So you want to know how to decorate a house with no money? It’s actually pretty easy and you can do it with interior redesign, also known as, use what you have decorating. In this post I’m going to teach you how to redesign a room in your home, in one day, without spending a dime to do it!

Interior redesign is a less expensive alternative to interior decorating because you use what you already have to create a whole new look for your home.

The main idea is to reuse items from the room, as well as items from other areas of the home to get a new look.

decorative image

Your basically going to be shopping your home for furniture and accessories that will work better in the room you are redecorating.

But there are some steps involved and some muscle needed to get the job done.

And if you follow the steps, you’ll be able to decorate your room with things you already have and it will look so much better!

Clear the room

The first step in how to redesign your room – clear the room!  Everything will need to be removed from the room except for the largest pieces such as the sofa or an armoire. Use furniture sliders to quickly and easily move even the heaviest of furniture.

Don’t forget to remove items on the walls like artwork, mirrors, or shelving, as well as accessories, table lighting, and window treatments… everything must be removed.

As you remove items you will “stage” them in an adjacent room.  Keep all like items together because we are going to “shop” them later. 

For example, all lamps, baskets, vases, chairs, artwork, etc. should all be grouped together so you can find what you need later.

how to decorate with no money pillows

Find your focal point

Now that the room is empty you will be able to see the room for what it is. And an empty room is the perfect time to find your focal point.

There are two different types of focal points, architectural or natural, and a designed focal point. 

An architectural, or natural focal point is something that is fixed in the room such as a fireplace, built-in bookcase, or even a window that looks out to a nice view. 

A designed focal point is one that you make.  It could be a large armoire, an accent wall, or a large piece of artwork just to name a few. 

Once you find your focal point you are going to design the whole room around it.

plain living room design

In the photo above you will notice that they did not address the focal point or the function of this room. Without seeing the whole room, I would pick the fireplace as the focal point and arrange my furniture to face that. Also, the rocker is right in front of the door which isn’t the best spot as far as traffic flow is concerned.

pretty blue and white living room

Here is another room that does address the focal point. This room is set up perfectly to enjoy the fireplace, TV viewing, and for conversation with guests.

Determine the function of the room

The next step of how to redesign your room is to determine the function of the room, or the room’s purpose. 

If it’s a living room then maybe its purpose is to watch television, relax in front of a fireplace, or entertain friends. 

A bedroom’s purpose would be to sleep, relax, store clothing, or even watch tv.

Think about everything you need this room to do for you. This is important because you will need to make sure you have everything in this room for it to function properly. 

There is no sense having a beautiful room if you can’t use it for its intended use.

PAINT SWATCH

Redfin reached out to us and other interior design experts for our best-kept secrets on how you can redesign your home to create a functional yet stylish space without breaking the bank. From a fresh coat of paint to using what you have on hand, keep reading to discover ten ways to give your home a makeover – you might be surprised by these simple solutions. 

Decorating with Good Bones: 10 Ways to Redesign Your Home on a Budget

Build your main furniture grouping

With your focal point in mind and the function of the room, we are going to start building the room back piece by piece. Remember, the idea is to use what you have, while decorating the room step by step.

Start with large area rugs if you have them.  Use them to define a furniture grouping, or groupings, by placing them where they will address the focal point and make sense for the function of the room.

Now place your sofa on this rug.  If the rug is too small to hold an entire grouping, then place at least the front legs on the rug.

Place the next largest piece such as your armoire, entertainment center, or love seat. 

Once you have these first few large pieces where they make sense, you can bring in the next smaller pieces for this grouping such as chairs, recliners, and a coffee table.

Again, think about the function of the room.  What pieces do you need to be able to have friends over and have a comfortable conversation?   Where will they put their glass of wine?  What can I put a lamp on? 

Work on one piece at a time and step back and see if it looks good and makes sense. 

Chances are your room is large enough to have a second furniture grouping such as a desk area or a reading nook. 

