Design Hints

Five Steps to Fresh

Discover budget-friendly ways to refresh your home with smart accessories and fun furnishings.

Vintage AmericanBlogger Brenda Kula of likes to change things up in her Tulsa, Oklahoma, home (featured in our July 2014 issue), but she's also conscious of her budget. To keep your home decor feeling fresh and new without taxing your wallet, follow Brenda's no-fuss, stress-free tips.

1. Use what you have. "Don't buy anything until you shop your home," Brenda advises anyone looking for a fast and free makeover. "Go into your attic, basement and garage to find things. You don't have to buy anything; you just have to rearrange."  

2. Keep it simple. Freshening up a space doesn't have to be an elaborate undertaking, according to Brenda. Change a tabletop vignette, move a quilt or add throw pillows. Rearranging surface decor can dramatically alter the look and feel of an entire room. 

3. Think dual purpose. One of Brenda's key tricks is to employ multifunctional items. From using picnic baskets, pitchers and coffee mugs for keeping small items at the ready to putting benches into service as seats or bookshelves, having dual-purpose items on hand means you can readily change their occupation -- thereby making the old new again -- in minutes.

4. Maintain a consistent color palette. "I keep the same colors in every room so that I can interchange things easily from room to room if I get bored," Brenda says. She punctuates a uniform backdrop of white and black with spots of red, blue, green and yellow.

5. Paint! Paint is an easy, budget-savvy way to update anything from a wall to a piece of furniture to cabinet hardware. Although Brenda shies away from painting wood furnishings because she prefers to keep the integrity of the pieces intact, she did give her kitchen cabinet knobs a fresh coat of black paint when she redid the cupboards.

Photographed and Styled by Franklin & Esther Schmidt

Originally seen in "Breaking the Rules" on pages 50-56 of our July 2014 issue.