10 Easy Ways to Do a DIY Room Refresh on a Budget

Do you have a space in need of a room refresh but not much time or money to get it done? At this time of the year, I like to change things up in my family room to give it a lighter, airier feel.

Today I've put together ten easy and affordable room refresh ideas. I'll show you how you can give your space an inviting new look in less than a weekend.

Removing heavy winter decor

1. Remove heavy winter decor

I hadn't updated my living room decor since packing away my Christmas decorations. You'll want to start your room refresh by removing any heavy or wintry items.

You may also want to remove any decor you're tired of or don't like anymore. This will give you a fresh palette as you begin to redecorate.

Swapping out curtains

2. Swap out curtains

When refreshing a room, new curtains are an easy way to make a significant impact without spending much money. They can update the overall look and help tie other room elements together.

I recently ordered some William Morris fabric and used it to make new curtains, so I was especially excited to see them up.

Creating an accent wall

3. Paint or wallpaper an accent wall

Accent walls can add color, texture, and visual interest to a room. I picked up a roll of peel-and-stick wallpaper to accent the back of my bookcase.

First, I precut a piece of wallpaper slightly longer than the wall. Then I lined the paper up across the top of the bookcase. I made sure that a few inches of the paper overlapped with the side wall to cover the blue paint fully. I pulled off the backing paper a little at a time, smoothing out the wallpaper as I moved down the wall.

Once fully adhered, I used a metal ruler and a utility knife to cut the extra paper off the side and along the bottom. I used a metal ruler and a utility knife to cut off the extra paper along the top, bottom, and side.

I followed the same process with the second piece of wallpaper, only this time, I lined up the pattern with the first piece before firmly pressing it to the wall.

Rearranging furniture

4. Rearrange or swap out furniture

When I'm redecorating, I shop my home for furniture I might want to bring into the room. For this room redo, I wanted to swap out my coffee table.

I had a glass coffee table in my basement storage room that we used in our previous home. I spray-painted it black to match the curtain rods.

Glass coffee tables work well with many decor styles and help make a room feel open, airy, and bright. I also grabbed a round table from another room to use between the chairs.

Changing up the lighting

5. Change up the lighting

I updated my existing lamps. I painted them with ivory, chalk paint, and salt wash to give them that aged, crusty appearance I like. I used a 50/50 ratio of paint to salt wash and dabbed it on with a brush after drying it. You can distress it with sandpaper, but I decided not to.

I will keep looking for lamps until then; these are white and bright for spring and summer.

Swapping out pillows and blankets

6. Swap out pillows and blankets

Another easy update is to swap out your pillows and throw blankets. I like to use lighter and brighter fabrics for spring and summer to give the room a fresh and cheery feeling.

I replaced velvet and heavily textured pillow covers with cotton and linen ones. I put out a thrift store coverlet instead of the blue faux fur throw blanket.

Updating wall decor

7. Update wall decor

I recently built a gallery wall of tree images but decided it looked too modern next to the William Morris curtains. So instead, I hung up a pair of botanical canvases I had been admiring at Hobby Lobby. 

Swapping out accessories

8. Swap out accessories

I change out my accessories even more often than my wall decor. I started by freshening up the table behind my sofa. I wanted to add a large plant for spring and summer, and I had recently thrifted a large metal planter for under $5.

To brighten it up, I gave it a couple of coats of ivory chalk paint, and when the paint was dry, I distressed it with some sandpaper to emphasize its pretty design. You might not think of using chalk paint on metal, but it can transform a piece and give it a wonderful aged appearance.

I filled the planter with some packing styrofoam and then began adding some faux ivy stems from an old thrift store arrangement in my stash. I was so happy to read recently that faux ivy is coming back in style. I added a few sticks from my yard to give the arrangement some height.

Small decor gets lost on my sofa table, so I used old books as a riser for a metal bird figurine. Now to the bookcases. I mostly just edited my accessories as I returned them to the shelves. 

Adding plants and flowers

9. Add plants and flowers

I think every room should have a live plant. If possible, I would love to have a live plant on the sofa table, but unfortunately, that back corner does not get enough sunlight. So I added a small tabletop plant to one of the end tables instead.

During the warm months, I like to use fewer metal and more glass accessories like these pretty blue vases. I also like adding faux flowers around the room in a few spots. I combined two thrift store finds, a faux orchid, and a clear glass vase to create a summery arrangement. I just used some small rocks to hold the orchid stems.

DIY room refresh

10. Update cabinet hardware

I decided to update my cabinet hardware. I spray-painted them with the black paint I used on the coffee table. I wouldn't recommend painting handles that get a lot of use, like those on kitchen cabinets.

However, it is a perfect and inexpensive update for less-used handles and knobs. 

DIY room refresh

Have you done a room refresh? A room refresh can transform your room with minimal effort. Share your ideas in the comments below.

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