The One Room Challenge is in full swing and design ideas and inspiration from over 200 decor bloggers are flooding the blog-o-sphere and social media. If you need to catch up on what the One Room Challenge is exactly, or what it has to do with me, head here for that. Over this past week I’ve had to be careful as to how many One Room Challenge blog posts I read, because they are all so great and filled with awesome ideas. They make me want to overturn every space in my house – like, today. But both time, and that minor detail called money, only allow for one room at a time (even though I’m still currently working on the basement bathroom too – eek – but that is getting close to getting wrapped up, I promise).
Past One Room Challenge Participant – Vanessa Francis
So in the spirit of all the other spaces I’d like to change and have no budget for, I though I’d offer up five ideas on how to help transform a space for $500 or less. I’ll have to burst your bubble right away however, $500 probably won’t get you a completely new space- but choosing one or two (depending on if you blow your whole $500 on one option or not) of these five options can really help to give it a good refresh – and maybe that’s enough to make it feel just like a new space.
I know what you’re thinking! And you’re right, furniture is expensive, and a total commitment to buy if you are going to go all the way with it. But thankfully, online retailers have really made it much more affordable and simpler (hello free shipping to your door) to purchase furnishings that fit within your budget. While you probably won’t be able to purchase a whole new set of furnishings (unless you go the Craigslist route), you should be able to buy one or two new pieces that can make a big impact. If you have a matchy-matchy sofa set, consider banishing the love seat to another room in the house (or to a friend), and replace it with two accent chairs. Same amount of seating, but a totally new look. Or look to update the headboard in the bedroom to turn the bed into a statement piece, and bonus – you sill might have some dough leftover for new bedding as well. Try replacing your dining table chairs for something different – you could easily get a set of 4 for around $500. One word of caution in regards to lower priced furniture – while some inexpensive furniture can be quite nice, be sure to be aware that you will be getting what you pay for here. Low -cost furnishings will likely not be made to last decades, but they will certainly work for the short term (and look pretty while they last).
Paint and Wallpaper
Paint is an obvious one, but its hard to ignore the power of paint and how it can really transform a space all on its own. If you’re looking for a dramatic shift, try painting a color completely opposite from what you have, as long as it still works with your main furnishings of course. It will change the way the room looks just based on how the light reacts to the new color in the space. The best part of paint is that it’s super affordable, so you should have room in the budget left to update with another option on this list as well. A win-win if there ever was one.
Past One Room Challenge Participant – The Design Daredevil
The other option would be to try hanging some wallpaper. Wallpaper isn’t generally cheap to buy or have professionally installed (for those who have a fear of wallpaper installation like me). But there’s still hope! Removable wallpapers can be a bit less expensive, depending on what brand and style you go with of course, and it’s also much easier to put up and much less permanent thank normal paper. $500 still might not be enough to wallpaper an entire room depending on its size, but you can at least look to do one or two walls to create a new feel.
Similar to the furniture situation, lighting can be expensive. But again, thanks to our good friend Mr. internet, you can actually find a number of affordable lighting options. Both fixture lights, and lamp lighting can go along way to transform the look and feel of a space.
I won’t get too deep into lighting as I already have a post that talks about updating with affordable lighting options here that you can check out.
Past One Room Challenge Participant – Erin Williamson
Paint (again) and Hardware
Yes, I know, I already said paint. This time we are talking paint on furniture though. Most every room in a house has some sort of furniture in it, and likely something we are bored to death looking at. If replacing furniture is not an option, look to give it a good coat of paint. There are endless tutorials out there about how to achieve your favorite style of decor with the right paint and technique. If your not looking for the permanence of paint, you can also try adding decals or overlays or furniture – and it’s super quick and easy. You can also try adding some new drawer pulls to a dresser, a different base to a table, or new legs onto a sofa. There are plenty of ways to change the structure of a piece of furniture through inexpensive hardware or add-on options. Get creative and dig around on the internet for different ideas on how to change plain Jane furniture into something you’ll love again.
Textiles and Accessories
This is probably the easiest and most fun of all the five options, because, well for one – who doesn’t like shopping for home decor accessories and two – its total instant decor gratification. Not to mention its probably the fastest $500 you’ll ever spend – and that is part of the problem here. Pillows, artwork, candles, decorative boxes, curtains, throws, and plants (don’t forget the plants, they can really help spruce up a space – pun intended ) can all really add up fast. So take good inventory of where in your room you can get the most bang for your buck before you head to the mall.
Past One Room Challenge Participant – The English Room
Items such as artwork, curtains and pillows are going to give you a larger impact on the visual change to a room because they make bigger statements. Smaller items can still help change the feel of the space, but consider doing a collection of items or changing the color scheme out from what you currently have to gain the most impact out of smaller changes. Don’t forget to check out your local antique stores, vintage shops or flea markets for finds – they often have tons of great decor items at reasonable prices.
So if you’re looking for some ideas and inspiration for your space after all that, head over to week 1 of the One Room Challenge, hosted by Calling it Home (thanks for hosting, Linda)! There you can wade through all the participants, check out everyone’s spaces as they currently are, and hear about their plans (mine included). I’m excited to be participating in this challenge this for the first time, and a few of my blogging friends are participating as well! Be sure to stop over to these lovely ladies’ sites first to learn about their big plans before heading over to the One Room Challenge page:
Also, be sure to check back here on Thursday for the Week 2 post for the One Room Challenge. I’ll be showing you progress on my family room so far, and sharing some successes and failures I’ve already encountered! See you then!
Top Image: Past One Room Challenge Participant – The Curated House