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  • Writer's pictureEileen Kupperman

Home Decorating Ideas for Warm Weather on a Budget

Each year, at the end of a long, cold winter, millions of Americans breathe a collective sigh of relief with the dawn of spring. For many, warmer temperatures equate to spring cleaning, open windows, fresh breezes, and a blurred line between indoor and outdoor decor.

No matter how you celebrate the arrival of warm weather, make sure you update your home so that you and your family can enjoy the energy and vitality of the turning seasons. You don’t have to spend a fortune with these inexpensive and classic updates that will leave your home looking fresh and bright. Let your budget and your taste guide you to the accents that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

1. Use Wallpaper Creatively

Wallpaper is best in small doses, particularly when you choose the bold prints that are perfect for spring. The good news is that small pieces of wallpaper used cleverly are actually far more economical than applying swaths to the walls of an entire room (and easier to remove too).

You can use wallpaper to line the shelves of your kitchen cabinetry and drawers, underneath the glass top of an end table for a pop of color, or as a piece of artwork if you display it in a picture frame. Choose a bold and colorful floral pattern for a sweet and springy update. The cost of wallpaper varies widely depending on the print and brand you choose, but you can reasonably expect to find a roll that can cover up to 50 square feet for less than $50.

2. Plant Indoor Flowers

Nothing says “warm weather” quite like bouquets of fresh flowers. At a cost of $20 to $50 for a bouquet of cut blooms, however, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to consistently decorate your rooms with the fresh bouquets they deserve.

Instead, plant indoor flowers. African violets, peace lilies, and guppy plants do well indoors and boast vivid blooms, as long as the indoor conditions are right. Plant these beauties in bright planters for enjoyable bouquets of color that won’t quickly wither. The price varies on the plant you choose, but individual African violets cost less than $4 at typical nurseries. Terracotta pots for plants this small cost less than $2 apiece. You can leave them unfinished or paint them for a boost of color and energy.

3. Swap Out Your Coverlets

Warm winter bedding is known for rich colors and heavy fabrics, which is a must for cold weather. But when the weather outside warms, you need to put away your heavy comforters and blankets for lighter coverlets.

You can approach the endeavor in several different ways, such as switching your heavy winter duvet for a bright one, purchasing a light comforter, or placing a light and colorful blanket on top of your existing pieces. The point is to infuse your room with updated textiles that are lighter and brighter than their wintertime counterparts. For instance, a room that is decorated with gray paint and a dark purple comforter would probably benefit from the addition of a white coverlet on the bed for a bright update to the room. If you take this approach, you can expect to spend less than $100 on the throw blanket.

4. Add Beachy Glass Vases

Glass decor takes on a refreshing vibe when pieces are placed in the sunlight. Display an assortment of both clear and colorful glass vases on a bare shelf for an update that looks like it’s from the pages of “Coastal Living Magazine” – and consider filling the vases with rocks, marbles, or single stems of fake or dried flowers. You can purchase three glass vases to start your display for less than $60, and rocks or marbles for the entire arrangement won’t cost you more than $10.

5. Purchase Accent Pillows

Refresh your bedroom and living room by replacing your accent pillows with new ones that boast colorful and bright textures and patterns. You can find beautiful accent pillows for about $15 to 20 apiece at inexpensive retailers such as Target or Walmart. Look for a mix of colorful floral prints and pillows that have a rustic texture, like burlap and canvas. The mixture of textures ensures that the springy colors aren’t overwhelming. You may be surprised at how different your room looks with just four new pillows for $80.

6. Update Your Trim

Although there’s something to be said for the use of color during warm months, you can just as easily use white to brighten up your space. Unfortunately, white walls sometimes look stark and uninviting, but bright white trim can make your entire home look crisp and clean – especially if you are touching up trim that looks dingy, worn, or dirty.

Unless you’re completely redoing your paint trim, touching up your trim is a snap. Simply sand the existing trim lightly and paint with a glossy white finish. There’s no need to tape when you use an edging tool and a small brush instead. A gallon of white paint, a brush, and an edger will cost you less than $40.

7. Hang a Funky Mirror

Mirrors are both wall art and a lighting technique. Find a mirror with character, and hang it in the corner of a room that doesn’t get much natural light. The mirror will bounce light back into the room to illuminate the space more fully.

If you really want to brighten a dark corner, consider placing a floor mirror in the dimmest area of a room for a flood of natural light. The update helps your room look invitingly warm for spring and summer. You can find plenty of decorative mirrors for less than $100 at Wayfair.

8. Paint Planters Colorfully

Whether you’re creating an indoor or outdoor garden, colorful pots for planting flowers and bushes are fabulous for any space. Unfortunately, ornate ceramic planters can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 or more, which can put a huge dent in your overall budget if you’d like to have more than one.

Instead of shelling out the money on expensive planters, purchase a variety of inexpensive terracotta or plastic planters and pots. Then, paint the planters the color you want by applying two coats of spray paint infused with primer. The spray paint adheres very well to the plastic or terracotta surfaces, creating beautiful planters for just a fraction of the cost. A can of spray paint costs about $7, and you can purchase a large terracotta planter for less than $10 at big box retailers such as Home Depot or Lowe’s.

9. Decorate With Floral Prints

Do you have a bland or drab piece of furniture in your room? You can update it with a floral print, and it won’t even require you to reupholster a fabric headboard or an accent chair. Instead, find a floral fabric print that you love, and simply drape it over any piece of furniture. If you place it on an accent chair, the print will look like a bright new throw for just a fraction of the cost, and if you drape the fabric over your headboard, your whole headboard will look new.

This technique takes just a moment, and is a breeze to undo. You simply need to purchase one to four yards of a print you like, which should cost anywhere from $5 to $40. If the ends are unfinished, purchase iron-on hem tape for less than $5 to create a no-sew hem in a snap.

10. Drape Sheer Window Treatments

Take down your thick drapes and replace them with sheer fabrics for a breezy and bright update to your window treatments. Select a lace, silk, organza, or nylon fabric in a light color, and purchase enough to generously drape the fabric around your existing curtain rod. You need to wrap the curtain around the middle of the rod four to eight times, and then pull the fabric until it hangs loosely and gracefully from the rod, collecting at both ends in a puddle on the floor.

The cost of this update depends upon the size and number of windows you want to treat, but you can expect to pay $3 to $10 per yard of fabric. To determine the amount of yards needed, just multiply the height of the window by four and divide by three. For instance, for a 28-inch-wide x 54-inch-high window, you should plan to purchase six yards of fabric, spending anywhere from $18 to $60 in total. Draping sheer fabric instead of sewing curtains allows you to only finish the ends of the fabric, which you can do by ironing hem tape to the bottom of the sheer for a finished look.

Final Word...

Everyone loves a fabulous and inviting space, but it’s not always feasible to update your home with the trendiest pieces. Instead of putting stress on your personal budget every time the seasons change, find small items that are easy to swap out with warmer or cooler temperatures. Once you invest in a few classic pieces, such as drapes, accent pillows, and vases, you’ll easily be able to update your home in the future without having to spend any additional money.

How do you update your home when seasons change?

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