Place this secondary grouping in a place that functions, as well as, balances out the first grouping.

blue and white living room

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Check Traffic Flow

Take a walk around the room, and from this room to another room.  Is any furniture blocking doorways?  Do you have to walk around a piece of furniture to get from one area to another? 

Make any adjustments needed to solve this issue before you add anything else. Keep moving things around until it makes sense.

image of living room and how decorate without spending any money

Add smaller furniture pieces and accents

By now you should have a basic seating area or two in the room. Make any final adjustments to the arrangements for space and balance. 

When it’s all good you can start to add some more decorative furniture pieces.  This could be a small chest, a sofa table, end tables, a bench, or any other furniture piece that you need for function or for decorative effect. 

Do not, I repeat, do not, bring items back into this room just because it was in there before.  Only use items that work for your new arrangement by shopping your home for the best options.

Do you have a chair in your bedroom that works with your sofa? Try bringing that in. How about a chest in the basement that you could use as a coffee table? The idea is to find a better option than what you currently had in the room.

PAINT SWATCH

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If your room is small and you want to make it feel bigger, then read my post “How to make a small room feel bigger” and get my tips and tricks.

Add lighting

Now that you have most of your furniture pieces in the room you will want to make sure you have enough lighting in the room to function and for decorative effect. 

Is there a lamp on the table where you read or on the desk where you work?  Is there a dark corner where a floor lamp could brighten it up? 

Make sure the lighting is spread about the room and there are no dark areas.

Window Treatments

There are a few rules I like to follow when hanging my window treatments. 

Hang your rod about 4” wider on each side of the window.  This will allow your panel to hang slightly off the side of the window to let in more light and make your window appear larger.

Also you can hang the rod as close to the ceiling as possible.  If you have a low ceiling this will make the room appear taller, and your window as well.

Don’t assume you have to use draperies at all.  Depending on your style, shades, shutters, or even a bare window may be just perfect. 

Have a large picture window?  Instead of installing a long rod across the whole window, hang two short rods on each side to hold your window treatment in a stationary position.  You’ll get the same look but won’t be able to close the curtains.

Accessorize your walls

Now that you have your furniture where it should go, your lamps on tables, and your window treatments hung, you can address the wall space.  Just like we did with furniture your going to start with your largest and best pieces first. 

Start with your focal point wall and work around the room, wall by wall.  You will want to use your best wall accessories on your focal point wall, well, because it’s your focal point. 

This is what is going to draw your eye into this room so make it beautiful. 

Make your wall art fit the space.  For example, if you have a fireplace mantle add something that will fill about 2/3 of the space above it. 

A small framed photograph will not make a statement on a large wall.  Determine the size of the blank space then fill that space with one large piece or a grouping of smaller pieces. 

Do not hang your artwork too high on the wall.  There should never be a lot of space between your furniture and the art piece above it.  I would say to keep this space to 6” or less. Here are some tips for hanging artwork.

Artwork can include photographs, paintings, mirrors, wall shelving, decorative plates, sconces, or anything else you can hang on the wall.

Need help with hanging your artwork level or in line with other art? Try this picture level tool. It makes hanging artwork a breeze.

PAINT SWATCH

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Need help with accessorizing? Read my post “How to decorate like a pro.”

Time to accessorize

The final step in how to redesign your room is accessorizing. Accessorizing is like putting frosting on a cake or topping off your outfit with jewelry. This step is what will make your room sing. 

Look through your staging area for items that will work with the space.  Don’t see what you want? Then look around your home for something better.

Start with your focal point and accessorize around the room from area to area.  Don’t bring in anything that doesn’t make you happy.  Here are some tips from Houzz for accessorizing.

Now sit back and enjoy your new room that you designed all by yourself.  Better yet, invite your friends over for wine to show it off. 

Need help pulling all of this together?

redesign your room ebook image

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