Have a free afternoon? Then you can give your home a serious upgrade with these simple, low-cost projects designed to elevate your space. No matter the desired room, the desired timeline or the desired budget, this roundup has something spot-on that you can accomplish in minutes. And the best part? These pro tips come from some of the city’s best designers and decorators, meaning your home can look luxe without breaking the bank.
#1. Paint an accent wall
With a little paint and an hour or two of your time, it’s easy to integrate an accent wall. Accent walls add an instant focal point to a room, while creating an added dimension to your space. Just be careful when selecting a color—you want to make sure the accent wall flows with the rest of the room. So, for example, if your room is all cool tones, be sure to choose a cool tone for the accent wall. If it’s warm tones? Focus on a warmer accent wall.
#2. Build a side table from simple storage pieces
Low-cost modular storage pieces can easily be stacked together to create a custom side table. Use as many as you need to create the right height and width—each unit acts as its own “cubbie” creating instant dimension for a visually appealing finished product that’s incredibly functional.
#3. Create a gallery wall
Gallery walls are a great way to make a statement while showing off your favorite people, places and moments. Whether you opt for a geometric cluster or play with different formats and layouts, there’s no “right” way to hang a gallery wall. An easy way to get started, though? Start with three or four frames hung in the middle of your wall, all at the same height. From this “base,” hang the remaining pictures and frames and play with layouts until something syncs with your space.
#4. Frame something unexpected
Whether it’s a brightly-colored mitten, fabric swatch, vinyl, plate or other unexpected piece, consider framing something unexpected, then clustering and displaying in your home. Simply affix the object—ideally something flatter—to a piece of felt, then frame. Like a gallery wall, this creates an instant focal point while lending a pop of color to a room. And because you’re choosing something unexpected, this is a great way to show off your family’s unique personality.
#5. Fake a backsplash
A removable backsplash is a simple, low-cost project that adds a lot of personality to a kitchen—and is completely doable, even if you rent. Removable tile stickers, oil-based paint markers and stencils, fabric and temporary wallpaper can all be used to create a stunning custom finish, that’s easy to take down or paint over if and when you want or need to.
#6. Fake a headboard
No headboard? No problem. Paint a trompe-l’œil headboard. Use a stencil or carefully measure and frame the space you want to paint, using a pencil or chalk. Then apply two coats of paint and let dry before returning your bed to its position. It’s less expensive than a traditional headboard and takes up zero space, but adds the same richness to a bedroom.
#7. Swap out a lampshade
Lampshades are easy to pick up at craft stores or big box home improvement stores. Opt for shades with some bold cold or fun pattern, then switch in for your existing ho-hum lampshades. A pro rule of thumb, though—stick to one bold lampshade per room, and keep the rest neutral. This will create a better focal point and keep your space from looking cluttered.
#8. Stack and cluster
Stacks and clusters of same-items instantly draw attention in. Use that to your advantage and stack and cluster books, vases, jars or candles together on a flat surface—think a floating shelf, top of a bookshelf, coffee table or end table. Not only is this a great way to add a visual centerpiece to a room in seconds, but these stacks and clusters instantly show off your unique personality, interests and “collections.”
#9. Add a pop of color
Nothing adds personality to a space like a quick pop of color. As you’re selecting your decor pieces, opt for low-cost, high-impact items like throw pills, clusters of small, colorful vases or candles, or a few bold frames for your gallery wall. Especially in more neutral spaces, these add-ins really stand out and make your room feel fresh and persona..
#10. Upgrade a flea market find
Be creative as you’re exploring flea markets, antique shops and consignments. Not only can you easily paint or swap out hardware, but it’s easy to use an existing piece for some other purpose—for example, an old chair can easily become a unique nightstand while a small kitchen or dining room table can be split in two to create to end tables.
Want an extra set of hands on these projects. Elite Custom Concierge can help. Our residential property management in NYC offerings connect discerning New Yorkers with quality residential managers—residential managers with expertise in everything from interior design and decor to home maintenance, management and organization. Learn more about unique part-time and membership-based services, then get in touch to review your needs and your next steps.