9 Tricks to Boost Your Home’s Appeal for Less Than $400

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 4.15.33 PMWhether you’re redecorating or just doing a quick update, check out these ways to enhance your home on a budget

Following my story on ways to boost your home for less than $75, I’m upping the ante and exploring some tips and tricks around the $400 mark. Even if you’re not planning to sell your home anytime soon, these touches could help you make a welcome change to your home environment for a relatively low price.

19 Clever Ways To Display Your Books

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8 Cost-Effective Ways to Get a High-End Look

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 12.46.43 PMDon’t discount that expensive material yet. By using a small amount in a strategic way, you can get a luxurious look without the expense

Buying materials and finishes from big-box stores can certainly save you tons of money on your project. But if you’re not careful, you can also run the risk of creating a space that feels just a bit too generic. That’s why I’m a big fan of buying just a little bit of a high-end material and using it in a way that maximizes impact. The high-low mix can really make your whole home look like you’re living beyond your means — even if you’re right on budget. To make sure your taste for the finer things is satisfied, here are my key ways to splurge.

Vintage Armoires and Cabinets Add Storage — and Character

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 12.45.03 PMTraditional armoires and wooden cabinets can keep order beautifully throughout your home

A traditional armoire is ever so grand in the bedroom, but usher it into the dining room and it works in a different way. For storage that looks elegant and is also practical, take a fresh look at your wardrobe, wooden chests and cabinets.

Wake Up Tired Furniture With Paint, Paper and Fabric

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 9.37.00 AMGive ordinary pieces a new spin with crafty updates, like a fresh tabletop, decorated sideboard and wall-size pinboard

Not the DIY type but still hankering for a creative interiors project? The answer could be style hacking — shorthand for taking an existing piece of furniture, be it a tired old chair or an off-the-shelf bookcase, and adding some quirky, crafty personality. (The trend began a while back when clever folks discovered they could give Ikea staples new life with a few smart style tweaks.)

Style hacking sits in that happy space between DIY madness (new headboard built from scratch? No problem!) and mass-manufactured blandness. The result can mean an original piece for the price of a tester pot of paint or a roll of wallpaper — ideal if, like many of us, you’re on a budget but don’t want cookie cutter interiors. The following projects are achievable even for beginners.

21 Reasons to Decorate With Purple

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 11.24.25 AMWhatever shade you choose — lilac, plum, mauve or aubergine — purple makes a statement

Helen Mirren caused a stir in the media recently when she had the chutzpah to ride the New York subway, sitting next to — shock, horror — a real person. But what also got people going was that she was wearing — wait for it — purple gloves. If she had been wearing black, green or even orange gloves, her handwear would hardly have warranted a mention, but purple, and it’s a headline.

You see, purple can be a quirky color. It’s not always easy to get right (Mirren did), and it’s a color that people tend to either love or find repellent. I’m definitely in the former camp, but I’ve been a bit scared to use it ever since painting my bedroom a pretty shade of lavender, only for a friend to remark some time later, “Yuck, who would ever choose that color paint?” But as these photos show (not one a child’s bedroom), purple in all its hues — whether a little bit or a lot is used — can be lovely and even sophisticated.

9 Tips for Making Your Shelf Display Look Great

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 7.49.47 AMLearn the tricks stylists use when arranging objects on a shelf

So you have things in your home that you love and want to show off, but you aren’t quite sure how to display them, or how to get that professional touch stylists and designers seem to get. Well, I’m going to show you how — to get that polished look when styling your shelves and bookcases, and get the perfect vignette. What’s a vignette, you ask? It’s a fancy word for an arrangement or grouping of objects. Just a warning though, it can become addictive. I like to change things up and style my shelves every other weekend.

Kids’ Rooms: 10 Gender-Neutral Nursery Ideas

Screen Shot 2015-02-26 at 7.47.04 AMCreate a sweet space to suit you and your new baby — whether a boy or a girl

If you’re preparing the nest for a new arrival and have resist finding out the sex of baby, you may be in need of some nursery decorating inspiration. Or perhaps you simply aren’t excited by traditional colors? Either way, forget outmoded ideas of blue for boys and pink for girls and make life easier by choosing a color scheme that will suit either gender. With a clever use of paint, prints and accessories, you can create a room you’ll feel proud to bring your baby home to and that will work for your family for years to come.

10 Secrets of Successful Secondhand Furniture Shopping

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 7.38.02 AMDesign professionals offer tips on how, where and what to buy

Buying furniture secondhand is the recycling of the design world. Secondhand pieces don’t use any more raw materials, don’t require any more energy to be produced, reduce waste and pollution, and don’t require any additional packaging. On top of these pluses, antiques and previously used pieces have that great sense of story and character.

While seasoned secondhand shoppers would probably be able to dish out this advice in their sleep, it can often be difficult to know where to start looking if you’re not in the habit of hunting. Four professionals very much in the know offer 10 great tips to ease you on your way.