Every summer I want to redecorate a few rooms in the house. Unfortunately, a total makeover is not within the budget, so I found four easy ways to bring life to a room without spending a ton.
Photo credit: Mark Cutler/nousDECOR

Now that the kids are back in school, I've had way too much time to sit in the house and think about redecorating again. The feeling to redecorate seems to come around the same time each year. The toys from the summer have been cleaned out and put away, new school supplies and new fall clothing...it all makes me think that our house also needs a fresh start. While redecorating an entire room can be pricey, I've come to learn that by just tweaking what we already have or by adding or subtracting a few key pieces, the rooms in our house can go from drab to fab very easily.

nousDecorPin wisely

I'm the first one to be guilty of "Pinterest-envy." You know what I'm talking about — the pinning of gorgeous rooms and houses that are extremely out of budget. I do it all the time but for most of us, the items we're pinning are not something we can really afford nor find. Turning away from Pinterest for decorating inspiration and advice, I decided to seek out a site that was more realistic to my budget and also featured items that I would be able to find on my own. It makes no sense to pin a lamp that I love, to only find out it was sold three years ago and has been discontinued.

Photo credit: Mark Cutler/nousDECOR

On my search, I stumbled upon the site nousDECOR.com. The site allows you to create mood boards of rooms you would like to redecorate, with items you can actually buy. Searching the database of items on the site from large retailers like Pottery Barn to flash sale sites like One Kings Lane and homemade items like Etsy, you can select items for your room and save it to your individual room mood boards. The site also features DIY items so that you can create your room around items you can buy but also ones that you can make on your own. My favorite part of the site was the feature, "same look, different price," which allows you to find two similar lamps with one being much more budget-friendly than the other.

Second opinionsnousDECOR

As much as we would all like to be able to hire a professional decorator, many of us can't so we have to go at it alone. While we know what we like, sometimes putting it all together doesn't seem to look as good as we thought it did. The nousDECOR site allows you to post your mood boards publicly and ask the site's community and in-house decorators for advice. For bloggers and interior decorators, the site also has hidden features like the opportunity to embed your mood boards on your own sites for clients and readers to view them. Sometimes getting a second opinion on decorating can put things in perspective.

Photo credit: Mark Cutler/nousDECOR

Expert advice

Taking my own advice, I asked Mark Cutler, chief designer of nousDECOR, what are four ways to redecorate a room on a budget because frankly, one can only change throw pillows so many times before even that gets boring. Here are his four tips for making your room great on a budget.

  1. Don't just use wallpaper on the wall. Wallpapering a room is a beautiful way to decorate but it can get quite expensive. Try using wallpaper on just the ceiling. It's a great way to add a pop of color or texture to the room.
  2. A table does not always need to be a table. I love to hunt architectural salvage places. For one room, I came across a terrific wrought iron balcony that made a perfect console for a garden-themed dining room. Left unpainted and a bit worn, it would also be great for an outdoor room. It looks chic accessorized with a pitcher of iced tea and fresh flowers.
  3. Make a collection. Even the most modest thing looks great when presented as a collection. One room I decorated featured a group of souvenir plates that really made the room look special. You can also just use a group of one color to give you that accent you need. Another approach is to find a cool picture book that you like. Just one picture would be great but the whole collection transforms the room.
  4. Use bold color. Paint is the least expensive way to change up a room. In one dining room from an old Hollywood mansion, we used bright colors in unexpected combinations to really change up the look.

More on home decorating

Real moms share their toy organization tips
Get the look: The homes of Modern Family
Design a dream room for your tween