Everyone wants to have a home that speaks to them, but alas, not everyone can afford to have it speak the right words. For all of the people who spend a cool mint on getting the exact right furnishing, people from middle/lower-class households need to make do with what they can. However, that does not mean that they have to settle for less. With the right mindset and tools, just about anyone can make a cozy home with little to no money spent. Here are 25 ideas to make your house that much cozier without having to break the bank to make work.
Related: Inexpensive Ways to Put Heart and Soul into Your Home | Inexpensive Ways to Put Loving Touches Into Your Home | Simple Ways to Improve and Enjoy Your Home | Tricks to Make Your Basement Luxurious
Plant life — real or fake
Not enough people really think about the plant life as a thing in their bathroom, either because of a lack of space or simply never crossing their minds. Plants can bring a certain amount of life to a room that may otherwise be lifeless depending on how it is furnished. If you feel up to taking care of a living creature, a real plant can give you the peace of mind of natural beauty while giving you something to take care of. If not, however, fake plants are a nice replacement, if only for the aesthetics. If you lack floor space, you can even get a hanging pot for a plant and hang it from a hook in the ceiling.
If you have an old cupboard that you are thinking of throwing out, think again. If you need a place to hold your toiletries, towels, and other things, consider painting it to match the bathroom’s aesthetic and planting it inside. Not only does it look pretty there, but it’s also great for its utility.
Plain can be really boring, and wallpaper is a good way to counteract that. Wallpaper can come in a lot of different designs, and you can even take plain wallpaper and put your own imagery on it to give it your own personal atmosphere and aesthetic. Another good way to make your bathroom stand out is to only wallpaper part of it, allowing you the contrast between plain and busy.
Every bathroom benefits from shelving, flat out (well, that’s true of every kind of room). Shelves help to hold various knick-knacks, toiletries, and decorative items. You can use different styles of shelving too, so you can get a little creative with it. Imagine having sides on the shelves that you can carve a design into, how fun!
Bathrooms typically do not have as much you can do with as your living room or kitchen. Sure, there is often some space available, but in general, they are rooms you spend a relatively small amount of time in, and almost always for the utility of the room. But hey, every bathroom has a floor! Well, the good ones do, anyway. You can use paint to paint cute or clever designs on the floor, giving your guests a surprise as they walk in and see something you usually do not see in a bathroom.
Aesthetically pleasing shower curtain
For those of you who don’t have shower doors, shower curtains are obviously the next best thing, and also a great opportunity for further bathroom customization. You can go for something with a very simple aesthetic, using a solid color or simple patterns (like stripes or polka dots). Another option is to choose a specific design. For example, what if you are going for a Japanese theme? You could use the famous Japanese painting, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, as a shower curtain (not the painting itself haha), though you’d have to put in some extra money to make that work.
Living Room Decor
Stencil art is a fantastic way to get something pretty on your walls with relatively little money, skill, and time. All you have to do is get a stencil and draw whatever shape or design that you want to put on it and then fill that shape in. Take time and be careful, but if you do it right, it can be an awesome way to paint images, simple or complicated. You can also use it in conjunction with furniture to make the furniture stand out, or even place a bit of wood over the top of the image to make it seem as one table.
Hanging shelves look super cute and go in a lot of different settings. And on top of that, it is not even hard to install. Sure, you have to get the rope together with the shelf bits, but at least you do not have to screw the shelves into the wall. You’re also not restricted to the walls, and can hang it in more diverse places. However, you should consider gluing whatever items are placed on them so they don’t fall off.
There is nothing that cannot be a clock. Piece of wood? Clock. Porcelain plate? Clock. Potato? Clock. All you really need is the internals of a clock and a way to tell time, and you are good. Heck, you can even make a clock using clock internals and shaped cardboard. Use whatever it is that piques your interest. Heck, you could use cactus as a clock if you like. I mean, maybe do not do that because I don’t want to be responsible for you being full of thorns.
This may seem obvious, but all too often people leave their clutter around, even in their bookshelves. Try to make sure that everything in your living room is in its proper place and is contributing in some way to the ambiance of the room. Try to make sure that your shelves are orderly, keep like items together, and make sure to put thought into things. This kind of thing literally costs 0 cents to do, it just requires time and energy.
Tell a story about your home
Much like decluttering, this is something you generally do not need to spend money to do, though it does require a lot more thought. Specifically, how do you want people to see you when they see your living room? What is your story? They don’t have time to read the short novel about your life, so you need to be able to tell them very quickly what you are all about. Put out items that resonate with you, create an aesthetic that speaks to you and of you.
Pet cage or aquarium!
