Easy Tips for a Low Cost Room Makeover

You don’t have to spend a ton of money redecorating a room if you focus on the 3 P’s—paint, pillows and plants!


Are you tired of your home or apartment? Do you look around your place and get the blahs? It may be time for a low cost room makeover.

Don’t worry, because you can create the feel of a fresh room makeover without spending a ton of money. Decorating on a budget can even be fun.

A little creativity can stretch a few dollars into a Pinterest-worthy interior. Just remember the 3 P’s of a fast, low cost room makeover. I’m talking about paint, pillows and plants.

Here are a few thoughts and inspirations to get you started on a room makeover that won’t break your bank account.


Low Cost Room Makeover Tip #1: Paint is Cheap

One of the least expensive and easiest ways to upgrade a room interior is with paint. That’s right, a gallon or two of paint. A coat of fresh paint in a new color can give an instant face-lift to an otherwise tired or ordinary room.

My favorite way to make a big impact with paint is to buy one gallon of paint in a dramatic jewel-tone color. Select a high gloss finish for the maximum result. Then paint the interior of a closet or pantry. Similarly, you can paint the wall behind a shelving unit or inside of a bookshelf.

A jewel-tone paint color (I’m talking green, red or blue) will really make the items placed in the closet or on the shelves really pop.

kitchen shelves with painted back wall
Photo by Nathan Dumlao from Unsplash

Paint the Bathroom for an Budget Makeover

Another small space to paint and get a big bang for your low-budget buck is the bathroom. A quick afternoon of painting can transform a bland white box into an elegant sanctuary. Don’t be afraid to go dark or bright!

If you do choose a deep or bright hue for your bathroom, make sure to paint the ceiling, plus all the trim and the baseboards in the same color. This is no time to get wimpy. The new “wow!” room makeover color will extend outward, and that will give you the maximum impact.

One Wall Can Change a Room

Keep in mind that you don’t have to paint all the walls in a room. One accent wall in a stunning color is all you need.

For the best result, choose a blank (or relatively blank) wall with no cabinets, fixtures, or equipment on it. Then pick your favorite color, roll on the paint and make no apologies. Voila! Budget decorating at its best.


Budget Decorating Tip #2: Pillows with Pizzaz

If your major furniture is neutral colored, then you can play with accents and accessories. The simplest way to introduce bolder colors and patterns is with accent pillows. A purple couch might be a bit overwhelming in a small living room, but a gray couch with purple and silver accent pillows is a chic and interesting vignette.

You don’t even have to buy expensive pillows. (After all, we are talking about budget decorating tips and low-cost room makeovers, right?) A pillow cover is a simple sewing project that you can tackle during an evening in front of the TV.

pillows on couch for a low cost room makeover
Photo by Sven Brandsma from Unsplash

Thrift Stores to the Rescue

I go to local thrift stores and buy old, square pillows for a few dollars. (Sniff first to make sure they are not from a smoking home or have been soiled by pets.) Then, for the fabric, I often re-use a skirt or shirt that I no longer wear, but I still like the look of.

Beyond pillows, you can add touches of luxury and color with blanket throws, curtains, tablecloths and area rugs. These can be switched out seasonally or whenever you get tired of them.


Low Cost Room Makeover Tip #3: Add Plants

What separates a home from a sterile hotel room? Living plants! Plants literally help you breathe easier (hello, oxygen!). Plus, green is a calming color.

For your low cost room makeover, set up a table in front of a sunny window. Then look for healthy plants at retail stores and on resale sites like Craigslist.

As you get more comfortable growing plants, start asking your friends and family for cuttings from their houseplants. Some easy-care varieties include Pothos, Sansevieria and African violets. Succulents and cacti are good choices for beginners and those with a busy life or travel schedule. Also read Home, Garden and Homestead’s guide to Easy-to-Grow Houseplants for Beginners.


Group Your Plants Together

Group the plants together and put them in similar containers, such as all white pots or all-natural terra cotta for a unified look.

indoor plants in matching pots
Photo by Margarita Terekhova from Unsplash

Set an alarm on your Google calendar to remind you to check on and water them every few days.  Also read 7 Essential Houseplant Care Tips.  Once you start having success with plants, they will start to multiply. Then you can pass them along to friends as sweet hostess gifts.

If the houseplant bug really starts to bite, Logee’s.com is a great source for fun and unusual indoor plant choices. Try Chinese Money Plant (Pilea peperomioides), Swiss Cheese Vine (Monstera adansonii), and Rattlesnake Plant (Calathea lancifolia).


Invite Your Friends Over

After you’ve created an awesome low-cost room makeover—or have transformed your entire home or apartment, it’s time to show off you home decorating skills. Host a party at your place and enjoy the new look of your home!


1 Comment
  1. Toni Gattone says

    Great article, Kathy. Fun and informative; good advice for all of us when it’s tine for a change.

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