Sick of your aesthetic? Try these affordable interior updates

In my younger years, my decorating style could best be described as uncomfortably colorful. As a child, I was free to decorate my bedroom however I wanted, so in high school I opted for dark purple carpet and lavender walls painted with silver metallic. In high school, I was aggressive in zebra print, going all in on bedding, pillows, wall decor, and even patterned light switch plates. It all started with a truly awful shade of lime green on all four walls. Clearly my mother was an absolute saint with boundless patience.

Now I like to believe that my aesthetic has evolved into a more tasteful form. I still love color, but I’ve traded neon tones for jewel tones combined with lots of white. I prefer solids over patterns, and I would choose hardwood floors over carpeting any day. All that to say, I’m no stranger to changing my aesthetic.

When I’m ready for an update, I’m not the type to throw everything away and start all over again. I firmly believe that if you want a different look, you don’t have to buy completely new furniture and decoration. (Unless, of course, everything is covered in zebra print. In that case, I’d recommend getting some new stuff.) But if you’re looking to refresh your interior a little, these affordable updates will help you achieve that new look.

1. Buy new pillows

Want to change your color scheme? Start with your pillows. Especially if your space is mostly neutral, adding a few throw pillows in a fresh color can completely change the look and feel of the room. Pillows may be a small element in the overall design, but they can really set the mood.

Source: @ournestonpowell

2. Change your wall color

Fresh paint can have a truly transformative effect. The wall color sets the tone for everything else in the room, so whether you’re going neutral, moody or bright, the right shade will make a big difference. A quick note to renters: Talk to your landlord first and be prepared to paint it back to its original color before you leave.

3. Get Organized

Tired of your aesthetic, or is your space just too cluttered to appreciate? Organizing is an underrated way to freshen up your home, and it can make all the difference in how you think about space. Get rid of excess items that don’t suit your style or needs, and invest in some aesthetically pleasing bins and baskets to bring together what you want to keep.

4. Add a mirror

Because they reflect light, mirrors can instantly make a room appear larger and brighter. Plus, they add a level of sophistication that your space might otherwise lack. Skip the hassle of hanging and lean one against the wall for an effortlessly chic look.

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Source: @briahmmelinteriors

5. Rearrange your furniture

Sometimes you just need a new perspective. Changing your furniture layout is one of the easiest ways to give your space a new look, and it literally costs zero dollars. Pull an accent chair from your living room to your bedroom, turn your sofa around to face a different direction, or flip your desk setup so it faces a window. Just moving some stuff around can make a room feel completely different.

6. Cover surfaces with peel-and-stick tiles

If you want to update your aesthetic quickly and cheaply, peel-and-stick tiles are one of the best tricks in the book. There are so many color and pattern options and you can actually apply them in minutes. Add a beautiful splashback to your kitchen or cover dull bathroom floors with a pretty pattern, all without the expense or mess of real tile installation.

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7. Renew old furniture

If you’re tired of that thorn in the side of a dresser taking up space in your bedroom, give it a try! Updating old or worn furniture and home decor is an easy way to update your aesthetic, and it will only cost you the price of supplies and a few hours of work. A new paint finish or upholstery can work wonders if you’re not happy with a piece’s current look.

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Source: @francois_et_moi

8. Bring Plants Inside

Plants are the secret weapon that can take a room from dull to bright and full of life. Use greenery to accessorize a shelf, brighten up your bar cart, brighten up your desk space, or just fill an empty corner. Not sure of your plant care skills? There are so many realistic looking fake plants that can give you the same effect.

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9. Apply Removable Wallpaper

Wallpaper is having a serious moment right now and it’s easier than ever to apply. The removable, self-adhesive kind can be slapped onto a wall in minutes and give you the freedom to change your mind later if you want to change things up again. Even if you only use it on one accent wall, wallpaper with a fun pattern can brighten up any room.

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10. Change your lighting

Lighting is one of the most influential aspects of a room, but this element in home decor is often overlooked. If your space doesn’t look as good as you’d like, your lighting could be the problem. Top lighting is important, but also ensure sufficient ambient light via lamps or sconces. Experiment with the brightness and color temperature of your light bulbs until you achieve the look you want.

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Source: @reserve_home

11. Trade in your art

For a simple interior update that only takes a few minutes, you can keep your frames but turn off the artwork. You can find tons of cheap art on sites like Etsy and Minted. To make it even more budget-friendly, buy a digital download for a few dollars and print it yourself.

12. Add a cover

Furniture plays a big part in how your space looks and feels, but buying all-new chairs isn’t always feasible if you’re looking for a quick, affordable change. Enter: covers. They offer a super easy way to give dull or worn furniture a whole new look. There are countless sizes and fabric options available, so you can make that budget sofa or armchair look a lot fancier than it actually is.

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7 Ways You Can Make Your Home Feel Like New For Under $20

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