Be careful with this one, as when you get a pet in a cage or aquarium, you have to remember that they are living things! With that out of the way, they do have aesthetic value, especially with a fish aquarium, as there can be a lot of visuals that go into it. Whether you want to reproduce an underwater setting (complete with a skeleton grappling with a sunken treasure chest) or you want to go with a wild, abstract aesthetic, there is a lot you could do with an aquarium. I could probably make a list of 25 ways to make your aquarium cozy!
Cords under control
Cords can be an ugly mess, hanging down from your TV or all-around your entertainment system like an electronic Medusa. Before it can turn you to stone, try and find ways to keep your cords under control. You can use casing around the cords, making them snake in the exact way you want and making it look methodical. You can even make the casing certain colors, letting it match with whatever color scheme your living room is going for. If you don’t have the time or money for that, you can also use ties to keep them together, ideally hidden behind furniture if any is available.
Repurposing window shutters are great — not only because they are kind of an adorable look to put on your walls, but it also means that you don’t have to throw away shutters that have outlived their normal use. You can use them for purely decorative purposes, or you can use them as a form of shelving, adding a bit of wood to the bottom so you have someplace to hold things. You also want to make sure to paint them a nice color, unless you want to go for a worn-in style.
Chalkboards feel like ‘kid chic’, giving the room a fun, child-like atmosphere without appearing childish. Besides being a cute adornment for your wall, it is a great way to do a variety of things. You can use it for art, giving your family a public place to express yourselves, or you can use it for a more utilitarian purpose, putting phone numbers, schedules, and important information for other people in the household.
Magnetic knife holder
Making your own magnetic knife holder is not only an easy task, but it can make for a great understated design. All you need is some magnets and a block of wood (as well as the ability to put it all together well). Just make sure the magnets are strong enough to hold the knives; you don’t want to have them fall down on their own, after all. You can also use this skill to try more DIY projects like this if your experience has been lacking previously.
Plates may be for eating off generally, but they are just as good as decoration. You can use nails to create a makeshift shelf for each individual plate to rest on. Depending on your tastes, the plates you choose may benefit if they have the same or similar designs, or if you like asymmetry, having different plates that are of wildly different designs can be a lot of fun. If you have art skills, consider taking plain plates and creating designs so you can create the exact atmosphere you desire.
Mirror wall adornments
Plates aren’t the only thing you can handle on your wall; mirrors can be a fun way to liven them up too. They are not just for checking yourself out, after all. You also don’t have to worry as much about whether they clash with the color of the wall or other wall decor. You can arrange them in a cute pattern too, and use different shapes and sizes of a mirror if you would like. Some people prefer uniformity, while others like their asymmetry.
Keep the paint job-focused
Too many colors can be overwhelming and, quite frankly, somewhat ugly. That is not to say that it’s not doable, but ideally, you should keep it limited to about three different colors. This gives the kitchen focus and lets your guests take in the information more easily.
Hanging a tapestry is a great way to create a visual identity for a room, and it does not take much time or energy to do so. If you know how to create a tapestry or know someone who can, you do not even have to buy one (though you may have to commission the person if you cannot do it yourself). Your tapestry can be in a wide variety of designs, with the limit being only budget and imagination.
You can use paint effectively to cordon off certain areas of the wall. For example, imagine painting your room blue, but having a section behind your bed painted orange can really help things pop, while making your room look super stylized and thought out. You can do this in other areas, but make sure not to overdo it. Less is more, as they say.
Cheap art hanging
You don’t have to buy a Picasso or a Rembrandt in order to have some beautiful artwork adorn your walls, you can just make it yourself or commission it from someone else. You can find a lot of amazing artists on Twitter, Tumblr, and other art-sharing websites who offer affordable art pieces. Just don’t be cheap and ask for a discount — they need money too!
When you see the stereotypical fancy pants room, a curtain that goes around the bed is a regular fixture. It may seem like something that is simply not affordable, but that is not true, though you will need the skills to install some curtain rods around your bed or know someone who can help. Close yourself off to the world when you rest, and feel like royalty at the same time.
Glow in the dark paint
Items that glow in the dark are a lot of fun in a variety of ways, and painting images that glow in the dark on your walls and ceiling can give a beautiful nighttime setting when you turn the lights off. One idea you could use is to paint different stars, planets, and moons around the building, let you go to sleep under the stars every night!
These kinds of pillows are simply sweaters repurposed to be pillows. If you have an old sweater, maybe something that you are sentimental for but no longer have a purpose for due to weight gain/loss, you can take them and sew them up while stuffing them full. It’s a good way to keep those memories while still having a utility for a ‘done’ sweater.