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Easy, Inexpensive Decorating Ideas for Any Room

Have a bare wall or otherwise need a way to spruce up one of the rooms of your home? We have DIY ideas for wall art and more that are quick, fun, inexpensive, and look great.

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
July 14, 2016

Decorating Ideas for Every Room

Bedroom: DIY Headboard

Nothing perks up a bedroom with a splash of color like a new headboard (or in this case, a faux-headboard). Find a colorful sheet that complements the decor of your room; any fabric will work, so consider cotton, linen, velvet, and even fur! First, measure the width of your bed; a headboard should be slightly wider than your mattress. Then decide what style of headboard you like best, and cut your fabric to the right size and shape. Either wrap your fabric around a foam base and hang it on the wall, or hang it up on its own.

Kids’ Room: Plastic-Cup String Lanterns

Here’s a creative decorating project for kids and adults like: You’ll need string lights, plastic cups, and various art supplies. First, decorate the plastic cups with colored markers, paints, glitter, googly eyes, or any other fun embellishments you can find at a craft store. Then, poke one light bulb into the bottom of each cup, so the light illuminates the cup from the inside. You’ll have a beautiful string of lanterns to hang in the playroom, a kid’s bedroom, or even along a staircase.

Family Room: DIY Placemats and Coasters

When our kids were little, we always had a stash of placements ready in the living room for drawing on the coffee table, and yes, the occasional meal in front of the TV. To make inexpensive placemats with a lot of character, buy an inexpensive or secondhand picture book, then pull out the pages and laminate them using laminating paper you can find at office supply stores. They’re waterproof, original, and cheaper than store-bought placemats. Make coasters with smaller pictures.

Office: Cookie Pan Bulletin Board

If you have an old cookie sheet lying around, make it into a magnetic bulletin board. Line it with shelf liner or other pretty decorative paper, then add magnets and stand it on your desk or mount it in your office.

Kitchen: Handled With Style

If your cabinets are getting old and worn, you can revive them just by replacing the knobs and handles. There’s a wide variety should be available (pretty inexpensively!) at most hardware stores. They’ll won’t make your kitchen or bathroom look brand new, but they’ll add enough newness to make you happy until you can afford all new cabinets.

Dining Room: DIY Candle Centerpiece

Add some sand to just about non-plastic container you have sitting around—cleaned-out candle jars, a rarely used serving tray, your grandmother’s crystal ashtray, a pickle jar—and you have an instant candle holder. Pour sand in until it’s almost level with the edge, top with decorative rocks if desired, then add tea lights or votive candles for a pretty display.

Basement: DIY Pattern Art

For an easy, inexpensive decoration that looks great in your basement (or any room), frame cloth napkins. Use family heirlooms, or find some beautiful designs suitable for framing at stores like World Market, Pier 1, or Target. Place them in some square frames and hang them in a row.

Bathroom: Curtain Ring Cuteness

Want to add a little style to your bathroom? Replace old, boring shower curtain rings with pretty ribbon that matches your curtain. Just run it through the grommets and tie a bow on top of the rod.

Living Room: Brighten Up the Bookshelf

If you’re looking for an easy, inexpensive way to add a pop of color to a room, look no further than the bookshelf. You can paint the interior back “wall” of the bookshelf a color that either contrasts or coordinates with your decor. It will add a modern touch for not a lot of money!

Mud Room: Seed-Inspired Style

A fun and vintage-looking decoration for a kitchen is framed seed packets. Dig through whatever is available at your gardening store, then carefully slit the top to let the seeds loose. Center the empty pack on a matte or solid-color background, then glue with rubber cement or white glue. Frame, then hang on the wall for a perfectly themed picture.

Hallway: Cheap, Yet Classy Artwork

If you’ve got lots of bare wall space that you need to fill, there’s a way to fill it cheaply and attractively. Buy a pile of cheap frames at the store, and then head to your nearest used bookstore to find a discounted art or photography book on a subject that interests you. When you find an image you like, use a box opener or X-Acto knife to cut the image out of the book cleanly. (Instead of a book, you can also use your favorite wall calendar from a year gone by.) If all the images you use come from the same book, the pages will all be the same size, which will enable you to arrange the frames in a cohesive way on the wall. If you’re looking for art of a smaller size, try the gift shop of an art museum, which will sell postcards of the art inside. You usually don’t even need to buy admission to the museum to go to their gift shop!

For more easy ways to spruce up your home, check out our Decorating on a Budget board on Pinterest! And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Facebook!

Photo by Shutterstock.

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