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Thrifty updates for your home

A living room with new life!
A living room with new life!
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As the months get colder and we naturally progress to spending more time indoors, we may start noticing how ho-hum our rooms look. Are you tired of looking at the same painting that has hung on your bedroom wall for the past ten years? Maybe your furniture is bringing back memories of the mauve and baby blue era. The good news is that there are a lot of great things that you can change in your home that won’t break the bank.

Paint: Paint is one of the easiest ways to make a big impact. Most homeowners can do the work themselves, and if you really goof on the color, all you have to do is repaint. Choosing the right color and finish is key, so if you are feeling deficient in this area, don’t be afraid to recruit a professional. There are some great new earth friendly options available, many with low VOCs, which means less odor. Try Benjamin Moore’s new eco-friendly Natura product line, or visit Natural Built Home in Minneapolis to explore various paint product lines that offer zero VOC products and soy based paints.

Accessorize: Purchasing new accessories and accents is an inexpensive way to breathe new life into a space. Think new pillows and a decorative throw for the sofa, changing curtains to a warmer/deeper color for the winter months and adding an area rug and new lamp to your family room. New bedding is also a great way to revitalize a space for a few hundred dollars or less. Don’t be afraid to shop discount stores such as Kohls or Target for these items. They offer a great selection of accessories and bedding and the inexpensive prices justify mixing things up a couple of times a year.

Redesign: This is a great way to use your own furniture and accessories by repurposing them in new ways. This process is almost like a treasure hunt in your own home. Go room-to-room and objectively look at your furniture and accessories. Would the artwork in the foyer look good in the office? Could the lamp from the bedroom be switched with the one in the family room? This is where it sometimes helps to recruit a friend or neighbor with an objective eye to work with you.

If you find you are in need of some new pieces to complete your space, consider buying second hand. Craig’s List is always an adventure, but you can also try Turn Style Consignment’s new home stores. They sell gently used furniture and accessories in a retail set-up so that you can shop like you would in a regular store. You can also consign items that you no longer have use for.

“Light” remodeling: Can’t afford a full-fledged remodel? Consider a cosmetic upgrade to your space by installing a new vanity top, sink & faucet in your bathroom or by adding a tile backsplash in your kitchen. Both Building Materials Outlet in Eagan and The ReUse Center located in Minneapolis and Maplewood offer salvaged, new, and surplus building materials at bargain prices.