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HOW TO: Refresh Your Space With Any Budget

Spending all this time at home has maybe stirred a desire in you to change up your space. We’re noticing things we had glossed over previously, and we’re using our spaces in ways we didn’t imagine needing. It’s natural to be taking some interest in refreshing your space. Today we’re going to talk about how to refresh your space with zero budget and small budgets, and look at getting the most out of what you already have!

One way you can do this without purchasing anything new is to “reset” your space. Step into our shoes for a day! Assess the room as if you’re putting your house on the market. Strip away everything personalized and decorative, like candles, photos, and knick-knacks. Live with the room bare for an hour or for a day, just be sure to step away from it.

refreshed living room space

Image via: Eggshell Home

Once you’ve had a chance to step away and come back with fresh eyes, slowly layer your personalized things back in. However, be really thoughtful about how you’re placing everything. Maybe this will spark you to move that blue vase that’s been on your coffee table for ages. Or you’ll find you don’t really need eight blankets in the living room and can store some away, donate or spread them to other rooms. Don’t be afraid to get really creative with your accessories and organize them by color, style, or aesthetic, as needed for each room.

built-in wall desk

Another way you can switch up your accessories is to look at your books and magazines strategically. Switch up the coffee table book you display, or use hardcover books of a certain color to bring that pop of color to your side table. Don’t have a coffee table book? Use magazines instead. Choose magazines with colorful spines and stack them, or highlight your favorite recent cover of your favorite magazine.

Look at your textiles too. Switching pillows from one room to another can create a different color palette or mood of the whole room. Look at different pillow combinations. It’s easy to get used to certain pillows living on the same couch in the same order. Pull all your pillows into one big pile, and try to come up with different color and pattern combinations. This not only will change the whole room aesthetic, but it might help you notice other things that you can incorporate from other areas of the house.

Seeing the room through fresh eyes is really important for refreshing and decluttering, and for reminding yourself what you love about your decorations and space!

If you are looking to do a more substantial refresh and invest in some new pieces, there are a few things to look at that will give you good bang for your buck.


This can change a room pretty dramatically, for less money than purchasing new furniture + a bit of effort. A couple quick tips for choosing new paint.

If you are painting over a dark wall, put a primer on the wall before even putting paint samples up. If you paint a color over a dark color, you won’t actually get a true sense of the hue and might regret the choice later. Primer is necessary in pretty much all paint jobs unless you’re painting over white walls. White underneath helps color show at its strongest – think about using a marker on a white piece of paper versus a colorful piece of construction paper – the same is true with house paint!

paint swatches on wall

Put up BIG sample spots and put them on several different walls. You need to use a big swatch on the wall, because if it’s too small you are going to be basing your decision on how the color is interacting with the previous wall color around it. If you spread out the swatch, your eye focuses on the new color instead.

Painting on different walls or different parts of walls is important too because light interacts with the space differently based on window angles, time of day, etc.

Put the sample up and then let it be there for at least a couple of days. This gives you an opportunity to view the color at different times of the day and with lights on and off. You might love a color in natural daylight but really be unhappy with it at night. You definitely want to pick something that you like all hours of the day.

Don’t forget TRIM! It seems like a small thing, but once you paint the walls you’ll realize how much your trim needs a fresh coat as well. If you want the trim to blend in, just use the same color but in a higher sheen (like an eggshell on the walls but a semi-gloss on trim). If you want it to stand out, pick a contrasting color. Painting both walls and trim will be necessary to achieve the biggest impact.


Even easier than repainting, you can refresh your textiles by purchasing new pillow covers or throws. This is a really great way of bringing color into the room without repainting a wall. It can also be a great way to experiment with different design styles. Even a sofa with a distinctive style can be blended towards a different style with the right pillow and blanket selections. This is a good opportunity to try out a new design style with smaller elements until you’re ready to swap the big items of furniture.

Beautifully designed room

Image via: Lulu & Georgia


This can be daunting because there are so many accessories out there. This is where design style comes in handy. Consider the style of your space, or the new style you want to incorporate. Then narrow down the accessory options from there.

Refreshed living room


Finally, a new rug is a great way to bring different textures and colors into your room. This image is a great visual of not only how much a rug can change a room, but how all these small changes we’ve just talked about can work together to change a room. The rug alone would be a dramatic change to the space. But going the extra step of changing pillows and accessories as well can really maximize your refresh. Keeping the sofa and chairs the same means not having to spend as much. Play with all four of these ideas for a makeover that won’t blow the budget!

No matter what, the two most important things to keep in mind when you’re revamping a space is that you don’t have to get it done in one go and to trust your gut. The best designed spaces evolve and are curated over time. You can achieve the curated look more quickly by varying the places where you’re purchasing from and the style of the items for that pulled together look without being too matchy-matchy. It’s also ok for your sense of style to evolve over time or to blend throughout. Pay attention to your gut reactions when you like something. Try to pinpoint what you like about it so that you can use it and similar items in your space.

Have fun and as always please share your spaces with us! We love to see your creativity and we’re always here to help.


PS – HAVEN did a full Tuesdays @ Two session on this topic.

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