DIY home decor project makes a major impact for a minor buck. “All you need are pulls that have the same configuration as your current drawer pulls, that way you don’t have to worry about drilling or filling additional holes,” says Alessandra Wood, the vice president of style at Modsy. “Simply unscrew the current knobs, grab a screwdriver, and screw the new knob into the existing hole.”
You can easily find pulls online. Etsy has an excellent selection, as does Amazon, Wayfair, and Anthropologie. A good pro tip is to choose a finish that matches the light fixtures in your kitchen area, advises Rainey Richardson, an interior designer based in Houston, TX.
Add matching ottomans to your living room
Buying new chairs or a new couch can get pricey, but ottomans offer additional seating for a lot less money. You can find them new for as low as $25, or you can go on the hunt at an antique market or online thrift store. “Second-hand ottomans might need a fresh coat of paint and new fabric, but fortunately ottomans are typically easy to reupholster using a screwdriver and staple gun,” says Richardson, adding that you should try to match the pattern placement on each.
They don’t have to be identical twins either. “I usually go for a matching pair, but if your style is more eclectic, then you can opt for an unmatched set -- just make sure the scale of both is similar,” Richardson says. When you’re happy with your ottomans, place them strategically in your living room to create extra seating or a place to rest your feet. Richardson suggests floating them next to a coffee table, in front of chairs or under a large piece of wall art. She says, “The choice is yours, but you'll love the creative touch and flexibility of the added pieces.”
Reupholster your dining seats in velvet
Any easy way to give your dining room a mini makeover is to swap out the existing fabric on the seats for something trendy and plush, like velvet, since reupholstering is super simple to DIY, says Wood. “Start by unscrewing the seat, then cut a piece of fabric that can cover the seat with a one to two-inch border around the entire perimeter of the underside,” she explains. “Stretch the fabric and staple it on each side. Add more staples while continuing to hold the fabric taught, then cut away any excess fabric.”
You can expect to pay between $5 and $15 per chair depending on your preferred textile.
Add a painted ‘box’ behind an existing art piece
We all have those art pieces that we love but can’t seem to place in our space. Maybe the print is too small or lacks enough pizzazz or color to stand out in the room. This a DIY home decor project for which you can get super crafty. All you need is a quart of your preferred paint, painter’s tape, and a paintbrush.
“Select a piece of art that’s ‘missing something’ and a paint color that will complement the piece,” says Richardson. “Then, use the painter’s tape to create a square or rectangle directly on the wall where the piece will go and fill it in with the paint of your choice.” Voila! Once dry, remove the tape and place your art. She says to not be afraid to play with color, dimensions, size, and proportions. Go bold!
Create an indoor ‘Jungalow’
You might have noticed that house plants are totally having a moment, and for good reason. When it comes to home decor trends, houseplants never go out of style. They’re good for our health and happiness, and they can create beautiful impact in any home.
Wood says that a $50 to $150 budget should get you a number of plants and baskets or pots. One of her favorite places to buy plants is IKEA, and she’s especially fond of their dragon tree, spineless yucca, and bamboo plant basket. Other hardy, inexpensive plants that thrive indoors include snake plants, peace lilies, ivy, palms, ficus, and alocasia. (Check out our houseplant guide for beginners here.)
“I recommend picking out a mix of small tabletop plants and larger plants that you can place in the corner of a room – side tables, consoles, and windowsills are great places to house a plant,” she says. “Just make sure you choose plants that can thrive in the light levels of your space.”
Your options are limitless, really, but starting with the above is a sure way to enhance your home without breaking the bank. And who knows, maybe someone will look at your Insta photos with envy…
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