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Making a Space Your Own (without Breaking the Bank)

Updated on October 19, 2013
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Neil is the father of five children, three grandchildren (and counting) and cares for a dog and a cat.

Even something as simple as re-organizing one shelf can make a space feel different.
Even something as simple as re-organizing one shelf can make a space feel different.

Seasonal Decorations

Just as mother nature changes her look for each season, it can be refreshing (and in-expensive) to have elements of your personal space change with the seasons as well. How complex these changes are will depend on the time available to devote to the decor of the area. For many of us having one or two items, placed where they can be easily changed, will be sufficient.

DIY network, and other similar networks have shows where a space is transformed into a man cave (or a girl cave or boutique or some other themed place) with budgets beginning at a thousand dollars and going up from there. For the rest of us, here are some hints that cost little or nothing, and that may accomplish the same thing. Radical change is not necessarily the answer.

First: Don’t start from scratch.

We all have imagination, and it’s free! Take everything off of the furniture and walls leaving only the furniture in the room. Now ask, are the colors bearable? Or will the budget support any changes to the color? Are their other furniture pieces in storage or other parts of the house that might work better for this space? Is it comfortable? How should the space be arranged? Can I move freely in the space? Taking time to address these questions should cost little or no money, but will determine what happens next, and once those changes have been made the space should feel comfortable even without the decorations and other items that have been removed. If this is not the case, go back and ask the questions again. If all goes well you won’t be starting from scratch, and you may get off without spending a dime.

Next: Organize.

Go to where the other items that were in the space or that will be in the space are and sort them into three piles: decor, tools/paperwork (whatever is used in the space, it may be as simple as a remote), and recycle. Yes there will be items that will not be returning to the space. Those items in the recycle pile may be discarded or placed elsewhere, but they should not be returned to the space.

Decorate and put away:

Now that the big stuff is taken care of, pick the decorations you want on the walls and furniture. Make sure not to over-do it! Give yourself room to work. Then put the rest of the items away where they will be used.

Finally, Live there and Enjoy:

Spend time in this new space. If there is something that isn’t exactly right, fix it. You’re the designer, and it is not set in stone. Then enjoy some more! It doesn’t do much good to have a designed space if you don’t enjoy it.

qed.

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