You have perfectly curated Pinterest boards and your friends have all commented on your impeccable taste. What you don’t have, however, is the budget to make your decorating dreams come true. Luckily, it’s simple to completely refresh a room without breaking the bank. Here are three easy steps to making the best of what you’ve got.

Step one: think big

Take an honest look at the space you want to make over. When you’re on a budget, it’s tempting to fill that space with smaller, cheaper items. But this is a mistake. Little pieces and knick knacks will have the least impact in a room, and may do nothing more than add clutter. Instead, think of the largest furniture item you could remove or add for maximum impact. A sofa, table, or large rug will completely change the look and feel of a room, so start there.

Examples of big-impact, low-budget elements in any room are:

.   Wall paint

.   Large paintings or posters

.   Big potted plants

.   Armchairs

Step two: think second-hand

Now that you’ve identified your most impactful areas, think of cheap ways to make a change there. If you’ve only got $100 to work your magic, your best bet is to scout for second-hand items. It’ll take a little more time to find just what you’re looking for, but when you do, it’ll be worth it. Search barter websites for free or cheap second-hand items in your area, or look at flea markets for pre-loved pieces that are well-made but not new. Alternatively, find hand-me-downs or unwanted furniture that could be transformed with TLC. This way, you know you are getting the most bang for your buck, decorating wise.

Second-hand items that can be transformed cheaply include:

.   Old chairs that are in good condition but need to be reupholstered

.   Wooden tables that will look new when sanded and repainted

.   Old picture frames that can be painted bright colors

.   Less-than-pristine sofas that can be covered in beautiful throws or cushions

Step three: think clean and bright

You might decide to get a “new” sofa and splash out on a some beautiful scatter cushions, or spend a little on quality paint for a single statement wall in your room. Once you’re done, though, don’t forget about the cheapest and easiest way to make an old space new again: cleaning. De-clutter any mess and give the entire room a thorough spring clean. While you’re at it, invest in some fresh, non-fluorescent light bulbs to brighten everything up.

In a way, not having much to spend on a room makeover is a blessing, since it forces you to focus on only those changes that will have the maximum impact. Without a generous budget, you simply have to be a little more resourceful with the things that are already available.

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