Refresh a Room for Less Than $100

Paint color swatches

Living room feeling less than lively? Bedroom a snooze? Short of getting new furniture, what can you do? A room makeover doesn’t have to be a budget-breaker. Decorate on a budget—change the look of any space for under $100 with a few simple tips.

Grab a Brush
Decorators agree that the biggest impact for the least investment comes with paint. For about $35 and a few hours of your time, you can create a vibrant focal point with an accent wall. When choosing a wall to accent, look for one with a feature like a fireplace or built-in bookcase, or that is otherwise architecturally significant in some way. Spend a bit more and paint the whole room for a truly dramatic effect.

Look Down
Take a gander at what’s under your feet. How could it be different? A rug can really bring a room together. Less expensive carpet tiles add color and geometric interest and are easy to replace if someone spills something that won’t come up. Older hardwood floors get new life with a whitewash, a painted checkerboard pattern, or stencil work.

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Go Toward the Light
Lighting creates a mood in a room, and new lamps are a fast, easy way to update. On existing lamps, lampshades get a second life if you paint or cover them with interesting fabric, maps, burlap, even newspaper. If you’re the DIY type, a lamp kit from a hardware store lets you turn glass bottles, wire baskets, mason jars, galvanized tubs, and more into fixtures you won’t find anywhere else.

Think Outside the Frame
Take the time to create your own artwork and you’ll have something that really reflects you. Maps, graphic fabric, T-shirts, wallpaper, wrapping paper, posters, coasters, ticket stubs, and painted wooden letters all become personal works of art when displayed with confidence.

Accessorize
One surefire way to add color and softness to a space and still decorate on a budget: accent pillows and throws. They come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and prices. All you have to do is pick a few and toss them onto your sofa and chairs to create a little transformation.

Consider Window Dressing
Curtains have the ability to create a dramatic effect for not a lot of money. They are very easy to sew on your own. And if you prefer the store-bought kind (we don’t blame you!) you can make them special by adding your embellishments like sequins, ribbon, or paint. Nontraditional curtain rods, such as paddles, branches, or rope or simple metal hooks keep expenses down and highlight your personal style.

Shop Your Space
Chances are good you already have some neat things that could be shifted from room to room. Look for everyday objects that can be recast in a new role. Fabric and foam turn a coffee table into a DIY ottoman, drawers from an unused dresser become hangable floating shelves, and a stack of books doubles as a unique bedside stand, all at very little to no cost.

We’d love to see your space (and maybe share it with others)! Take a picture of your RAC room and send it to blog@rentacenter.com.