35 ways to make your home look 10 times better (without spending any money)

The homes they show in luxury magazines always look sort-of achievable – until you look at the prices. What seemed to be the result of an interior designer’s visual flair turns out to be bolstered by a serious wedge of cash.

But in fact, it is possible to create that magazine-fresh look without breaking the bank. The images in the magazines need be no more than a starting point: with your ingenuity, and a handful of insider tricks, you can keep the price low (even as low as zero) as you spruce up your interiors.

We decided to collect no less than 35 of these home improvement hacks in one place. And they’re all completely free.

Living room

It’s all too easy to associate value with the idea of adding ‘more.’ But the classy look often comes from taking things away. There’s nothing like creating space and order to make a room look well-designed.

When it comes to your living room, put everything you see on trial to check it earns its place. Magazines? File them. Toys? Put them in a box. Even the pictures on your wall should be chosen and placed with care – making a feature of one wall while leaving the others bare can give your living room a focal point.

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  1. Remove clutter to make your room feel calmer.
  2. Move furniture away from walls to create the feeling of space.
  3. Create a gallery wall to provide an interesting focal point.
  4. Place furniture at angles next to each other to break up predictable lines.
  5. Create a reading corner and make a feature of your furniture.

Kitchen

The kitchen is a ‘doing’ place where making things look tidy and ordered feels like an uphill challenge. But if you use the dynamics of the kitchen to help you, you can make it a special place to be.

Think of how often you use and throw away jars of the same product. Keep matching jars that you like, and use them for spices and dry goods such as pasta (and recycle the packets) to create a consistent look and minimize the presence of ugly packaging.

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  1. Remove clutter from the fridge to reduce visual ‘noise’.
  2. Keep the countertops clear to give the room a more open feel.
  3. Repurpose jars as spice holders to create a uniform and organised look.
  4. Use adhesive pockets to keep messy piles of coupons, recipes and takeaway menus out of sight.
  5. Make a pot lid organiser to organise chaotic looking cupboards.
  6. Hang mugs on hooks to create order and clear cupboard space.

Bedroom

We tend to ignore one of life’s simplest lessons because it comes to us when we’re rebellious teenagers: make your bed! A made bed not only orders the mind and makes going to bed a pleasure, it instantly neatens up the biggest feature in your bedroom.

Learn how to make your bed like they do in hotels, and you’ll really take the discipline to the next level.

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  1. Wash, dry and plump up bedding to give it a more luxurious look.
  2. Make your bed hotel-style to give a well-maintained appearance.
  3. Move your curtain rail higher to make the room feel taller.
  4. Use bowls to clear clutter like watches, earrings and other knick-knacks.
  5. Hang laundry behind a door to create space and keep the floor tidy.
  6. Use hanging baskets as storage to relieve overflowing drawers.

Bathroom

Towels maketh the bathroom. Just as your bed is the centrepiece of your bedroom, your towels are the mischievous spirit of the ‘smallest room.’ When they hang limply, or slip from their rail to the floor, they say: this room is not loved.

To show your bathroom some love, think through the way you position all the things that belong there. Roll your towels instead of folding them. Use a shelf for your sink things instead of leaving them on the rim. Keep your back-up toilet rolls out of sight. Suddenly, your bathroom is the place to be.

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  1. Roll towels instead of folding to save space and give your towels a spa-style look.
  2. Hang a towel bar on the door to keep walls clear and open up the room.
  3. Make a fun toothbrush holder to add brightness and a fun feature.
  4. Make a DIY toilet paper holder to add an engaging and unexpected flair.

Hallway

Everybody’s exhausted when they get home. You drag your feet over the threshold and drop everything where you stand. Over the weeks and months, as seasons change, stuff accumulates there that you rarely use.

Take two minutes a day (after your just-got-home cuppa) to run an eye over your hallway and put things away that you won’t use tomorrow. Chances are you won’t use them the next day either, so why let them clutter the first space you see when you come in?

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  1. Strip your coat rack back to basics to reduce clutter and create a less stressful entrance.
  2. Hang artwork at eye height to create interesting visual lines.
  3. Repurpose a ladder into a shoe rack to clear floor space and organise shoe piles.
  4. Create a home command center to prevent often-used items from overpowering the space.
  5. Add a hallway mirror to make the space feel more spacious.

Home office

Cables, eh? Can’t live with ’em, can’t connect without ’em. Yet you never see that web of computer cables hanging in banks, hotels, or luxury home magazine spreads, despite their prevalence in daily use.

Okay, so the luxury home magazines probably just remove the cables for the photoshoot. But everyone else hides them, using clips, cable-tidies, adhesives, and any space where wires can be tucked so as not to be an eyesore.

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  1. Move computer tower and other items off your desk to reduce clutter and make your desk look more spacious.
  2. Go paperless to clear your room of random papers.
  3. Hide charger cables and plug extensions in a decorative box to tidy wayward cables.
  4. Tidy cables behind your desk to create visual space which will make the room appear more open.

Outdoors

The secret to a classy garden is that nature is the classiest of all. Plastic looks cheap in a garden. Instead of plastic bins or garden furniture, try upcycling stuff that would normally get thrown out.

Old wine crates become recycling containers. Old cushions become… outside cushions. Unused – even broken – crockery becomes a plant-holder or birdbath. Who knew what treasure you’d find waiting for the next trip to the tip?

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  1. Light up paths to create a warm welcome even on the coldest of nights.
  2. Add cushions to seating areas to make them cozier and more welcoming.
  3. Create a cute bird feeder to attract birds adding colour and life to your garden.
  4. Make a recycling center to brighten up and organise and uninspiring refuse area.
  5. Decorate plant pots to add extra colour to your outdoor space.

A classy home isn’t about what you buy, it’s about how you live. Treat your home and environment with respect and creativity, and it’ll pay you back in pleasure and comfort. Which of these 35 tips will you try first?

 

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About 

Babs is a content writer at Enova International, Inc. with a Bachelors in Cinema Studies and English from the University of Illinois (ILL-INI!). She loves binge watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos! Find out more about her on Google+.

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