You don’t have to move house or have an expensive renovation to benefit from a fresh new look. Here are some affordable tips to help you decorate your home.
- Replace lampshades in fresh new colours or a bright white to lighten the room.
- Painting a room can give it an instant lift. You may like to paint one wall as a feature, or choose a lighter ceiling colour that gives the impression of more space.
- Replace curtains and give your blinds and curtain rods a good scrub to get rid of any mildew.
- Think about a colour theme you can repeat through your home to lift your mood. You may like to choose two strong colours, such as red and black, or use softer pastels such as blue or yellow with white furnishings.
- Update your accessories and keep them sparse. Clutter can increase stress and inhibit creativity and productivity. It also can make your home seem smaller and places less focus on each item.
- Rotate mirrors, photo frames or artwork around the home and replace with any new pieces—either homemade or from vintage markets. Research1 shows that creating or tending things by hand enhances wellbeing and makes us happy.
- You may like to arrange your favourite photos in a creative way on a wall, using an eclectic mix of frames and styles. One study found that interacting with photos helps us reflect on the experiences they capture and allow us to remember the event more clearly.
- Replace lighting fixtures with a vintage chandelier or other classic piece, for a romantic atmosphere. Remember to get a professional electrician to install it for you.
- Sometimes small things can make a big difference. Use an old mirror as a tea tray, scatter beautiful coasters on your coffee table or buy an old crystal vase from the markets and fill with fresh flowers.
- Add some green to your home with pot plants and herb gardens in unexpected places, whether it’s the centre of the dining table or the bathroom windowsill. More than 100 studies have shown that green areas offer significant health benefits, including relaxation and stress reduction2.
- Transform old into new by upcycling. You may like to use a wooden ladder as a towel rack in your bathroom, or store kids toys in an old wooden crate.
- Wander through your local fabric store to find material that will freshen up pillows, drapes and placemats around the home.
- Sand and stain wooden floors to give them new life, or replace linoleum with tiles. Adding an elegant rug can make a big difference to the look of a room.
- Invest in key pieces, such as a sofa or kitchen table, rather than spending on small items that are easily replaced.
- Visit local markets and look online for affordable and quirky pieces that will give your home a new look without blowing the budget.
Visit our Pinterest board ‘Recycle & Renew’ for more affordable decorating ideas.
 Lambert, K 2008, Lifting Depression: A Neuroscientist’s Hands-on Approach to Activating Your Brain’s Healing Power, Basic Books, USA.
 Davis, J. 2004. Psychological Benefits of Nature Experiences: An Outline of Research and Theory. Naropa University.