7 Ways to Spruce Up Your Home on a Budget

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(Photo: Amy and Stuart Photography for Stacey Vuduris Design)

Whether you’re looking to put your home on the market or want to reinvigorate its value, it pays to make your home the oasis of your dreams. Yet those ideas of boosting its worth or making it more appealing can be daunting.

Los Angeles-based interior designer to the stars, Stacey Vuduris of Stacey Vuduris Design believes that when a budget is tight, complete tasks in phases.

“It’s better to do things right than to try to do everything at once and skimping on each room,” Vuduris says. “I know this is difficult when you want to do everything ‘right now,’ but think long term and look at the big picture — this is your home, your biggest investment.”

Vuduris says to start by gathering inspiration and creating a plan outlining your personal style.

“Look through magazines, blogs, and design websites to get inspired and to help figure out what style suits you and your home,” she says. Vuduris suggests creating an inspiration folder to help you along the way.

“A big mistake people make is to skip this step and just start shopping without any plan of attack or an idea of what they’re looking for,” she says.

So, where does a Womanista start? Though the living room is the most common spot homeowners choose to redecorate first, Vuduris says to think about a room or space you use the most or wish to show off when guests visit. 

Furniture
Furniture has the power to freshen up a home, but it can be expensive. Before you head to the furniture store or repurpose household favorites, Vuduris says to create a floor plan to ensure everything fits. If you don’t want to draw one, tape it out with painter’s tape as it is the best method to minimize damage to floors.

“This is a great step so you can really visualize the room and how it flows,” she says. After you’ve created your inspiration folder, color schemes are selected, and your floor plan is finished, now you’re ready to go. Vuduris says with these steps finished, you’ll know the approximate sizes and styles of furniture to look for.

Vuduris adds it’s important to measure doorways and entrances as well to help limit expensive mistakes.

Accessories
Vuduris reveals easy, cost effective ways to change up the look of a room with accents like throw pillows and wall art. These accessories bring an unparalleled depth, color and freshness.

“Changing the pillows gives you a chance to follow the latest fabric trends and colors,” she says. “It’s an inexpensive and easy way to instantly change the look of a room.”

Lighting
“Lighting is such an important design element that is often overlooked when decorating,” Vuduris reveals. “But the right lighting allows you to set the mood for a room.”

For overhead recess lights, chandeliers, or wall sconces, she recommends dimmers as they help create the right ambiance or mood for every occasion. However, if you love the warm glow of table lamps as much as Vuduris, you’ll love experimenting with lamp designs and styles.

“This is also another opportunity to add an interesting design element,” she says. “Have some fun, maybe add a pop of color, mix in a different color metal, or add some sparkle.”

Painting
“Painting your walls is the best form of instant gratification,” Vuduris says. “You can instantly change the whole look and feel of your room.”

But she advises to get sample colors first to try on walls. “Trust me, this is a MUST — even designers do this,” she stresses. “The same color can look completely different in one room versus the next due to lighting.”

Vuduris explains to look at the color in the daytime and nighttime to make sure you’re satisfied with the result during both times of day. Additionally, she suggests Womanistas to look into products like Dunn-Edwards ‘Suprema Paint,’ which is a washable, easy to wipe and ultra-low VOC paint.

Flooring
Vuduris calls flooring part of the “shell” of your home since it plays an important role in value. Whether it’s laminate or hardwood you choose though, she highlights how useful area rugs are.

As she enthuses, rugs are a fun way to experiment with patterns, colors or size to fit any décor. “There are so many places online to buy area rugs that will not break the bank — like, for example you can find really stylish dhurrie rugs for great prices!”

Window treatments
Not only do window treatments liven up a room, but they soften it too. That said they are expensive investments. While custom drapes are usually best, Vuduris advises budgeters to make the most of store bought drapes to beautify spaces.

“Hang them high,” she advises. “The higher you hang your drapes, the higher your ceilings will look — we always want to add height to any room.”

Vuduris adds to make sure drapes are lined and to use at least four panels per window instead of two. Not only will they make drapes look fuller, but it will also give nice folds that custom drapes usually have.

More storage
Vuduris reveals a storage ottoman in your living room instead of a coffee table is a great use of space, while hiding kids’ toys or blankets. Another creative use of space is bookshelf installation and adding boxes for storage.

“Just make sure all of the boxes are the same color and style for a clean look,” she says. “For instance, try a white bookshelf and colorful boxes for a bold contrast and graphic look.”

Moreover, she says it’s alright to use different sizes, like larger boxes on lower shelves or small on upper — just make sure they match.

“It’s important to keep everything streamlined and minimal so that the shelves don’t look messy or cluttered,” Vuduris says. “But you can still have fun and add a designer touch.”

Tania Hussain |

Tania Hussain is a native of Toronto and a Hoosier at heart, studying journalism at Ball State University in Indiana. She has a mad love for fine cheese, film, music, and meeting people upon her many travels. When Tania’s not writing at Womanista, she can be found going for long nature runs, rooting for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals, photographing sights and food, or writing for her online magazine, The Hudsucker. She is also a member of the Indy-based, Society of Professional Journalists—one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists.