As anyone who owns a home knows, improvements and repairs can be outlandishly expensive. Everyone’s on a budget these days, and even sprucing up an apartment can run your checkbook into the ground. Knowing some tips and tricks for home improvement on a budget can save you a lot of money. For example, checking your local carpet store for remnants and clearance sales can cut hundreds off the cost of new flooring. Renovations do not have to cost a fortune. You can improve the look and functionality of your space, whether it’s a house or a studio apartment, and still have enough over to pay the rent.


I have found that a great way to liven up your space for a small investment is to re-paint the walls. If the walls are dirty, stained or are an awful color, it spoils the look of the whole room. Consider using lighter shades and neutrals like white or cream. If you love a particular color, go with a lighter shade in the can, because it will look darker on the walls when it dries. Remember that dark and jewel tones will close a room, making it seem smaller, while lighter shades will open the space up and it will appear more spacious.

Curtains and blinds

Consider your window coverings carefully. Blinds are an inexpensive, practical alternative to heavy, dust-collecting drapes. When not in use blinds cover less of the window’s surface than drapes, and the more light you can let into a room, the better.


The next stage of your project may be to purchase some furniture, either because what you have is breaking down or because you’re ready to change out Grandmother’s hand-me-downs for something a bit more up to date. First, consider your personal style. Are you the kind of person who must have every piece matching, or will a more eclectic style suit you? Keep in mind that matching furniture sets may be less pricey than buying each piece separately, but you can save even more by buying pieces on clearance and not being quite so picky about having an “exact” match.

Furniture stores, like carpet stores, often offer cut-rate pricing on their “scratch and dent” pieces, which are usually display models that show slight wear from being on the showroom floor, and are sometimes just “last year’s” furniture. Since furniture is made to stay in style for years, the leftover inventory in the backroom is just as fashionable as what is on the showroom floor, and you may even find something that suits your tastes better.

Do not forget the other furniture-hunter’s opportunity – curb shopping. Obviously some things, like mattresses, shouldn’t be purchased second-hand, but for everything else, you can quite often recycle your way into some much nicer furnishings than you could afford to purchase new.

The end of the month is a great time to go out hunting. Like antiquing, curb-shopping is an adventure. Check any curbside (or garage sale or second-hand store) pieces for obvious defects like broken bits, holes or fading.  Do your curb shopping in high-end neighborhoods for the best finds.

I hope that my tips are useful and that I have shown that fixing up your apartment or home doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Choose the projects that will give you the biggest bang for your buck, and think outside the box, and your place will be fabulous in no time at all.

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