Posted: Jun 04, 2012 6:00 AM
With a little imagination, you can change the look and feel of your home as often as you like… without spending a cent.

Bored with your furniture and decor but don't have the funds to replace them? No problem! Design experts from across the nation chime in with simple tips for freshening up your living space -- for free!


Sometimes, less is more. Starting with a clean(er) slate will help you reimagine your living space.

  • "Declutter!" says professional organizer Allison Flinn of Reclaim. "Clutter makes rooms look smaller and unappealing. You'll be amazed at the difference."
  • Display decorative items and hide the more functional things (e.g., toasters, blenders).

Expert tip: Simplify to change the look of your home! A simply accessorized room makes for a more put-together home! -- Margaret Barnett, Barnett & Co Design


"Move furniture away from walls to create new spaces and groupings," says Lakshmi Bhargave of Roomations. Moving furniture can make a room feel like an entirely new space. You may fall in love with your furniture all over again!

  • Swap the furniture from one room to another and you'll have two like-new rooms!
  • Place a console you already own behind a sofa and arrange some tall accessories on it.
  • Create intimate seating arrangements by floating furniture in a room and angling chairs for a cozier look and feel.

Expert tip: Move a chair from the living room to the bedroom for a cozy reading nook. -- Lizzie Lander, Homegrown Interiors


"Ask friends or family if they have anything they're tired of and want to swap with you to donate to you," says Amy Bly of Great Impressions Home Staging. Don't stop with the furniture, move these items around, too!

  • Lamps and light fixtures
  • Wall art
  • Pillows and throws
  • Area rugs

Expert tip: Homes usually have more art than they need. Redistribute the wealth and move pieces from room to room. -- Russ Parenti, Marc Russell Interiors Design Studio


Climb out of your box and try to look at your belongings from different angles.

  • Stack some hardback books, put a tray on top for an instant end table.
  • Place a bedroom dresser in the foyer to create a focal point-anchor with a mirror, lamp and a few accessories.
  • Stack suitcases to make a side table.
  • Fill drinking glasses with found objects, such as pebbles, pine cones, seashells or old jewelry.
  • Turn a bookcase on its side and add some pillows for an instant bench.

Expert tip: Move your dining room hutch into another room and use it to display books, collectibles and photos. -- Interior Redesigner, Melanie Serra, Interior Revivals Inc®


"Go on a treasure hunt in your own house," says celebrity design expert Kathy Peterson.

  • Hang your decorative or antique plates on a wall (with plate hangers) in an interesting pattern over a buffet.
  • Display real branches, such as forsythia or pussy willows in round wicker hampers or woven baskets.
  • Create an artwork display by framing photos from travel or nature magazines or old calendars.
  • Make all of your frames look new (and uniform) by coating them with leftover paint you may have laying around.
  • Gather like-colored objects in different sizes from around the house to display on bookshelves or table tops.

Expert tip: Enjoy free accessories from Mother Nature. Find a beautifully shaped branch, remove its leaves, spray paint it in a fun color and hang it on the wall for a dramatic sculptural effect. -- Frances Herrera, Interiors by Francesca

More ideas

  • Get eco-friendly advice on turning trash to treasure from Robyn and Jarrid, founders of The Poor Porker.
  • Repurpose anything with help from Kat Roberts and her recycled DIY blog We Can Re-Do It.

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Updating your kitchen for spring